Desert Wildflowers Death Valley NP
We'd like to see your pictures too. E-mail your digital photos and reports to Jim@desertusa.com. Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date.
Plan your trip to Death Valley with
Valley Introduction Package
2014 Wildflowers Reports
Mar 10, 2014 - Jim reports: Roadside flowers around Jubilee Pass on the southern Badwater Road. Not many this year, have to search to find them.
Mar 5, 2014 - Death Valley reports: With the ongoing drought in California, don't expect many wildflowers in Death Valley this spring. Wet winter storms are necessary for a good bloom in the desert, but this year has been very dry. The rain that fell this last weekend should give a boost to flowers that have already sprouted, but it is too late for many new seeds to sprout and come into full bloom before the heat and dry winds cause the delicate annuals to wither.
Spotty rainstorms last autumn did cause some annuals to sprout in the southern extreme of Death Valley. Look for areas of roadside flowers around Jubilee Pass on the southern Badwater Road. Along the Harry Wade Road, Ibex Dunes and Saratoga Springs, there are slopes and washes with scattered patches of flowers. Although there is good variety, the plants in these locations are blooming while still small, a sign they are bolting to a quick finish to set seed before drying up. The recent rain should help them keep going. In the Emigrant Canyon / Towne Pass area watch for wildflowers that tend to be much larger and more robust than those down south, but they are appearing as individuals instead of patches.
Overall, I would not come to Death Valley specifically to view wildflowers, but if you are already here you should keep your eyes open for color, and be sure to stop the car to take a closer look.
Mar 3, 2014 - Jim reports: A third of an inch at Furnace Creek. Some wildflowers in the southern part of the park. Some of the backcounty road are closed. Cottonwood Cayon Rd - Impassable due to standing water and deep mud.
Dantes View Rd - Caution advised due to debris on the roadway.
Feb 28, 2014 Death Valley reports: Flowers are blooming in Death Valley NP on the Harry Wade Rd & Saratoga Springs. It is raining now.
Feb 21, 2014 Garry reports: Saw flowers last weekend at just one location in Death Valley, despite traveling all the main paved roads, a few sparse Desert Gold, poppies and Phaecelia between Exclamation Point and Ashford Mill.
Click here to see more of Garry's photos
Feb 6, 2014 DUSA reports: No wildflower report to date, very dry. Road work has finished at Zabriskie Point. The overlook and parking area are now open.
Jan 13, 2014 DUSA reports: No wildflower report to date, very dry, 7/1/13 through 1/13/14: 1.43 inches. No rain in the last two weeks. Very dry and about 70º F (21º C).
Snow and ice at the higher elevationns, some of the 4X4 trail had flood damage from last year rain. Scotty’s Castle Road is still being work on, expect up to 30 minute delays. Racetrack Road -- Do not walk on playa, it is wet and muddy.
2013 Wildflowers Reports
Sept 10, 2013 Death Valley reports: Rain - 7/1/13 through today: 1.05 inches. Death Valley received another round of heavy rains last night and most of our backcountry roads are closed. Rain still in the forecast.
July 2, 2013 Death Valley reports: It may reach 130 in the Valley, but it's springtime on Telescope Peak. A June temperature record of 129 degrees was recorded at the official weather station on June 30th. It broke the previous record of 128 degrees which was taken in 1994.
April 29, 2013 Death Valley reports: You can see the crimson red colors from a distance blazing across the desert landscape of Wildrose. A signal that spring has come to the higher elevations, it’s red flame colors will bloom for a short period before the heat of summer quenches it color.
April 23, 2013 DUSA: A few cactus still are blooming
April 16, 2013 Death Valley reports: Still wildflowers in some area.
April 6, 2013 Theodore Payne Foundation reports: One area in the Park that is readily accessible to most visitors is a stretch of Furnace Creek Wash along Hwy 190 extending for about five miles east of the intersection of the road to Dante's View. The wash and its adjacent banks are full of gravel ghost, Emory rock daisy, golden evening primrose, shredding evening primrose, notchleaf phacelia, broad-flowered gilia, small-flowered poppy and desert gold poppy.
April 2, 2013 William reports: 3/29/13 Friday was the last day and I was looking for Desert Five Spot but was unsuccessful. The drive along Emigrant Canyon Road was not productive except for one location near the 9 mile marker. In a small wash near the site of an abandoned mining operations there were several isolated groups of Desert Paintbrush, Castilleja applegatei ssp.
Returning to the valley the Tucki Mountain canyons were more productive. Grotto Canyon had the greatest variety. Death Valley Blazing Star, Mentzelia reflecta were found in several locations. In the canyon there were several locations where Death Valley Sage, Salvia funereal were just starting to bloom.
While in Grotto Canyon I witnessed some lizards eating the pedals of a mallow flower.
Other wildflowers in the canyon were Goldfields, Lasthenia californica and Ground Cherry, Physalis crassifolia plus an unknown shrub with white flowers.
Late in the afternoon I returned to Furnace Creek wash and when returning to my car I came upon Lacy Phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolia.
April 1, 2013 Dave reports: Shot in Titus Canyon almost all the way thru. It is almost a bush hanging on the rocks 3/24/2013
This was in the dry river bed on the east entrance going to DV Junction just inside the park. 3/23/2013 We also found a number of the same kinds of flowers that have already been posted.
March 26, 2013 Eileen reports: Wildflowers along the road on the way to Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California - March 23, 2013
March 24, 2013 George reports: On sunday my wife and i came apon an explosion of wildflowers while heading home from death valley.we were about 13.7 miles west of death valley junction on hwy.190.there is a huge dirt turnout on the right side of the road. Must be two dozen or more species of wildflowers in washes on both sides of road.well worth a trip.
March 18, 2013 William reports: I've attached pictures of wildflowers taken on my recent trip to Death Valley. Most were taken in the Furnace Creek wash between 0 and 3 miles north of the pay station at the east entrance of the Valley. The Gravel Ghost and Sun Flowers were found at the "Hole in the Wall Wash". I was very careful, but almost stepped on the Davy Gilia.
Shedding evening primrose
Bigelow's monkey flower
I was very careful, but almost stepped on the Davy Gilia.
I could not identify the above flower, it is labeled as "unknown". I would appreciate assistance in identification.
March 15, 2013 Sallie reports: The first picture is of the wildflowers along Hwy 190 between Death Valley Junction and Furnace Creek Inn. These are the golden evening primrose and phacelia. The second picture was taken along Ash Meadow Road (which becomes Bell Vista Road as it nears Pahrump, NV), between Death Valley Junction and Pahrump. These are the desert sunflowers.
March 12, 2013 Death Valley National Park reports: Ranger Dianne discovered more wildflower blooms in the Tucki Mountain Canyons. Desert five spot were seen. - Golden evening primrose is an annual that opens its blossoms at dawn. A common primrose in the deserts of southern California. They now are blooming near Hole in the Wall, Funeral Mountains, Death Valley, California.
March 11, 2013 Quin reports: These photos were taken on March 9, 2013 in the lower part of Titus Canyon and the wash east of Furnace Creek Resort on Highway 190 in Death Valley National Park. In Titus Canyon, Death Valley Sage was blooming, along with Ground Cherries, Lesser Mohavea, Phacelia and several types of Cryptantha. Along Scotty's Castle Road and Highway 190, there are several patches of Desert Gold with many young plants promising more blooms. In the wash east of Furnace Creek Resort, there are Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose, Lesser Mohavea, Notch-Leaved and Caltha-Leaved Phacelia, Yellow Cups, Desert Gold, Desert Trumpets and lots of Gravel Ghost blooming. The recent storm flooded the wash and probably washed more than a few blooms away, but it may end up helping with more growth to come...
March 10, 2013 Death Valley National Park reports: The bloom is continuing east of the eastern park entrance on Highway 190. So far, this is the only place to bloom but it is looking great! Species seen include: Sun cups, globemallow, poppies, popcorn flower, gilia, phacelia, desert calico and more!
March 8, 2013 DUSA reports: Death Valley got about a 1/2 inch of rain today.
March 8, 2013 Death Valley National Park reports: 10.52 AM Good Morning from the valley floor, where it has been raining for the last hour! Wildflowers are blooming - finding them in washes is like easter egg hunting.
March 6, 2013 Mary reports: I found some beautiful pockets of flowers in Death Valley National Park: March 1-4, 2013
· SHOWY DISPLAY – in a wash two miles east of the Death Valley park sign on 190 where you are greeted with a display of Golden Evening Primrose at a pull off. Walk into the wash to the right for more blooms including: Mojavea, Rock Daisy, Phacelia, Monkey Flower, Desert Trumpet, Cryptantha, and Desert Gold Poppy. As the park advised, walk carefully to avoid crushing the plants. There are many shoots that promises future blooms here.
· DIVERSITY OF BLOOMS – on the flats by the turn off to Twenty Mule Team Canyon on 190 south of Furnace Creek. Though the booms are spaced and not a mass of color, I counted 14 species blooming here including: Turtleback, Broad-Leaved Gilia, Gravel Ghost, Purple Mat, Desert Gold, Shredding Evening Primrose, and Pincushion.
· CLUMP OF DESERT GOLD – along the Scotty Castle Road four miles north of 190.
Hiking up the lower part of Titus Canyon, I saw big clumps of Ground Cherries and only a scattering of other blooms. In the next canyon over, Fall Canyon, there were similar blooms and many green sprouts along the canyon walls with good promise. Coming down into the park from Jubilee Pass on Badwater Road, I pulled over the check what was in the green in the road margins. I found Dalea, Cryptantha, and a few Poppies and Lupine. I followed the advice from the park an earlier Desert Jim post and climbed over the bern down from the park sign on 190.
I was greeted by the Furnace Creek wash a mass of yellow as far as I could see in both directions. The predominate species was Golden Evening Primrose, with Phacelia, Desert Star, Monkey Flower and other blooms included. Though I found no big shows of Desert Gold and no flowers in most of the park, this year’s rain pattern brought bigger masses of Mojavea and more blooms in the Furnace Creek Wash than I have seen in past trips to Death Valley.
March 1, 2013 Lorraine reports: Photos are at the corner of 190 and Bad water Road
Feb. 20, 2013 Death Valley reports: Wildflowers are blooming. Park at our East Entrance sign and hike down into the Furnance Creek Wash up over the bern and then just walk up the wash. Step gently so others can enjoy these wonderful blooms. Thanks to our Ranger Diane for taking these wonderful photographs.
Feb. 26, 2013 Lorraine reports: Wildflowers - 2-23-13 Hole in the Wall Canyon. Death Valley, Ca. Site information - Vehicle needed: High-clearance first four miles to the Hole-in-the-Wall, then 4WD the next two miles to the road’s end due to deep gravel and rocks. Distance: Six miles. Start: Hwy 190, 5.7 miles east of Furnace Creek Inn.
Feb. 20, 2013 Death Valley reports: Wildflowers are beginning to bloom especially between Death Valley Junction and Furnace Creek. Desert Gold, Phacelia and more.
Feb. 19, 2013 Rebecca reports: I was in the park last week from 2/11-15. I saw wildflowers in the area you mentioned, as well on the Salt creek trail.
Feb. 12, 2013 Death Valley NP reports: Wildflowers are sprouting here and there in Death Valley, but we anticipate only a light, spotty bloom this spring. Rain this winter has been sporadic, with a few storms in the mountains, but little in the lower elevations. A widespread rainstorm soaked the park in October, but the heat wave that followed seems to have prevented the survival of wildflower sprouts on the valley floor. The mid elevations fared better, and that is where we are currently seeing sprouts appearing.
So far, the most promising locations are Furnace Creek Wash and the drainages joining it. Explore the area near the park entrance sign on Highway 190 east to see the first flowers of sun cups, lesser mohavea and Bigelow's mimulus.
The Grapevine Mountains were hit by several localized storms this winter, so try walking up the lower end of Titus Canyon to see what may be in bloom. Both annual wildflowers and flowering shrubs are now showing buds and fresh growth.
Feb. 7, 2013 DUSA reports: Friday outlook mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain and snow showers. Snow level 3500 feet. Highs 41 to 44 in the mountains...63 to 66 at furnace creek. West wind 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph.
Feb. 1, 2013 DUSA reports: Wildflower will first show up at the lower elevations on alluvial fans and foothills in mid February. From July 2012 to Feb 2013 precipitation is 1.47 inches. Some rain fell in Jan., but not a lot.
Jan 24, 2013 DUSA reports: 60% chance of precipitation tomorrow.
Jan. 10, 2013 DUSA reports: Partly sunny with a chance of showers. Very windy with areas of blowing dust. Snow level 4000 feet decreasing to 2500 feet in the afternoon.A 20 percent chance of rain showers and snow showers in the evening.
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.
More on Death Valley
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.
We'd like to see your pictures too. E-mail your digital photos and reports to Jim@desertusa.com. Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date. We will post them on our wildflower reports. Thanks for your support and photos.
Wildflower field guide ebook
find the wildflowers by color - Kindle, iPads and Smart phones. $4.99