What brings you to Arizona in the gorgeous month of April? If you enjoy lush gardens and greenery you may be under the impression that Arizona’s desert landscape has little to offer. On the contrary, the spring is a wonderful time to see the desert bloom. Arizona has some of the best hiking trails in the country, and at this time of year you may even have the added bonus of wandering into wildflower country.
If you’ve timed your visit after a damp enough winter you may just get to see the desert exploding in bursts of yellow, pink, and purple flora and fauna. Stay up to date on current wildflower patch sightings in Arizona with Desert Wildflower Reports from www.desertusa.com/wildflo/az.html or visit the Desert Botanical Garden’s Wildflower Tracking Site, a collaborative effort by more than two dozen parks and gardens across central and southern Arizona, at www.dbg.org/wildflower-tracking-site. Or, monitor the RangerCam on the Arizona State Parks website at www.azstateparks.com. Knowing just when to hit the trails will give you the best chance at seeing all of the vivid colors Arizona’s landscapes display.
In addition to the gorgeous array of wildflowers, you will want to check out the butterflies in full force this spring. Arizona has a multitude of viewing opportunities for these majestic winged beauties. Butterflies are an important pollinator to the Sonoran Desert, so chances are you will see multiple varieties if you simply step outdoors for a hike.
However, if you are looking for an immersive butterfly experience, you will want to check out one of the popular walk-in butterfly exhibits around Arizona. Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, a 10,000 square-foot butterfly conservatory where you wander among 3,000 butterflies and view every stage of their metamorphosis, is a great place to start your search. Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden also has a Butterfly Pavillion where you can get an up-close view of hundreds of varieties of butterflies (painted ladies, zebra longwings, giant swallowtails and more) while strolling their grounds. When in Southern Arizona, visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens to be surrounded by rare butterflies, tropical plants and orchids in bloom at their exhibit entitled Butterfly Magic.
It seems safe to say that spring has offically sprung in Arizona. I sincerely hope that during your time here you are able to appreciate Arizona in all of its vibrant colors!
Photography by: Jennifer Isaacs