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Hiking Utah
Tribune Reporters
By Nate Carlisle, Jason Bergreen, Erin Alberty and Brett Prettyman

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(Erin Alberty | The Salt Lake Tribune) A patch of Sweetvetch climbs a slope above the Emigration Canyon Trailhead across the street from Hogle Zoo.
Early Wasatch wildflower report

With this year's early spring, a few blooms already have appeared in the foothills.

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On Monday I found some nice, thick patches of Utah Sweetvetch on the slopes near the Emigration Canyon trailhead of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Look for the pinkish or magenta pea-like flowers sprouting out of dark green foliage. I don't think I've seen much Sweetvetch before May, but many are in bloom right now.

On those trails, which are across from Donner Hill, you'll also find carpets of Oregon Grape lighting up the gambel oak groves with clusters of yellow flowers. This plant may be pretty familiar to you; it's widely used in landscaping.

Utah Ladyfinger Milkvetch is one of my favorite cuties. It usually pops out a little earlier than Sweetvetch and looks similar. Purple pea-like flowers blink out of mats of silver foliage. You'll often find it tucked next to sage bushes (or under crappy invasive weeds). I usually see them in late April and early May near the trails below the H-Rock in the Foothill area, but this year I saw them in the first week of April. You can access these trails at the north dead-ends of Scenic and Lakeline drives and at the west end of Devonshire.

-Erin Alberty



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