Utah’s Bloom Schedule and When to Book | Salt Lake City Family + Senior Photographer
It may be the first week of September, but I’m over here on team “Summer Forever!” Not that I don’t love the other seasons, I do, they all have redeeming qualities. But If I had to choose, Spring and Summer are my happy places – if only for all the flowers and all the green! I was talking with my sister in law and we were planning out their family session. When “what flowers are in season” came up. I’ve been lucky enough to live in Utah and photograph here to be able to anticipate and predict the bloom schedule – but most people aren’t as aware as I am. In an effort to help you achieve your dream shoot in your dream location, I’ve been working on this bloom schedule to help you know when to book your photos so that you’re prepared for the flowers of your choice.
* Disclaimer – this year due to the wet winter/spring all the blossom blooms got pushed back. These predictions below are based off of years worth of “normal behavior.”
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Let’s start out the year with Cherry blossoms. The Utah state capital is probably the most popular spot in Utah to catch these blossoms. They usually bloom end of March – early April.
WHEN TO BOOK: Start contacting your photographer as early as January. The cherry blossoms are the first in the domino of flower blooms, and if your photographer knows that’s what you want, can start a blossom watch. I’m lucky in the fact that I have photo friends up and down the valley and we set up a blossom watch every year. We are pretty good at telling when the blossoms are a week away from blooming. It’s then that we’ll select dates and get you scheduled.
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Mid to end of April. The Utah State Hospital has a giant orchard and is one of the popular spots to go for apple blossoms.
WHEN TO BOOK: Book your session mid February. Just like with the cherry blossoms, these guys are the dominos of the flowers. They always bloom after the cherry blossoms, so if I know you’re interested, I can keep a watch on the cherry blossoms in order to predict a perfect time for the apple trees.
WHEN THEY BLOOM: The mountain, yellow wildflowers usually bloom mid May. They bloom at higher altitudes. Ensign peak and Squaw Peak are both easily accessible, but if you want fewer people, pick your favorite mountain and go up to a similar elevation to those two places.
WHEN TO BOOK: End of March/early April
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Lilacs bloom Early to mid May. The International Peace gardens and the AF amphitheater have tons of bushes, but your best bet is a neighbor’s yard or the side of the road!
WHEN TO BOOK: Mid to end of March
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Poppies usually bloom the second week of June. There are two places to find them: Alpine and Mantua. Although rumor has it that the land the Alpine poppies were on has been sold to be developed.
WHEN TO BOOK: Mid to end of April
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Mid to end of June. The Young Living lavender fields harvest the first week of July.
WHEN TO BOOK: January. I’m not joking. The Young Living Lavender fields has a shooting fee of $50 and they open up time slots in January. These go fast and if you don’t snag one when they first open you’ll be left with a less than ideal time or have to see if anyone is selling their slots later on in the year – usually with short notice.
WILDFLOWER BLOOM/ ALBION BASIN
WHEN THEY BLOOM: Mid July to mid August
WHEN TO BOOK: Early June so that I can be on wildflower watch. Be aware if you want Albion Basin up Little Cottonwood canyon that there is a $125 processing fee and a $50 permit fee. The processing fee can be split among two or more sessions, but the $50 permit is required per photoshoot.
**UPDATE** The processing fee and permit fee has been lifted in regards to non commercial shoots. Which means Albion Basin is free again for family, senior, engagements, etc! Just be sure to stay on the clearly marked trails. (You’ll get a hefty fee if caught.) Alta also was so smart and made little pads and walkways specifically for photo ops so it looks like you’re off trail but you’re actually not. (As seen in the bottom picture below.)
WHEN THEY BLOOM: August – Mid September
WHEN TO BOOK: Early July. You can either find some wild ones or go to a sunflower festival. There are a few scattered throughout the valley. If you go this route, there will most likely be a shooting or entrance fee you’ll need to account for.
WHEN THEY BLOOM: August – Mid September
WHEN TO BOOK: Early to mid July. These were taken at an animal sanctuary in Eagle Mountain. There is a $20 donation to shoot there. If you want a free option, parks usually have lots of zinnias in their flower gardens
WHEN THEY “BLOOM:” Technically not a flower, but still as finicky. Leaves start changing in the canyons first and work it’s way to the valley. Change starts about mid to late September.
WHEN TO BOOK: Mid to end of August. Depending on how late you book will determine if you have a canyon vs valley location