Death Valley NP - Wildflower Reports

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2016 Death Valley National Park Wildflowers Reports

Feb 11, 2016 Death Valley NP Reports: The bloom is still basically localized, fantastic in the southeastern part of the park but just beginning in other locations. Badwater Road is still the place to go to, with the fields getting bigger the farther south that you travel. If you do not have the time to travel to the southern end of the Badwater Road, there is a wonderful diversity of flower species on the alluvial fans north of Badwater, from about Mile Marker 12 on the Badwater Road to Badwater. The first mile or two of Artist’s Drive is also quite nice.

More flowers are popping up every week on Highway 190. We’re getting some nice patches of color between Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. The Golden Evening Primrose (Camissonia brevipes) and Notchleaf Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata) are looking pretty between Furnace Creek and Zabriskie Point. If you have the proper vehicle to access some of our backcountry roads, Warm Springs Canyon is the hands down winner. There is also some nice Sand Verbena (Abronia villosa) at the Ibex Dunes. For hikers, I would recommend the canyons in the southern Black Mountains or the Owlsheads for the best selection of blooms.

What is most exciting to me this spring is not necessarily the number of flowers we have blooming early, or the vast number of tiny plants filling in behind them. It is the way some of the plants, that have not yet bloomed or are just beginning to bloom, are super sized. Jack-in-the-Beanstalk stems of Desert Gold (Geraea canescens). Basal rosettes of Gravel Ghost (Atrichoserus platyphylla) that are more than a foot in diameter. Notchleaf Phacelia standing nearly three feet high. Desert Five-Spot (Eremalche rotundifolia) plants with three dozen buds on just one plant. It’s mind-boggling. Visions of great things to come!

Feb 11, 2016 Ramsey Reports: The lower portions of the road to Daylight Pass had some desert gold carpets here and there and purple flowers that I'm guessing are Calthaleafed Phacelia (tried looking it up as I'm not much of a botanist). The best carpets of Desert Gold were near the Copper Canyon fan as reported by a previous poster and also the Ashford Mill area. The areas near the junction of Hwy 190/Scotty's Castle Road looked like they were starting up and covered large areas but not in a particularly dense way yet. The photos are from the Daylight Pass road, Copper Canyon fan, and just past Ashford Mill.

Feb 10, 2016 Sherby Reports: Ibex Dune, Death Valley NP. There has been lots of rain in this area with some large expanses of wild flowers. Desert sun flower ( aka desert gold) is abundant in flood planes as you approach Saratoga Springs and on some dune slopes and alluvial deposits. Sand verbena is abundant at the base of the dunes. Brown-eyed evening primrose along with similar species are also common. Also golden evening primrose along with desert five spot are present in many areas. There are lots of young plants developing so the bloom may las a while.

The blue phacelia and desert five spot are common around the Saratoga Springs parking area. The desert sunflower and brown-eyed evening primrose cover the southern portion of the Amargosa River flood plane as you drive towards Saratoga Springs and Ibex Dunes.

Feb 9, 2016 Laura Reports:
I took these photos in Death Valley on February 8

Feb 9, 2016 Jackson Reports: Wildflower report from a flying visit to Death Valley 2/6/16:

One thing most people seem to neglect in reporting wildflowers is mention of places where they DIDN'T see anything. This is also useful information. We didn't see any blooms of note crossing Panamint Valley. There was a little desert gold getting going as you head up the east side around 2k elevation, but not extensive yet - maybe in another week. We took a brief look half a mile down the road to Trona - nothing yet. Basically nothing in Darwin Canyon. Nothing much coming down into DV from Towne Pass either, except an isolated patch by Emigrant Campground.

Badwater area and south is still very much the place - starting around Natural Bridge turnoff, things get good. The desert gold photographed the best, but some of the fans around Badwater were covered in in primroses, with purple phacelia making a showing as well. We went as far as the Copper Canyon fan, which was awesome.

If one didn't want to head down to Badwater for some reason, there's also a lot of desert gold between Furnace Creek and Salt Creek, and along the Beatty cutoff.

I'd love to hear what people are seeing up the road to Ubehebe, towards Cottonwood Canyon, on the West Side Road, or in other parts of Panamint Valley! Even if the answer is "nothing," it's good to know.

Photos are both from the Copper Canyon fan area.

Feb 6, 2016 Cheryl Reports: Photo below was taken at Ashford Mill of Desert Gold on 1/31/16

Feb 5, 2016 William Reports: These were in Death Valley on Saturday January 31st near Ashford Mills

Feb 4, 2016 Vija Reports: These were taken south end of the park near the road closure sign on January 31. Wanted to spend more time there, but the big storm rolled in. There was a lot of runoff flowing onto the road driving back. I could see how the roads got damaged in October.

Feb 3, 2016 Death Valley Reports: Big news this week is that it rained .32 inches on Sunday. We got that nice soaker that we needed. It's gonna be a fantastic year, folks!

It's pretty great right now. The good news is the Badwater Road is looking good throughout its length, but gets better and better the further south you go. The bad news is that the rain we received Sunday has caused a temporary closure of the Badwater Road south of Badwater. Check with the Visitor Center for updates on this road closure. Look for fields of Desert Gold (Geraea canescens), Brown-eyed Evening Primrose (Camissonia claviformis), and Sand Verbena (Abronia villosa). There are lots of Phacelia, both Notchleaf (Phacelia crenulata) and Caltha-leaved (Phacelia calthifolia), Desert Five-spot Eremalche rotundifolia), Cryptantha, and Golden Evening Primrose (Camissonia brevipes), too. New flowers just starting to show up this week are Gravel Ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla) and Rock Daisies (Perityle emoryi). Soon there will be entire hillsides of rock daisies, a flower that is doing particularly well this year. If you travel into the canyons or up the alluvial fans you will see even more variety. There are a lot of Mohavea (Mohavea breviflora) coming up. Desert Star (Monoptilon spec.) and Purple Mat (Nama demissum) are other belly flowers you are likely to see if you look closely. Shredding (Camissonia boothii) and Narrow-leaved Evening Primroses (Oenothera fruticosa) can be found in the canyons, as well as Sweetbush (Bebbia juncea), Ground Cherry (Physalis hederaefolia) and Coyote Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia).

Highway 190 is starting to fill in, glowing with Desert Gold. A walk up the washes will reveal other surprises, too. East of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, look for Golden Evening Primrose and Notchleaf Phacelia.Acton Encelia, Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), and Turtleback (Psathyrotes ramosissima) can be found in the canyons of both the Funeral and Black Mountains. Bigelow Mimulus (Mimulus bigelovii) is blooming in the Funerals. Mud Canyon is looking pretty colorful. Look for Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose and Desert Gold in the lower part of the canyon, and Notchleaf Phacelia and Golden Evening Primrose in the upper reaches.

It's getting pretty dense out there. Be mindful of where you step. Don't crush five flowers to take the perfect picture of just one! Happy flower hunting!

Feb 1, 2016 Death Valley Reports: It rained most of yesterday, and Furnace Creek received 0.32 inches of rain! If you were hoping for good ‪wildflowers‬... you'll probably get your wish!

Feb 1, 2016 Kathleen Reports: Death Valley, CA - January 28, 2016, south of Badwater on hwy 178 (unfortunately closed from Harry Wade Road to Shoshone)

More reports from 2016 Death Valley Click Here



Peak Blooming Periods for Death Valley are usually...

Mid February - Mid April at lower elevations (valley floor and alluvial fans)

* Best Areas: Jubilee Pass, Highway 190 near the Furnace Creek Inn, base of Daylight Pass
* Dominant species: desert star, blazing star, desert gold, mimulus, encelia, poppies, verbena, evening primrose, phacelia, and various species of cacti (usually above the valley floor).

Early April - Early May at 2,000 to 4,000 ft. elevations

* Best areas: Panamint Mountains
* Dominant species: paintbrush, Mojave desert rue, lupine, Joshua tree, bear poppy, cacti and Panamint daisies.

Late April - Early June above 4,000 ft. elevations

* Best areas: High Panamints
* Dominant species: Mojave wildrose, rabbitbrush, Panamint daisies, mariposa lilies and lupine.

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When will the desert wildflowers bloom? We start our report in January, plan your visit to coincide with the peak of the bloom - keep up to date with DesertUSA's Wildflower Reports. Be sure to bookmark this page for weekly updates.

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