• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

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  • U.S. Highway 89 Bryce Canyon to Grand Canyon

    Road damage south of Page, Arizona will impact travel between Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. Click for a travel advisory and link to a map with suggested alternate routes: More »

  • Sunset Campground Construction

    From April-July 2014, three new restroom facilities will be constructed in Sunset Campground. Visitors may experience construction noise and dust, as well as some campsite and restroom closures. 'Sunset Campground' webpage has additional information. More »

  • Bryce Point to Peekaboo Connector Trail Closure

    Due to a large rockslide, the connecting trail from Bryce Point to Peekaboo Loop is closed. Trail will be reopened once repairs are made. The Peekaboo Loop is open, but must be accessed from Sunset or Sunrise Point.

  • Wall Street Section of Navajo Loop Closed

    Due to dangerous conditions (falling rock and treacherous, icy switchbacks), the Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop Trail is CLOSED. It will reopen in Spring once freezing temperatures have subsided.

  • Backcountry Campsite Closures

    Due to bear activity at select campsites in Bryce Canyon's backcountry, two backcountry campsites have been closed until further notice: Sheep Creek and Iron Spring.

Rock Columbine

Common Name(s): Rock Columbine, Dwarf Blue Columbine
Scientific Name: Aquilegia scopulorum
Size (height) English & Metric: 6-8" (15-20 cm)
Habitat: Steep, eroded slopes
Flowering Season (for Bryce region): May - July
Range: Gravelly, subalpine areas in Utah
 
Rock Columbine

Rock Columbine

nps

General Description:
This is one of the shorter, but more spectacular columbines in the buttercup family and a hallmark of the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association at Bryce Canyon. The blue to blue-violet flowers look wonderful in contrast to the reddish, rocky, limestone and clay soil in which they are usually found growing. The plants appear as single plants in sparse communities. Another distinctive mark of this columbine is its very small lobed leaves.

Plant Lore:
As are all of the columbine species, the Rock Columbine, too, is highly regarded for its beauty. Many American Indian groups used columbines as ornamentation and made perfume from seeds by grinding them into a paste. Unfortunately for the columbines, sheep also take interest in them. In places where sheep grazing occurs, this is one of the first groups of flowers to disappear.

Conservation Message:
Rock Columbine grows in fragile environments, is quite delicate, and is easily trod upon and damaged. Please do not attempt to climb the banks and slopes wherever it is found. Remember that picking wildflowers is illegal in all National Park Service areas. Be a responsible plant lover and take pictures not samples.

When and where to see at Bryce:
The best concentrations of these flowers can be found along the Peek-a-Boo Loop Trail and Queen's Garden Trail in May, June and July.

Further Reading:
Buchanan, Hayle 1992. Wildflowers of Southwestern Utah. Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. Bryce Canyon, Utah.

Spence, John and Buchanan, Hayle. 1993. "1993 Update, Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah." The Great Basin Naturalist, Volume 53, No. 3.

Did You Know?

Temple-like spires can be seen in the main amphitheater at Bryce

March 13, 1919: A Utah Joint Memorial passed legislation which read in part: We urge that the Congress of the United States set aside for the use and enjoyment of the people a suitable area embracing "Bryce's Canyon" as a national monument under the name: "Temple of the Gods National Monument." More...