Tag Archives: Montana

A Visit to Milltown State Park

Back in November we talked about Milltown State Park in Missoula, Montana, and how a state park is made. A short while ago, we paid a visit to Milltown to see how it is shaping up.

Good sky!

Seems fair to say that, though still not fully open, the park and its overlook certainly have merit.

During this visit on a resplendent June weekday, there were relatively few others at the park, and most of those were Montana Conservation Corps workers who were focused on a project off the paved overlook walkway. The overlook is the focal point of the park’s facilities, and it’s no small wonder why.

Good day for readin' outside.

The view of some of the mountains visible at the park foregrounded by interpretive materials and the railing that lines the Milltown State Park Overlook.

The park’s interpretive material details the history of the river confluence and the people who depended on its waters. It also elaborates on the building of the Milltown Dam in 1908, as well as the massive flood that buried heavy metals, arsenic, and other mining waste at the base of the dam, months after it was constructed. Some of the best information details the incredible effort it took to remove the dam and poisonous sediments, and restore the confluence to the Place of Big Bull Trout, as it is traditionally known to the Salish, who fished the confluence long before pioneers and businessmen settled and dammed it up.

A gorgeous, sunny day for river viewing.

The main overlook showcases the open, sweeping grandeur of the restored confluence of the Clark Fork River.

In addition to the overlook, there is a two-table picnic area and trails that amble into the wooded hills that frame the confluence. In all, the views from the overlook are expansive; the views from the trail are in touch with the quiet wooded parts of western Montana, shaded by large and often young conifers. The trail extends about two miles down, and deeper into the park toward the river.

Dirt path through pines!

The unpaved trail extends through the trees and down toward the river. It shoots cleanly off the paved pathway to the overlook.

Milltown State Park, though still building toward its total fruition, is a marvel of modern habitat and environmental rehabilitation. Through the hard work and perseverance of park staff, community members and organizations, volunteers, and local tribal leadership in the face of local, state and federal-level hurdles, the confluence has become a wonderful vista, well worth the jot from Interstate 90. Milltown is not just beautiful and improving all the time, but represents wholesomeness achievable to all of us, if we endeavor for the good of future generations, and the health of our natural resources.

Speaking of natural resources, there’s no time like the present to get out and enjoy them! Pocket Ranger® mobile apps make trip planning easy, and app features make exploring the parks you visit a delight.

Adventure Cycling Bike Events

Spring and summer bring about an increase in organized cycling tours, which can be found across the country, as well as National Bike Month each May. But in addition to the already existing events, Missoula, Montana based Adventure Cycling is working to create a few more national bike holidays.


Just imagine what awaits you out there. [Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/548102217121796509/]

If you’re looking for an opportunity to connect with other cyclists and rejoice in the joys of bike riding (because who doesn’t want that?), these are some of the upcoming days to celebrate.

Bike Travel Weekend, June 3–5

Bike tour.

Make sure you pack all the essentials! [Image: http://kidproject.org/]

In just a few weeks, you can celebrate the first annual Bike Travel Weekend with your cycling loved ones. Whether you want to commemorate riding 100 miles over the course of two days or you just want to take a brief 15 mile ride around your local city and camp out nearby, there’s no wrong way to celebrate. It’s the largest weekend of bike overnights across the U.S. and Canada. It’s a way for new and seasoned riders to get outside and get riding!

You can check out their interactive map to see if there’s an organized ride happening near you, or you can officially register your own overnight ride for the weekend.

Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15–17

This event may be a bit easier to attend if you’re close to Missoula, but maybe after getting more information, you’ll want to plan a vacation that lands you in Montana between July 15 and 17! It’s going to be a bike-filled weekend, including rides on the Bitterroot Trail, a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce a new section of the same trail, a bike expo at Silver Park, and much more. There’s also the chance to win a Salsa Marrakesh touring bike if you buy tickets!

Head to Adventure Cycling’s site to obtain more information about this upcoming event.

Bike Your Park Day, September 24

Friends biking.

Friends that bike together…are probably in amazing shape and have seen some really beautiful sights…together. [Image: http://www.colorado.com/]

This is an event that we can especially get behind! It’s your chance to join thousands of other cyclists and explore your favorite state park from the comfort of your saddle. This event celebrates multiple milestones in one day: the National Park Service’s centennial, Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary, and National Public Lands Day. Again, the best part of this event is that there aren’t very many requirements—you can bike as many miles as you want with as large of a group as you want. It’s your day to play around in a park, so don’t let it pass you by!

Learn more information about Bike Your Park Day here.

Friends biking with their helmets in the air.

Throw your helmets up and c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e! [Image: https://www.tripadvisor.com/]

With these events to look forward to, your summer is sure to be full of biking and outdoor fun. With that in mind, don’t forget to bring our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps with you on those ventures. Happy cycling!

Milltown State Park: How a State Park is Made

There are over 700 million visits to the more than 6,600 state-run parks, recreation areas, historic sites, beaches, and nature preserves across America every year. From sea to shining sea, we all probably have a favorite state park, either for our own enjoyment or for the satisfaction they serve our families. It’s plain reality that visitors are brought closer to nature through public spaces that invite and encourage them to get back to basics and relax away from whatever their responsibilities are outside the park’s boundaries.

But one wonders: How do the parks come into being? We talked about the CCC’s work in the past, but what has to happen to make all the hiking, camping, swimming, boating, and other outdoor activities we enjoy on thousands and thousands of acres of public land possible?

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork River on what is actually a fairly average day. It’s always quite good-looking. [Image: clarkfork.org]

Fortunately this process is presently unfolding just east of Missoula, MT where Milltown State Park is entering the last stages leading up to it fully opening its doors finally.

The park is a 500-acre parcel located at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers, about nine miles east of Missoula. The confluence was the setting for the Milltown Dam for nearly a century. The dam provided hydroelectric energy to the mills in the area so they in turn could process timber for shoring up shafts in Butte’s copper mines. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, the site was investigated and designated a Superfund Site due to toxic, heavy metal saturation in over two million cubic yards of sediment directly surrounding and downstream from the dam, which had contaminated the local water supply. The remediation and restoration began in 2006, and with the help of local, state, and national organizations, was completed in 2012.

The Superfund Site at Milltown Dam, being addressed.

The area near the Milltown Dam shortly after its breaching in 2008. [Image: buttectec.org]

The building of Milltown State Park was the goal of the cleanup project from its start, and the original conceptual design was drawn up in 2007 between the Milltown Superfund Redevelopment Working Group; the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program; and the Idaho-Montana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The grant proposal to pay for building the park was submitted in 2009 to the Natural Resource Damage Program.

In 2013 and 2014, Montana State Parks drafted and finalized an Environmental Assessment to be implemented, “pending resolution of access issues.” That latter part refers to the 16-acre plot of privately held land the state would need to make a road and parking lot for park access.

After numerous efforts to bargain for the land and direct involvement on the part of Montana’s governor, it seems as of November 2015 the private company is ready to part with the specific 10-acres needed for the park’s access road—in a manner that is welcome to both the state and the landowner. The final Environmental Assessment on this acquisition is open to the public for questions and comments until November 25th. The park is hopeful it will break ground in the spring and will be up and running by mid- to late-fall 2016.

At present, the park’s main feature is access to a trail that settles into an overlook facing the Clark Fork, a rugged, robust river that makes its way through the Hellgate Canyon and into the Missoula Valley. The overlook is open for day-use purposes, like picnicking or bird watching.

Milltown State Park Information Booth

Some information available at the park that will hopefully be fully open by next fall. [Image: www.kpax.com]

So in a sense, Milltown State Park has been a park-in-the-making over the last decade and is growing toward its potential, thanks to the help of many citizens, environmentalists, and government agencies. A state park, it turns out, is made of the work, time, and attention invested by people who recognize the importance of our relationship with nature and its preservation.

Whew! Knowing all that, it’s easy to feel grateful for the many ways we can enjoy the beautiful parks we already have, which is a good reason to download your state’s Pocket Ranger® mobile app and get on out there today!

Featured: Yellowstone National Park

This month’s featured park is none other than Yellowstone National Park, a sprawling 2.2 million acres of natural geothermal bedspread based in the northwestern corner of Wyoming and certain parts of Idaho and Montana.

This vast ecological center is seated on top of the Yellowstone Caldera, a massive supervolcano stretching between 35–45 miles. Not to worry, though; the last recorded eruption was approximately 70,000 years ago, and our technology has since improved so that you’re highly unlikely to be caught in the fireworks so to speak.


Yellowstone National Park is dazzling in the summer. [Image: http://www.hdwallpaperscool.com/]

While there are various debates on where the park attained its name, the two outstanding theories are that it may be named after the Yellowstone River from the Minnetaree Indian name Mi tse a-da-zi (Yellow Rock River). However, based on common lore, there is also the possibility that the name was derived from the yellow rock surrounding the area. French trappers came and called the river “Roche Jaune” (Yellow Rock) which, when later translated, was what stuck with travelers and led it to be referred to as “Yellowstone.”

Ferdinand V. Hayden primarily headed the expedition, discovery, and the park’s eventual designation as a protected natural area. It was a slippery discovery that lasted an approximate 30 years before it stepped past the label of myths and folklore. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant officially signed what was considered The Act of Dedication that protected the park’s area from settlement and occupancy. Since then, the park has been successfully conserved for almost two centuries and is the leading (and arguably most important) geothermal resource in the entire world.

If you’re planning to visit Yellowstone National Park this fall or coming winter, here are some activities and views that you can enjoy while at this wonderful, breathtaking area.

Geothermal Glory

Yellowstone is well known for its geothermal and hydrothermal system and its many geysers that can be found within the park. A study in 2011 estimated the park to have approximately 1,200 geysers with about 400 of them active annually. Impressively, the park is estimated to contain 10,000 geothermal features, meaning that 2/3 of the world’s geysers are concentrated in Yellowstone.

One of its most famous geysers is Old Faithful, which erupts at a rate of 45–120 minutes.


Old Faithful erupting in the sunset. [Image: http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.org/]

Aside from Old Faithful, other famous geysers in the park include Castle Geyser, Lion Geyser, Beehive Geyser, and the Norris Geyser Basin. You can visit the park at any point throughout the fall and winter to witness these amazing spectacles.

Wildlife Viewing

Because the park’s ecosystem is one of the most primitive and well-preserved on Earth, it makes for a suitable environment to house a diverse population of wildlife. All across its mountains and acres of space, various mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish can be found dwelling within this natural ecospace.

Among the mammals that can be found in Yellowstone are coyotes, wolves, the largest purebred bison herd in the Americas, and antelope. Bears are also commonly encountered in Yellowstone, so it is highly advised to read up on safety methods before visiting. Coming near or disturbing the animals is not advised, and visitors are recommended to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and 25 yards away from any other mammals in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone wolves howling. [Image url: http://enchantedseashells.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/us-national-parks-yellowstone-wolf-quest-2-wolves.jpg?w=584&h=304]

Yellowstone wolves howling. [Image: http://enchantedseashells.files.wordpress.com/]

The park is also home to 311 species of birds, including bald eagles, ravens, and even whooping cranes (though the recorded sightings of those are rare). One can also spot harlequins, ducks, ospreys, and peregrine falcons.

Fishing is allowed in Yellowstone, and 18 species of fish can be found here, including lake trout, cutthroat trout, and mountain whitefish. Be sure to check the Rules & Regulations as well as the seasons and bag limits if you wish to go fishing in this reservoir.

Reptiles can be found within the park, including about six types of snakes such as the rubber boa, wandering garter snake, and the prairie rattlesnake. And additionally, amphibians can be found on the park grounds as well. Boreal chorus frogs, boreal toads, and blotched tiger salamanders are only three examples of what can be found within Yellowstone.

Early Winter in Yellowstone

Now that winter is coming, Yellowstone is probably the first park to trudge deep into the season. With its wonderfully arched slopes and miles upon miles of trails, Yellowstone is premium for winter adventuring. Tons of snow piles on top of the surroundings so that the whole scene is a gorgeous blanket of white surrounded by pine trees adorned in silver. It’s particularly beautiful when the setting or rising sun’s soft shades of red, purple, orange, and yellow hug the skies. These same colors illuminate the blanket of snow, truly making for a breathtaking sight.

Winter in Yellowstone [Image url: http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/slidefile/scenics/winterscenes/Images/10029.jpg]

Winter in Yellowstone. [Image: http://www.nps.gov/]

Meanwhile hot springs decorated with tufts of snow erupt in their usual frequency, providing a sense of heat. Coyotes, wolves, bison, and bears trudge through the snow and leave behind paw prints on the winter grounds.

Despite the cold freeze, Yellowstone is a marvelous place for various winter activities, offering miles of perfect, snow-filled trails for skiers and commercially-guided snowmobile tours. Other opportunities include winter ranger programs, guided ski and snowshoe tours, and cross-country skiing.

If you wish to visit Yellowstone, check out the following links to help guide you in your adventure!

And as always, let us help you! The Pocket Ranger® National Park Passport Guide features a comprehensive guide of Yellowstone National Park. Find us in Apple Store and Google Play, and go adventuring today!

Your State’s Gemstone

Did you know there is a gemstone representative of each state? While hiking or camping in a state park, try to look for one of these fascinating gems that belong to your state.


Person hold a blue and white moonstone

Image: www.galleryhip.com

Florida’s gemstone is the moonstone. The moonstone was designated the official state gem in Florida in 1970 to represent American astronauts landing on the moon in 1969. This stone is a form of the mineral feldspar.


Chunks go quartz gemstone on a table

Image: tadpolenecklaces.bigcartel.com

The gem, quartz, belongs to this state. It became known as Georgia’s gem in 1976. It is common in this state and can be found in a wide variety of colors. The state legislation recognizes two forms of quartz. One is known as amethyst, which is used in jewelry, and clear quartz, which resembles a diamond when it is on a flat surface.


Colorful tourmaline gems on a white table

Image: sites.google.com

While not necessarily a gemstone, Tourmaline became this state’s mineral in 1971. It ranges in color from black, white, shades of red, green and blue. Individual crystals can be transparent and may be single or multi-colored.


Rhodonite black and pink raw gemstone in a person hand

Image: www.earthegy.com

Rhodonite became this state’s gemstone in 1979. This gem varies in colors from a light pink to a deep rose or reddish pink. It is also considered the most beautiful gem material found in Massachusetts.


Gray agate gemstones piled on top of each other

Agate [Image: www.whataearth.com]

Raw blue sapphire in a hand

Sapphire [Image: www.pinterest.com]

Since 1969, Montana has had two state gemstones: agate and sapphire. Agate is found in southern and eastern Montana. It is polished for jewelry and is usually white with swirls of grey and black spots. Montana’s sapphires are mostly found in western Montana. They are bright blue and cut like diamonds to make jewelry.

New York

Wine red garnet gem on a table with shadow

Image: www.rough2refinedgemstones.com

The wine red garnet was designated New York’s gem in 1969. Barton Mines in the Adirondack Mountains of New York is the world’s largest garnet mine. This mine focuses on industrial abrasive grade garnets, which are used for polishing glass and metal.


white, gold and beige river pearls in a hand

Image: www.thepearlgirls.com

Tennessee river pearls became this state’s gem in 1979. They were created by mussels and are found in all colors as well as different shapes. Shapes include spherical, pear-shaped and even irregular.

Download your state’s Pocket Ranger® app to learn more geology facts about a state park nearest you. Our Pocket Ranger® apps also make it easy to find great hiking trails and overnight stays!

Suggested Gear:

  • Trekking Poles
  • Tick & Insect Repellent
  • Straw Cap Water Bottle

For your gemstone hike, check out Pocket Ranger® gear store for these supplies and much more.

Related articles

Ghost Towns of State Parks

There’s something intriguing about the desolate ruins of the American West; those old mining towns with overgrown leaves that call us back in time. Today many ghost towns are considered landmarks; some have acquired the state park status. Instead of leaving them to the dust, ghost towns serve as a learning experience, so future generations can recount their state’s origins. Though most visitors go for the rich history of the 19th-20th century, some are also curious about hauntings. It’s no surprise that these dark, dusty, old towns incite ghostly rumors. Even if you don’t readily believe these creepy tales, it’s all in good fun! Join us for a visit to the mining boom of the 1800s with a glance at these ghost towns.

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park

[By  Larry Myhre Image: www.flickr.com]

[Larry Myhre Image: www.flickr.com]

This Nevada state park, not only houses the largest concentration of Ichthyosaur fossils but also the ghost town, Berlin, with mining roots tracing back to 1863. After a group of prospectors discovered silver in Union Canyon, small mining camps spread. Eventually districts formed including Berlin. The town of Berlin was founded in 1897 and by 1905 it had a population of around 300. The area grew in popularity until 1908, when miners began asking for higher wages. Since mining companies couldn’t afford the demands, mines closed and people left— finally dying out in 1911. At one point it had three miles of tunnels, which amounted to a production of about $849,000. The town employed miners, woodcutters, charcoal makers, and had a doctor, a nurse, a forest ranger and a prostitute. Some of the town’s residents are buried in the cemetery. Today 13 buildings stand and are incorporated into the state park. There are signs throughout town explaining the buildings’ significance. Its impressive structures included a large store, a boardinghouse, and a couple of saloons.

Bodie State Historic Park

[Bala Sivakumar Image: www.flickr.com]

[Bala Sivakumar Image: www.flickr.com]

Although later altered in spelling, the name of this Wild West ghost town comes from William S. Bodey, who discovered gold near what is now called Bodie Bluff. After a mill was established, the town grew to 10,000 people by 1880. The mines produced gold, valued at nearly $34 million. Miners, robbers, store owners, families, gunfighters, and prostitutes called this place home. Even foreigners resided here: Bodie had a Chinatown, with several Chinese residents and a Taoist Temple. It was reported that Bodie had 65 saloons. It’s no wonder killings, shootouts, and barroom brawls were common. Visiting brothels, gambling, and opium consumption were day-to-day activities.  The town’s decline began in 1880 when miners, attracted by other mining booms in Montana, Arizona and Utah left Bodie. By 1915 it was called a ghost town, and by 1920 the town registered only 120 people. In 1940 the Cain family who bought most of the land, hired a caretaker to protect the town’s structures. It became a landmark and then the Bodie State Historic Park in 1962. Residents left  furniture and other personal items, making Bodie appear frozen in time. Bodie has its fair share of paranormal stories. A well-known one is the haunted Cain residence; a maid who took her own life on the property and purportedly still haunts the place. Visitors have witnessed ghostly apparitions, strange music and noises, but the scariest one is the curse that follows visitors who take items from the property.


[Terlingua Cemetary Image: www.flickr.com]

[Terlingua Cemetary Image: www.flickr.com]

Located in Texas, near the Mexican border between Big Ben National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, Terlingua is a creepy, yet friendly mining ghost town visited by many state park goers. In 1800’s cinnabar, a red mercury sulfide was discovered. Many miners moved to the area, increasing the population to 2,000. By 1900, four mining companies profited from the area, including Howard E. Perry, who owned the Chisos mining company. His mansion, which still stands, overlooks the town’s jail, church, and ice cream parlor.  By the start of WWII those companies filed for bankruptcy, which left Terlingua deserted. It was considered the quicksilver capital. By 1922, it produced 40% of the nation’s need. The town’s name comes from the nearby Three Tongues Creek. Surprisingly, Terlingua is not completely abandoned. Nearby Terlingua Proper has a population of several dozen, including living residents of the ghost town. Within Terlingua’s greater metropolitan area, there are local dinning spots, area shopping, roadside attractions, making for a quaint ghost town with live inhabitants. The ghost town is mostly made up of withering buildings, ruins, cemetery crosses, cacti, old tales and rattlesnakes, which may or may not be dangerous.

Bannack State Park

Image: www.tumblr.com/search/bannack

Image: www.tumblr.com/search/bannack

Located in Montana, Bannack was inhabited shortly after gold was discovered in 1862 in Grasshopper Creek by John White, and members of the Colorado Pikes Peakers. It’s the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery. By the spring of 1863, there were already 3,000 people. As the value of gold plummeted, Bannack’s bustling population was eventually lost. Today Bannack is a National Historic Landmark, and it’s one of the best preserved ghost towns with 60 structures, and light renovations. Visitors can freely explore the buildings by looking in or going inside, especially the grand Meade Hotel where the stairs are still in use. The old Methodist church in town, built in 1877, continues to be used for community events. Bannack has its own group of ghosts. Visitors have documented numerous ghostly apparitions. One report says Dorothy Dunn (seen mostly by children) was spotted wearing a blue dress, looking out from the second story window of the Hotel Meade. She was the daughter of the hotel manager, and probably roamed around the hotel in those days.

Granite State Park

[ John Lloyd www.flickr.com]

[ John Lloyd www.flickr.com]

Montana was the place for mining. Granite is no different, except it almost didn’t happen. This town, once called “Silver Queen” was a booming silver-mining business in the 1890s. More than 3,000 miners, merchants and families made the town their home. Hector Horton discovered silver in 1865. Eli Holland also found a small quantity of high quality ruby silver in 1972. If a telegram from the east hadn’t been delayed the operation would have ceased. The miners’ employers believed the mine was a bust and decided to end operation, but since that message wasn’t delivered on time, the miners continued working, and during the last shift they discovered an amount valued at $40 million.After the silver panic of 1893, the mines closed and the town was deserted in 3 years. Most of the buildings are gone but some remain, including the old miner’s Union Hall, the Granite Mine Superintendent’s House, the vault of the bank, and other ruins.  Granite is on a 1,280 feet elevation, and the road is narrow and steep. It’s located close to the top of a mountain, so you can imagine how these miners felt being all the way up there.

Suggested Gear List: 

  • Fenix PD35 Flashlight
  • Dakine Trail Photo Camera Backpack
  • Clif Bars – 12 Pack


Your State’s Flower

If you are a person who adores flowers, then you will be interested to know what flower belongs to your state. When you are out in your state park, try to spot one of these flowers and share your photos on our Pocket Ranger® social media channels. Here are some of our favorite state flowers. Coincidentally, we happen to have apps for these states!


Camellia on green shrubs

Image: www.mooseyscountrygarden.com

The flower that belongs to this state is called a camellia. Camellias are evergreen shrubs and small trees that grow in slightly acidic soils with humus and good drainage. They usually grow 1 to 12 centimeters in all seasons and they range from white to pink to red.


Pink and white mountain laurels on green shrubs

Image: breathtaking-blog.blogspot.com

The mountain laurel is this state’s flower. These grow in large, rounded mounds and have dark green foliage that remains on the plant all year. In late spring, it bears clusters of flowers in white, pink, and red. Mountain laurels prefer moist grounds and they grow up to 10 feet in height. They also tolerate full sun in moist soil, although they do grow better in partial shade if the soil gets dry.


Pink Peach Blossoms on tree branch

Image: shampitaaa.deviantart.com

Delaware is the state of the peach blossoms. These flowers blossom in early spring. They range in color from very light pink to red and lavender depending on the cultivar. The peach blossom is 2.5 to 3 centimeters in diameter with five petals. It’s striking against with the tree’s bark.


Orange Blossom with flower

Image: www.humanflowerproject.com

This state is known to be the sunshine state but it is also the home of the orange blossom. The orange blossom is an evergreen tree that grows to the height of 20 to 30 feet. It can be found blooming all year round in Florida, which means more oranges!


Yellow Goldenrod with green leaves

Image: ztona.org

Goldenrod flowers are Kentucky’s state flowers! It is a perennial plant that is known for its healing properties. It has a long wood stem with spiky tooth-like parts and have yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters and they grow up to 12 inches. The yellow parts of the plant can be used in salads and the leaves can be cooked like spinach or added to soups, stews, or even casseroles.


Pink Hawthorn Tree

Image: theconstantharper.com

This state’s flower is the hawthorn. It is a small tree or shrub that grows 6 to 30 feet tall in spring and early summer. The flowers are grouped in broad, dense, flat-topped clusters and resemble cherry or apple blossoms. The petals are usually white or pink. Its abundant red berries attract birds and other animals. Hawthorn is one of the oldest medical plants and it has been used to treat heart problems.


Pink Bitterroot flowers between rocks

Image: www.flickr.com

Bitterroot is the name of the flower that belongs to this state. This perennial flower is a small, low plant growing only one to three centimeters in height, with pink or white petals and leafless steams. Bitterroots grow on gravelly to heavy, usually dry soil. They are best grown in full sun and where summer rains are abundant.

New York

Red Roses with green leaves

Image: www.colourbox.com

New York is the state of the rose. Roses come in many different shades and colors. They can be seen in gardens and vineyards. Some varieties are known for their prickles along the stems of the plant, which are used to deter predators. They also grow 6 to 8 inches in height. Roses should be planted between November and February and they are available all year round. Roses are considered to be a symbol of love, of course!


Blue Bonnet with leaves

Image: keeparlingtonbeautiful.com

Feast your eyes on the bluebonnet. This flower blooms in early spring and it grows in stalks about 8 to 12 centimeters long. They are resistant to cold weather and rarely freeze at night. Bluebonnets need time to flower and must be planted in late September or October to ensure that they will bloom in the spring. The cold weather makes the roots develop and the warmer weather allows the seeds to germinate.


White sego lilies in grass

Image: www.ksl.com

Utah’s state flower is the sego lily. Sego lilies prefer open grass or sage lands and do not need soil to be moist, but they do need depth to spread their roots. This flower blooms in late summer and consists of three large, white, tulip-like petals, which curve upwards and resemble a cup-like structure. They grow up to 6 to 8 inches in height.


Wood Violet with green leaves

Image: www.tramperstrail.com

Wood violet is this state’s flower. They are irregular in shape and their colors range from deep blue/purple to violet. Sometimes they are white with blue markings. Wood violets have five petals in which the lower ones are longer and the two petals have fine hairs. These flowers bloom in early spring and fall. They also grow up to 4 to 8 inches.


Pink and purple indian paintbrush with butterfly

Image: andrewcarrell1969.deviantart.com

Wyoming is the state of the Indian paintbrush. These flowers are set in clusters and they are known for removing metal toxins from the soil. The roots intertwine with other plants like grasses or sagebrush in order to maintain nourishment. The Indian paintbrush is a perennial, but in some species, they are annuals. They range in colors from red, orange, yellow, and white and they grow 15 to 60 centimeters high.

Garden of flowers

Image: www.973thedawg.com

While you are out in your state park admiring these flowers, you may also have the chance to view wildlife that is attracted to these specific flowers. Download your state’s Pocket Ranger® app to see wildlife that exist in the state park you are visiting. Also, check out more state apps that we have!