Red Butte Garden

Unveiling the Wonders of Red Butte Garden: A Blossoming Retreat Amid Salt Lake City's Urban Landscapes


7/7/20234 min read

Red Butte Garden
Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden: A Blossoming Retreat Amid Salt Lake City's Urban Landscapes

Nestled in the heart of Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden is an oasis for nature enthusiasts, music lovers, and those seeking to escape bustling city life. The garden's rich history, captivating beauty, and engaging activities make it an undeniable attraction. Let's explore the splendor of this botanical garden, its unique offerings, and the exceptional hotel options nearby.

History of Red Butte Garden

Opened to the public in 1985, Red Butte Garden started as a test and demonstration area for drought-resistant plants. Today, it has evolved into a horticultural center boasting a 21-acre arboretum, numerous display gardens, and miles of scenic hiking trails. Part of the University of Utah, the park actively contributes to education, conservation, and scientific research.

The Garden Experience

Explore the Botanical Garden

The main attraction at Red Butte Garden is, of course, the mesmerizing botanical displays. With over 450,000 plants worldwide, the garden is a wonderland of blooming flowers, vibrant shrubs, and towering trees. Each show is meticulously planned to represent different ecological zones. For instance, you can traverse the arid landscapes of the desert, lose yourself amid the lush foliage in the Mediterranean garden, or admire the hardy plant life native to the region in the Great Basin garden.

Gardener's Corner

Gardener's Corner is an excellent place to start. This part of Red Butte showcases an array of ornamental and edible plants and provides a wealth of ideas for your home garden. The featured plants are specially selected for their adaptability to the region's challenging climate.

Medicinal Garden

The Medicinal Garden demonstrates how plants can be more than just visually appealing. Here, you'll find a collection of plants that have been used historically for their healing properties. This garden is an enlightening exhibit of nature's pharmacy.

Meet Your Polleneighbors

In the Meet Your Polleneighbors section, you'll learn about the invaluable role of pollinators. This garden showcases plants attracting pollinators, creating a bustling ecosystem of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It's an excellent opportunity to understand and appreciate the symbiosis between plants and their pollinators.

Floral Walk

The Floral Walk is a must-see. This vibrant, colorful pathway is filled with a constantly changing display of seasonal blooms. No two visits will be the same, with different flowers appearing throughout the year.

Fragrance Garden

The Fragrance Garden engages more than just your sight. Here, many aromatic plants release their perfumes into the air, creating a sensory experience that is as refreshing as it is therapeutic. This garden is a feast for the senses, from fragrant roses to aromatic herbs.

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden focuses on the practical side of horticulture. It features various culinary, medicinal, and ornamental herbs, each labeled with information about their uses. This garden provides valuable insight into the practical applications of gardening.

Four Seasons Garden

The Four Seasons Garden is a testament to the beauty of year-round gardening. Designed to showcase interest in every season, this garden features spring bulbs, summer flowers, autumn foliage, and winter evergreens. It vividly demonstrates how a garden can stay vibrant throughout the year.

Water Conservation Garden

The Water Conservation Garden is the newest and largest cultivated garden at Red Butte Garden. Officially opened in May 2017, it contains a variety of themed gardens, including Desert Harvest, Groundcover Tapestry, Flowering Shrub Hillside, and Adaptive Beauty gardens, all demonstrating various low-water gardening techniques and planting schemes. The Water Conservation Garden's mission is to demonstrate Red Butte Garden's commitment to water conservation and low-input gardening.

Rose Garden

Last but not least, the Rose Garden is a spectacular sight. This area of Red Butte is dedicated to roses of all kinds, boasting a variety of species, cultivars, and hybrids. This garden's vibrant blooms and intoxicating fragrance make it a favorite among visitors.

Each of these gardens offers a unique experience, and together, they form the magnificent tapestry of Red Butte Garden. Whether you're an avid gardener looking for inspiration, a nature lover seeking tranquility, or a curious visitor exploring the botanical world, Red Butte Garden has something for everyone.

Hiking Trails

Beyond the formal garden areas, the wilder side of Red Butte Garden awaits your discovery. Over five miles of hiking trails beckon you to explore the indigenous vegetation, wildlife, and stunning vistas of the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes!

The Outdoor Concert Series

Aside from the botanical beauty, Red Butte Garden hosts an annual outdoor concert series. These performances under the open sky amid verdant surroundings make for unforgettable experiences. So whether you're a rock-n-roll enthusiast, a country music lover, or a fan of classical symphonies, the garden's concerts cater to all.

Nearby Attractions and Accommodations

Beyond the garden, the Salt Lake City area offers a range of captivating attractions and high-quality accommodations.

Just a short drive from Red Butte Garden is the Natural History Museum of Utah and Clark Planetarium, offering engaging experiences for families and individuals alike. After a day of exploration, retreat to one of the many comfortable SLC hotels nearby.

If you're searching for luxury and convenience, the Little America Hotel and Grand America Hotel provide exquisite rooms and amenities. For budget-conscious travelers, consider the Best Western Plus CottonTree Inn, known for its value and comfort.

If you're staying in downtown Salt Lake City, consider the Hilton Garden Inn or Kimpton Hotel Monaco. Both provide easy access to additional city attractions like Temple Square, the Great Salt Lake, and the Eagle Gate Monument.


Whether you're drawn by the lure of nature, a penchant for hiking, or the love of music, Red Butte Garden offers an enriching experience for everyone. Coupled with the range of top-notch Salt Lake City hotels and exciting nearby attractions, your trip to this botanical wonder will surely be unforgettable.

Remember to check out our top 25 list of SLC hotels to find the perfect accommodation for your trip.