Over the weekend, I flew to Vegas and drove 2hrs west for my first visit to Death Valley. Hearing the buzz on social media, and having always wanted to visit, it seemed like this "once in a lifetime" event would be worth checking out, and I'm glad to say it was pretty impressive! Apparently the best bloom in the park's history was back in 2005, so perhaps this is going to be the 2nd best in history?
While Death Valley has an average rainfall of about 2" per year, this past October, a month when the area usually gets 0.1" of rain, a storm dumped 2.7" of rain. The storm was billed as a 1,000-year storm and caused flash flooding and road closures. Bad news for October, great news for February wildflower blooms!
There were several areas like this one, where it was just fields of flowers. So much yellow and green as you look out. Truly amazing for a desert! "Death Valley" doesn't exactly scream beautiful fields of flowers, but sure enough, there they were. These Desert Gold sunflowers seemed to be the most prominent flowers among the ones I saw.
I really wish I had taken the time to visit Death Valley previously, so I would have at least a mental image of what it normally looks like to compare to this superbloom. Instead, I had to mentally visualize lots of brown and dry, dusty rocky areas that had been taken over by wildflowers.
Getting to Death Valley was straightforward enough. The National Park Service has done a fantastic job of publishing updates on their website for where to best see the bloom. When first entering the park and seeing some small clusters of yellow and blue flowers along the roadside, I was a little surprised to see so many people pulled over and taking photos. It was immediately clear just how popular this bloom was as there seemed to be more people in the park than the Grand Canyon over Labor Day weekend!
This superbloom won't last long - maybe just another 2-4 weeks depending on weather conditions. If you have the opportunity to check it out, I'd say it's definitely worth it. An event like this happens maybe just a handful of times in your life, and odds are, you won't be able to make it to some of those events, so go if you can. Life is short - enjoy the desert gold!
Experiencing a once in a lifetime Death Valley Superbloom - check!