Happy Earth Day, everyone! As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Earth laughs in flowers.” Based on what I saw up in Marble Canyon last week, the planet must be in hysterics!
Following a tip-off last from my good friends, Terry and Wendy Gunn of Cliff Dwellers Lodge, I visited the Marble Canyon area last Wednesday through Monday to chase what they had referred to as a “bloom of a decade.” They were spot on! Although the weather was a bit unsettled last week (stormy and windy), the flowers absolutely did not disappoint!
Extensive fields of full desert globemallow and prickly pear cactus are peaking right now south of Highway 89A near the Soap Creek and Badger Creek overlooks (several gates into BLM land provide access – 2WD high-clearance recommended for these roads). New flowers like Prince’s plume, sego lilies, banana yuccas, and scorpionweed are starting to pop up as well in varying quantities. With a little dab of rain, even more flowers will start to show in the next week or so. Although I didn’t have time to scout, the locals suggested the bloom could extend as far west as House Rock Valley Road.
We also meandered upstream along the Paria River from the Lees Ferry area in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where we spotted multiple species of prickly pear in full bloom (with ample buds still waiting to pop), globemallow, banana yucca, and more during our easy hike.
As we celebrate Earth Day, it’s a great time to remind everyone to practice “Leave No Trace” principles as you’re out enjoying the wildflowers. Please watch you step out there so that others can enjoy the blooms as well.
Happy wildflower hunting!