Springtime in Utah has been absolutely spectacular! First, the sudden appearance of the tulips in mid-April, next the daffodils and hyacinths, and now–nearing the end of May–the elusive poppies are starting to appear in the Alpine Poppy Field.
My family and I are flower enthusiasts, or, at least they tolerate my over-enthusiasm for them. This past weekend, we decided to search out some of the red poppies as spring comes to an end and summer approaches. With poppies typically blooming only during a short 4-week period, we went on a hunt to go see them for ourselves.
Where can you see poppies?
While there are many places in Salt Lake County to go see poppies in bloom, we found that the closest to us (and shortest hike) was in Utah County. The Alpine Poppy Field provides ease of access and is only a mile round trip; it was the perfect fit for a family of three children under the age of 7!
Finding the Alpine Poppy Field
We started our journey with the handy dandy help of Google Maps. Typing in “Alpine Poppy Field” directed us from our home in Lehi, through Highland, and finally to Alpine. We followed the directions to the “Lambert Bathroom” where the main road ended and a dirt road began. There were a handful of parking spots available near the bathroom, but had it been full, we would have turned back around and parked in the nearby Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints parking lot.
From the bathrooms, there are three trails heading up towards the poppy field. The two smaller trails straight out of the lot were the path of choice for many bicyclists. We stuck to the large footpath heading off on the left. This main (and widest) trail bends to the left for a quarter mile until you reach a small trail heading up to the right. This blog does a great job explaining the same route we took, including pictures to guide your way.
We paid close attention to our Google Map which directed us perfectly the whole way to the trail head (remember, just type in “Alpine Poppy Field” and Google will show you the way). Once on that narrow trail, it was easy going from there. With just a slight incline to the old Lambert homestead and poppy field, my children did great!
A perfect trail for little explorers & adults alike
My children enjoyed looking at wildflowers along the path, ducking through tree tunnels, and picking up sticks and rocks (did I tell you, I have three boys?!). When we reached the top of the climb, we were rewarded with great views overlooking Utah County. The kids explored a bit of the Lambert homestead ruins, noticing a few blooming poppies along the way.
The main poppy field was only partially in bloom when we went (the third week of May), but the solitude that was in that little grove was palpable. Nestled amidst a grove of trees, the delicate red poppies stood in beautiful contrast to the green grass and snow-capped mountains.
My children climbed on logs, pointed out poppies, and even paused for a moment to watch a woodpecker flit from one tree to the next, tapping its rhythmic pattern on the bark. It was the perfect place to just take in all that nature has to offer!
When we’d had our fill, down we descended to the “Lambert Bathroom” where we had parked. The one mile round trip hike was just the right distance and difficulty for my kids, ages 6 and 3, plus a toddler in a baby carrier.
My advice: Go early
We were grateful we had gone before it got too busy in the season to find poppies. We also chose to go early in the day, ahead of all the crowds. The Alpine Poppy Field can be very popular with photographers, especially around sunset. If you happen to go later in the season (late May through early June) or within the last hour before dark, there may be more people taking advantage of the gorgeous golden light cast on the red poppies. Please be respectful of the poppies and stay on the trails. Give others space, too–there are plenty of poppies to go around.
Go see the Alpine Poppy Field for yourself!
This hike made a perfect 2-hour outing, including driving, hiking, snacking along the way, and enjoying the beauty of the poppy field. Whether you get to visit the Alpine Poppy Field this season or not, be sure to add poppy fields to your spring to-do list in Utah!
Written by guest blogger, Heather Young, whose photography is featured on her blog, Heather Hiding Photography. Heather is my daughter, and I am so grateful she too can find joy in exploring with family!