Have you ever wanted to roam among a dragon’s lair or ascend to where angels land? Only a hop, skip, and step away from Zion National park sits the Zion Wildflower Resort, where endless miles of world-class hiking, biking, and running trails exist. Don’t believe us? Then rise, shine, step outside your beautiful canvas tent, covered wagon, or comfy bungalow, and venture to the top of the Wildflower trail. The adventure is worth your while because here at Zion Wildflower, we believe that the world only reveals its secrets and beautiful mysteries to those who travel by foot.
Where is the Wildflower Trail?
The Wildflower Trailhead is in our backyard, centrally located at Zion Wildflower Resort. Take a journey to the base of the covered wagons where a beautiful mountainside greets adventurers, greenery, and flowers; Tom Petty says it best, “you belong among the wildflowers.”
Flora You Can Expect To See on the Wildflower Trail
The southern Utah landscape is scattered with arid grasslands, brightly colored flowers, and intense greenery that cannot be described by words alone. At the lowest points of elevation in southern Utah, many hikers will notice the desert shrub. One may ask, why is the brush so common? These desert shrubs easily adapt to extreme temperatures with the special ability to store large amounts of water, allowing them to survive through periods of drought. Hikers may notice the bright yellow flowers that coat the desert shrub; these are called rabbitbrush. The yellow tubular flowers provide pollen, nectar, and nutrients to support the local insect and wildlife populations.
Wildlife Near Zion National Park
Zion National park and the surrounding area are home to an abundance of wildlife, including coyotes, mountain lions, beavers, bighorn sheep, and much more. While hikers are unlikely to come into contact with these animals, adventurers will surely see long-nosed leopard lizards, tiger whiptail lizards, or small rabbits and squirrels. Most lizard breeds in southern Utah gravitate towards open spaces but may run to shrubs or rocks to seek shelter and protection. These lizards most often prey on small bugs, but occasionally they will prey on other smaller lizards. The desert rabbits feed on lush vegetation; therefore, they are commonly seen by runners, hikers, and bikers.
Another common wildlife species that occupies much of southern Utah is the Antelope Ground Squirrel. These small mammals are active year-round and are most commonly found in high elevations near rock and shrubbery. In fact, they often search the inside of cacti for seeds and nutrients. Overall, the wildlife in southern Utah is exquisite, and hikers are sure to come across many animals while hiking the Wildflower Trail.
The Famous Wildflowers
Of the abundance of greenery and shrub life in Zion Wildflower, the exotic wildflowers are sure to catch your eye. While traveling the Wildflower Trail, explorers may be fortunate to come across the lovely Aquilegia, Castilleja, Ranunculus acaulis, and other colorful flowers. Historically, the Aquilegia (commonly known as the columbine) was consumed in small amounts by Native Americans as a condiment and was used to heal small ulcers. These bright purple, tubular-shaped flowers were consumed and now attract butterflies due to their sweet honey nectar.
The Castilleja (also referred to as Indian Paintbrush) is known to be the vivid fire plant of the desert. These red, yellow, and orange flowers were also used historically by the Native Americas and can be found in late spring through early fall. The Ranunculus acaulis (also called the Sand Buttercup) is a bright yellow flower native to New Zealand and most often found near the ocean. This is enough to make travelers and adventurers wonder, was southern Utah once an ocean?
Experience the Wildflower Trail at Zion Wildflower Resort
While wandering the Wildflower trail, guests will be quick to observe the breathtaking views of Zion National Park, the southern Utah valley, and in the distance, some may even see Snow Canyon State park. Regardless of where one stands, hikers cannot miss the miles upon miles of red cliffs, bluffs, and plateaus. The layers of rock illustrate a historical time where no human had explored or repelled against the giants of the desert. The color and layers of the southern Utah cliffs are primarily an effect of wind-deposited sands and erosion; the weather over time has constructed the beautiful landscape we know today.
As we all know, the best views come after challenging climbs, and the Wildflower trail is no exception. While the first bit of the Wildflower trail is uphill, the guests at Wildflower Resort are inspired to conquer the mountain and disprove the preconceived notions of what they deem possible. Like all beautiful views and wildlife, adventurers belong among the wildflowers; you belong somewhere close, far from your trouble and worry, somewhere you feel free.