Death Valley-Super Bloom

A special treat is happening in the Death Valley……spring flowers! With only an average annual rainfall of 2 inches a year, this season, the park got  3 inches of rain so far! Three rare storms in the first two weeks of October was enough to cause millions of dormant wildflower seeds to spring forth.

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Our yearly camping trip to Death Valley Nation Park is at Thanksgiving so the chance to visit this past weekend during the super bloom was a special treat. The roads, campgrounds, hotels, and just about everywhere we went was full of enthralled spectators. Never before had we experienced such unique splendor. Death Valley, despite its name, is such a beautiful place anytime of the year. Although barren of many plants, trees, and shrubs, the diversity and beauty of the park is not to be missed. It is this diversity that makes this park so incredibly appealing-from the salt flats to the sand dunes, the mountain tops  to the badlands, and the sunrises to the sunsets. It is a land of extremes.

We were going to see Death Valley in the spring and during the extraordinary blooming of spring flowers!  Out the door at 3:30AM we arrived full of anticipation and excited to explore. We spent two days driving around the park with many stops along the way.

This is some of the highlights of our trip.

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Desert Gold

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Deep Purple Phacelia

(If touched can cause a rash)

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More than 20 species of wildflower bloom in the park at various elevations.

We saw these at a higher elevation but I don’t know their name.

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The Desert Five-Spot

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The Gravel Ghost

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(see how seems to float from the very interesting leaves hugging the ground?)

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The Charcoal Kilns. No flowers but a group of young people making a video!

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Badwater Basin. 282 feet below sea level. That is not snow in the background…

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…it is a salt flat.

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This was a shrub growing among the Desert Gold flowers.

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On a normal trip the landscape would look more like this…

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…instead of this!

 Our second night  we were sent packing with 45-60 mph winds… which collapsed our tent….so…we slept in the car! Not the best way to end our trip but worth every minute to have been able to enjoy such a rare sight.

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A day earlier than planned we soon found our way home. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it though!

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29 thoughts on “Death Valley-Super Bloom

  1. We felt so fortunate to be able to visit during this time. We had planned to go later in the month but worried it might be late. I like being more spontaneous in my retirement anyway!

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  2. I lived in the Mojave Desert for a few years when I was a teenager. I sure wish we could have seen the desert bloom back then. Maybe I would have appreciated it more!

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  3. What a wonderful event to witness. Your appreciation of just how special it was really comes through in this post – not even a collapsed tent could dampen it😊. Great photos – thanks for sharing.

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  4. Mother nature allows us time to appreciate things of which man has little control- but big influences!! Another reason why it is so important to care for and treasure our natural resources and to allow those who come behind us to enjoy the beauty. I hope it isn’t a lesson learned too late. Of course nature right in our own backyard is pretty spectacular too! Have a safe trip home, Marlene. I hope you had a wonderful visit.

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  5. Thank you!♡ It was a very special event. I do so appreciate the outdoors and love it when nature throws special treat our way whether it is in the way of a spring flower or a special sunrise. For a brief moment it was hard not to think about anything except the tent and the roar of the relentless wind but I refused to succumb to the negative and only focus and recall the beauty that we experienced. ♡♡♡♡ (makes a better story anyway!) 😄

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  6. Another example of why retirement is so wonderful Jan! Isn’t nature wonderful!! What an amazing experience – I can imagine that if you are used to seeing the barren landscape and then come to this spread of wildflowers it would be quite breathtaking. An extra inch of rain makes all the difference apparently! Certainly worth one night of discomfort – but maybe not two 🙂

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  7. Darn, Pauline! I hit Send before I finished replying to your comment. I guess another thing about retirement is the fingers aren’t quite so nimble and the brain doesn’t work quite so quickly, haha. Not that I would want to endure that wind again, in fact we have cancelled a few trips along the way having experienced this previously. In this case, however a small price to pay to be able to enjoy such a rare treat. You certainly seem to relish your retirement with all of your projects. It is a special time in life, isn’t it?

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  8. This post was a real treat. I’ve never been to Death Valley. I don’t think I’ve even seen many pictures of it. I love the picture of Badwater Basin. The flowers, too, of course.

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  9. Thank you! It is perhaps my most favorite place. It is so uniquely beautiful. For me, a place of reflection and serenity- God’s masterpiece! I do have other pictures on previous posts if you’d care to take a peak.

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  10. Hi Jan,
    my favorite is the desert 5 spot. Wonderful! I think that when I make time to go to the beach on weekends, I never regret it. Being outdoors adds some calmness and perspective to my life and this is what i get in your message for this post as well. xx Nancy

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  11. I also love being outside. Somehow it replenishes the soul. I also love the beach and we are so fortunate to live halfway between each. Even when I prefer the mountains, we are equally as close. We live in such a beautiful valley despite the congestion, crowds, and traffic, I’ve decided I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else…. (Well maybe Hawaii😊.)

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