Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Super Bloom Year in Death Valley

Following destructive flash floods in October 2015 and periodic El Nino rains in 2016, Death Valley has been having a great wildflower year.  Below are some images from this year's adventure.

The vast fields of Desert Gold that recently received a good deal of media attention peaked in February, primarily in the southern areas of the valley.  They are gone now, but as of this writing, there are many nice displays and a diverse variety of species unfolding in higher elevations of the park.

I was fortunate to see the 1998 and 2005 "blooms-of-the-century" in Death Valley.  While not quite as spectacular as its predecessors, 2016's expansive wildflower bonanza was dubbed a "super bloom" at its finest and certainly well worth the appellation.

Seeing Death Valley decked out in Spring finery like this is one more reminder of the value of wildflower preservation on all our public lands and open spaces.  Enjoy!

Fields of Desert Gold near Ashford Mill

Desert Gold up close and personal

Belly flowers near Artist Drive

Blooming bajada near Badwater

A view of Badwater from Warm Springs Road

Desert Gold's alluvial fan club along Badwater Road

Brown-eyed Evening Primrose

Leaning into the sun

Brittlebush along Warm Springs Road

Encelia read for its closeup

Desert Five-Spot is always a treasure

Golden Evening Primrose basking in the sun

Gravel Ghost

Gravel Ghost dancing on Harry Wade Road

Jubilee Pass looking back up the Valley

Desert Gold languishing at the base of petrified sand dunes

More Desert Gold in them thar hills!

More belly flowers along Artist Drive


One of the more interesting vistas along Badwater Road

Wildflower pathway near Ashford Mill

Sand Verbena flirting with Desert Gold

Wildflower heaven on a 4x4 road

Decadent dune displays

On the trail to wildflower heaven

View from my campsite on Warm Springs Road


  1. I'm watching an episode of Huell Howser "Springtime in Death Valley – California’s Gold (125)" and decided to google belly flower and your site came up in the search results. Watching the episode and seeing your pictures makes me want to visit Death Valley this year. However, I don't think I'll be able to visit. I'll wait until the next El Nino. -- javier, Long Beach, CA

    1. Thanks, Javier. It is worth a visit to Death Valley in Spring. Even in a non-superbloom year, there are many floral delights to see and great places to explore while the temperatures are more moderate. Enjoy!


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