Red Butte Garden


One of our favorite things to do once the snow has been off the ground long enough for blooms to emerge, is to make the drive up toward the University of Utah and visit Red Butte Garden.  A surprising gem tucked up against the foothills, the gardens celebrate local fauna as well as showcase garden blooms and offer trails for hiking and spots for sitting and reflecting.

The children's garden is always the highlight of our trip, with larger-than-life lizards to climb on and teeny, vine-covered houses to play inside.  It makes a nice mid-visit place to stop for a snack and a stretch in the grass. My kids love crawling through the twisting snake maze and emerging out its fanged mouth. Much less sinister than it sounds, the snake maze is a vine covered tunnel with a fountain at the end, tall enough for kids to race through and adventurous (non-claustrophobic) grownups to half-walk, half-stoop through.

Mornings are our favorite time to go, especially as the season warms. The sun can get quite hot on the hillside, so we enjoy being there when the shadows are longer and the shady spots a bit cooler.

Not being a native desert-dweller myself, I never associated the desert with colorful blooms, but Red Butte is a celebration of all the glorious colors that can thrive in a desert. A stroll through the gardens is a wonderful way to herald the arrival of the new season.  

P.S. They also offer fun classes for kids and families!

Red Butte Garden is a featured attraction on the Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass.

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