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Red Butte Garden is well-known for its flora and fauna, but it’s also full of hidden spaces perfect for studying, relaxing or rolling down hills.
Here are some of the best spots at Red Butte Garden, according to Communications Director Jayne Anderson.
Best place to roll down a hill
Just north of the visitor’s center is the Courtyard Garden, which sits below a gently sloped hill. As any kid (and whimsical adults) will tell you, this grassy hill is practically perfect for rolling down, Anderson said.
“This is a nice area for kids to play,” she said.
The Courtyard also offers shady spaces to relax, Anderson said, and she even holds staff meetings here sometimes.
Best place to hear kids laughing
Speaking of nice areas for kids to play, Red Butte Garden features a stomping ground specifically for little explorers: the Children’s Garden.
This area includes grape vines growing over a wire tunnel, a seasonal learning exhibit called “Meet Your Polleneighbors,” and the all-important splash pad — kids love water, Anderson said, and most of them leave the Children’s Garden “sopping wet.”
She also said many of this garden’s plants are at children’s eye level to help them better appreciate everything around them.
“This garden is really more playful,” she said. “I come up here a lot and see a lot of parents. They bring a picnic or sit down and let the kids just play.”
The Children’s Garden is also close to where Red Butte Garden’s four corners potatoes grow.
These starchy, edible tubers that are no bigger than a copper penny were a powerful source of nourishment for the American Indians living in the state’s Escalante and Bears Ears regions.
Best fall foliage
Along Red Butte’s Garden Floral Walk, just past the Pear Arbor, is an area staff members call the serviceberry tunnel.
The serviceberry is a deciduous, small tree or shrub in the rose family, according to the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center.
Anderson called this area “one of the most beautiful walks in the fall,” and said Red Butte Garden still has plenty to appreciate during the cold months without flowers.
Best place to stop and smell the roses
If you want to figuratively or literally stop and smell the roses, take a jaunt through, well, the Rose Garden. Bursting with multicolored blooms, the air in this garden is sweet with flowers’ fragrance.
This garden is a popular place for weddings, receptions and other celebrations, Anderson said, but is also one of the places around Red Butte that she finds University of Utah students studying.
“We call [Red Butte Garden] their on-campus backyard because student housing is just down the road,” she said.
Red Butte Garden, as part of the University of Utah, is accessible to all students free of charge, according to the school’s website. It’s available to faculty and staff at discounted admission.
Best place to recharge in nature
Anderson said her favorite part of Red Butte Garden is the Water Pavilion Garden and waterfall, located above the Rose Garden.
“The sound of water when you’re trying to just recharge... There’s something about it,” she said. “It’s soothing.”
Anderson said this area has plenty of shady spots for people to read, study or simply relax.
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