Death Valley Welcomes “Superbloom” of Spring Wildflowers
Record-Setting Fall Rains Bring Epic Blooming Season
Water is precious in Death Valley National Park, especially for its flora and fauna. And the bountiful El Niño rains that the desert experienced last fall is creating a bonanza wildflower season this spring. Many enthusiasts think that this just may be “the year” for this spectacular phenomenon.
“The East has its fall foliage and Death Valley has its legendary flowers – sometimes, when the conditions are right – which can be a lifetime in the making, “ says Dominie Lenz, general manager of Furnace Creek Resort, located in an oasis in the middle of the 3.3-million-acre park.
With the extremely damp fall, Mother Nature is giving the wildflowers found throughout the park the green light to bloom. Golden evening primrose, notch-leaf phacelia, sand verbena, purple mat, gravel ghost, and brown-eyed evening primrose are painting the arid landscape in Easter egg colors — especially the expansive fields of desert gold for which Death Valley is famous. To appreciate the diversity of blooms, visitors are encouraged to get out of their car and walk. They’ll be rewarded with carpets of color blanketing the desert floor.
What’s more, with average temperatures of 82 degrees in March and 90 degrees in April, these months make the ideal time to visit and enjoy all the national park has to offer, both during the day and at night.
Travelers can choose from two distinct lodging experiences at Furnace Creek Resort: accommodations at the family-friendly Ranch at Furnace Creek, with its towering palm trees and true oasis atmosphere located on the desert floor, or the more sophisticated and refined Inn at Furnace Creek. Fed by spring waters, The Ranch boasts a large pool, golf course (the lowest on Earth), post office, general store, casual dining restaurants, horseback riding, and 224 rooms. The Borax Museum, with artifacts large and small including some of the original 20 Mule Team Wagon trains, also calls The Ranch home, as does a nearby landing strip. The Death Valley National Park visitor center is also within walking distance.
The romantic AAA Four Diamond Inn at Furnace Creek, tucked against the mountainside where the spring bubbles forth, was built in the late 1920s by the Borax Company and features 66 elegant rooms, fine dining, verandas with sweeping views of Death Valley, lush gardens, a spring-fed pool (with a constant temperature of 85 degrees), tennis courts, and pool-side massages.
And there is plenty to do – or not do. For active vacationers, activities range from hiking, cycling, and Jeep treks to horseback riding and golf. The lush oasis also attracts wildlife, such as roadrunners and coyotes, and is one of the only Gold Tier designated International Dark Sky Parks in the United States, where stargazers can actually see the Milky Way with the naked eye.
But it’s the riotous display of wildflowers that takes center stage at this time of year.
For more information and reservations, book online or call 800-236-7916. For up-to-date info on what’s blooming in the park, visit Desert USA Death Valley Wildflower Report, Death Valley Wildflower Blooming Areas map, or Death Valley National Park Wildflower Blog.