Venturing into the great outdoors to see the spring season wildflower blooms is a tradition in the Desert Southwest. The exact time that the blooms occur depends upon the elevation, terrain, weather conditions and the amount rainfall that occurred during the previous winter. As can be imagined, this all leaves plenty of room for variation. One thing that is certain is the window of opportunity to view the colorful spring flowers is going to be small. A two to six week window is all that can be expected in most cases, so western wildflower fans have to be able to travel on short notice, in order to view their favorite flowers in full glory before the extreme heat of summer sets in.
Several low Mojave Desert wildflower photo articles have been published recently in this website. There is quite a bit of difference between the low Mojave Desert and the high desert terrain of the vast Colorado Plateau. With the higher elevation, the spring wildflower bloom season starts toward mid to late spring and it can continue through June.
A good place to view mid spring season high desert wildflower blooms is the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. This region is well over 4,000 feet above sea level, so cold temperatures can delay the flushes of wildflowers. Mid spring to early summer is the best time to look for wildflower blooms in the Glen Canyon area. As can be seen in the photos, the variety of flowers is far different that what can be seen in the low desert.
In the Glen Canyon region, the white trumpet shaped datura flowers are the star of the show during the spring season. When these hearty desert plants bloom, they do so with gusto and multiple blooms can be seen on nearly every plant. Datura flowers are beautiful to look at, but the entire plant is toxic for small children and pets, so care must be taken around these plants. Datura is a native medicinal plant that requires extensive preparation to consume and it is a very powerful spiritual psychedelic that has been used by local tribes through eons of time. When consumed improperly, the result is a bad trip that never ends while the body goes into an irreversible coma, which results in death. For this reason, it is best to just admire the beauty and only ponder over the spiritual background of this medicinal plant.
Scorpion weed, sunflower, sego lily, yucca and many more plants bloom in the Glen Canyon region, so a spring wildflower tour in this place can easily turn into a learning experience. The better you know the wild plants, the more likely that you will be able to survive if the world comes to a crashing halt, so this is some good inspiration to learn a little something about the regional flora. For those who just want to marvel over the beauty of the high desert wildflowers, each flower offers a timeless moment to enjoy, so it does pay to take the time to smell the roses when passing through.
One of the most convenient areas for taking a break from the road to admire wildflowers can be found next to the Glen Canyon Dam. The National Recreation Area land on the east side of the dam is located on the edge of the town of Page, so the Hanging Gardens Hiking Area is managed like a city park. A maintained dirt road goes about one mile to a parking area next to Lake Powell and all along this road is where spring wildflowers can be viewed. Travelers that take the time to check out this pocket of spring season high desert wildflower blooms will certainly be pleased!
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