The hottest, driest place in North America now looks more like a Monet painting than an arid,
desolate valley ripened with dirt. Thanks to El Nino, Death Valley has blossomed, quite literally, with a rare, floral “super bloom” that’s sprung its native plants to life.
The “once-in-a-lifetime event”—though it last happened 11 years ago—showed signs of
sprouting in early January after heavy rains pummeled the Valley in the fall, where, instead of
the normal 2 inches per rainfall a year, as much as three and a half inches fell in just a few
hours. As the old additive that we just made up says, “El Nino showers brings Death Valley
flowers.” And it has. Big time.
Decorated with more than a dozen varieties of plants like gravel ghost, phacelia, rock daily,
pincushion, primrose and desert gold poppy, it’s become a spectacle not only for the workers
who’ve only seen a desolate wasteland, but also tourists have begun flocking to the Valley.
Park rangers aren’t sure how long the bloom will last, but, thankfully, the rangers have already scouted the Valley for the best spots to see the bloom.
Though flowers typically bloom in the park through mid-July, just remember that this place is
named “Death Valley” for a reason.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.