Death Valley NP - Wildflower Reports

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2017 Death Valley National Park - Wildflower Reports

May 25, 2017 Mary reports: Thank you DesertUSA for the May 13, 2017 post on the Death Valley high country ablaze. I went to see for myself on May 18-20.  One favorite place was a small area just east of Daylight Pass that was packed with Princes Plumes and Asters with a variety of other species including Larkspur, Purple Mat, Chicory and Indigo. The other favorite place was along Emigrant Canyon/Wildrose road from about MM 8 to the Charcoal Kilns that are past Wildrose. In places there were brilliant Indian Paint Brush intermixed with Brittle Brush. In other places there were Hopsage, Asters, Princes Plume and Desert Sage. Though not as showy as the upper elevation was in 2010, it was beautiful to see.

There was an unusual brilliant dark purple flowers blooming, often only two inches tall, in the gravel areas at Wildrose, Aguereberry Point, and Daylight Pass.  A ranger identified them as Yellow Eye Lupine. Also having a good year were the Giant Four O'clocks with big mounds of magenta flowers at Wildrose, just past the Summit on the road to Wildrose and along the road to Aguereberry Point. The tricky part was to catch them when opened, which seemed to be after 5 pm.I only found the Desert Mariposa Lily along the unpaved portion of the road to the Charcoal Kilns and around the lower overlook at Aguereberry Point.  It seemed to be the tail end of the Lilac Sunbonnet bloom, but I found a few around Daylight Pass and around MM 18 on the Emigrant Canyon/Wildrose road.  The four foot tall Magnificent Lupine were blooming along the road to the Charcoal Kilns.  For cactus, I found a few Beavertail and Hedgehog in the Wildrose area and one big Claret Cup just before the Charcoal Kilns. I saw a pretty yellow cactus starting to boom along the road to the Charcoal Kilns that might have been Mohave Prickly Pear.  Along the road to Aguereberry Point there were several beautiful deep pink cactus, possibly Mohave Fishhook. All together, lots to see in the Death Valley high country.


May 13, 2017 Death Valley National Park reports: Fuchsia! Gold! Indigo! Lime! The high country is ablaze! Feast your eyes on these stunning blooms and savor the cooler mountain air. These flowers were spotted near Wildrose Campground but elevations above 5,000 feet are exploding with color.

The view from the road may be striking, but do stop to look around. More flowers appear once you slow down and take time to notice! Where have you seen flowers blooming?

Photo Credit: NPS/Carter

April 18, 2017 Tracy reports: We were there last Wednesday, April 12 and I stopped and took a few pictures as we were headed back to Vegas from Furnace Creek.

April 14, 2017 Jim reports: All photos were taken on April 12, 2017. On highway 190, traveling east, in the lower reaches of Towne Pass, heading toward Emigrant. Elevation maybe 2500 ft. The Beavertail Cactus caught my attention. I pulled into a paved turn-out lane and walked up and down the roadside. All photos were taken there except Desert Gold by the roadside, which was at Furnace Creek.

April 6, 2017 David reports: photos taken on CA-178 in the Jubilee 4-04-2017 Pass area of Death Valley NP.. Definitely not a super bloom this year, but brittlebush is blooming in small pocket canyons along the 178 in the Jubilee Pass area. Also a few fields of sparse desert gold. Other flowers are there, but you have to get out and search for individual plants.

March 30, 2017 Beena report: 1.Many pink cacti seen near Zabriski point 10 mins away on the right side when driving from Dante's view...many cacti blooms.3/27/17 2. multiple bloom Golden meadow valley after Trona On the drive to Ubehebe crater you can see yellow bushes ..multiple cacti , yellow flowers 3.driving out of Death valley NP Panamint Valley highway cacti and multi flowers.


March 29, 2017 Brian report: I drove into Death Valley 3/27/17 on Daybreak Pass Road from Beatty and left via Jubilee Pass Road. While there was a thin scattering of desert marigolds here and there mostly in the shoulders like the one overlooking the Basin, I saw no other extended groups except the ones on the entrance slope. They are a mile or so east of Jubilee Pass on the Jubilee Pass section of the Badwater Road. The overview picture was taken across the Daybreak Pass Road from the entrance Kiosk The Jubilee Pass photo was taken on the long rise that begins about a mile east of the Jubilee crest.

March 27, 2017 Larry report: These were taken near the intersection of Badwater Road and Jubilee Pass Road on the North side of Jubilee Pass Road. We saw many Desert Gold flowers (Geraea canescens), some Desert Five Spots (Eremalche rotundifolia). I'm not sure what the third wildflower variety was in photo DSC_0366. Taken Sunday 03/26/17.


March 18, 2017 Rick and Margarita report: We went to Saratoga Springs again to spend the night. Walked over to Ibex sand dunes. The Desert Gold is starting to look stressed in the direct sunlight areas. It is in the 90's and these will be passed peak soon. Still some in the more shady areas. There are still lots of other varieties of wildflowers to be viewed especially going on up to HiWay 127 from the springs. Be very careful! The snakes are out. We came across a little 18 inch long sidewinder rattlesnake while coming back in the dark from the dunes.

March 17, 2017 Andy & Sue report: We came in the entrance to Death Valley on Hwy 178 and left via 374. Many small flowers that you will drive by. Stop and look!

March 13, 2017 Rick and Margarita report: There are some very large expanses of Desert Gold at Saratoga Springs in the southern end of Death Valley NP. The dirt road that goes up from the Saratoga Springs junction to CA HiWay 127 also has a pretty good amount of flowers. The Desert Gold in this area around Saratoga Springs is every bit as good as last year. They are now in full bloom and I would not wait to go see these as the temperature is probably in the mid-90's. There are also some sand verbena, brown eyed evening primrose, golden primrose, a few 5-spot, a lot of chicory higher up, and some "belly flowers". Flowering along roadside from CA 127 on into Tecopa. Saratoga Springs on Harry Wade road to Ashford Mill very few. Ashford Mill to Jubilee Pass, very few. Ashford Mill to Furnace Creek, very few. Some around visitor center at Furnace Dr. West side road appears to be open now so probably is Warm Springs Rd. Check with DVNP Road Report.

March 13, 2017 Nick reports: These were all take near the base of the Ibex Dunes. Your previous blog post inspired us to check out the area. It didn't disappoint. These were all taken on March 11, 2017.

March 3, 2017 Desert-flowers reports: Photos were taken on 1 March where China Ranch Wash drains into the Amargosa River. Most plants have not yet flowered but will probably do so within the next week or two. Photos are of Phacelia calthifolia, P. crennulata, Geraea canescens and Perityle emoryi.

Feb 27, 2017 Doug reports: On February 24, 2017 there were nice displays of Desert Sand-Verbena and Brown-eyed Primrose around Ibex Dunes in the Saratoga Springs area. There is an old talc mine on the back side of the dunes and the field between the dunes and the mine is full of Desert Sunflower, which were also abundant in washes to the left of the road (past the Saratoga Spring turn-off) that leads towards the dunes. Park on the side of the road about 1 to 1.3 miles beyond the turn-off and hike to the dunes.

Feb 27, 2017 DVNP reports: The past couple weeks have been exciting and wet in Death Valley National Park. Water has the power to damage roads as well as create wildflower blooms. With nearly half of our yearly rainfall (0.95” in the past two weeks), many visitors and pollinators have their eyes trained on the ground in search of wildflowers. Behind the Furnace Creek Visitor Center plants like this Globemallow have just begun to bloom.

If you are planning to visit the park in search of flowers, we recommend taking a stroll behind the Visitor Center or making the trip to the southern regain of the park near Saratoga Springs where several species have already begun their bloom. Many other areas of the park should start blooming in the coming weeks.

Feb 20, 2017 John and Jo report: The following pictures were taken on 2/16/2017 in the Saratoga Springs Area. ( Southern part of the park) This first one were tiny little white flowers, about 1/4” across, about 4 miles from west of Hwy127 on the Harry Wade road. (I think). You’d hardly see these if you didn’t stop the car and look closely at the green along the side of the road. 35°38'48" N 116°22'58" W

On a map, from Hwy127 the dirt Harry Wade Road goes west 6 miles, before turning north about 3 miles. At that point it goes about another mile to the west to the end of the road where the Saratoga Spring sign is. So, just before turning left for the last mile you see this sign: 35°41'4" N 116°24'10" W

Just before that sign, you’ll see these flowers: This is a gravel ghost—we saw just a few of these. 35°41'4" N 116°24'10" W

Just a few of these and a couple at the end of the road, we don’t know what it was. 35°41'4" N 116°24'10" W

Brown Eyed Evening Primrose (saw a few of these): 35°38'48" N 116°23'0" W

Desert Gold made up over 90% of what we saw. These were right before the above sign pointing 1 more mile.35°41'3" N 116°24'10" W

Below are more photos from the area.

Notch-Leaf Phacelia - second most common flower but not abundant. 35°41'3" N 116°24'10" W

Desert Five-Spot We saw two of these, one before the sign and another at the end of the road.

Just past the end of the road 35°40'52" N 116°25'19" W

Feb 18, 2017 DVNP reports: Although we are not planning on a wildflower bloom similar to last year, there are still flowers to be found! Desert Sand Verbena was discovered near the Ibex sand dunes, in the southeast part of the park. Flash Flood Watch for Death Valley National Park until Saturday evening. Expect mud and debris on the roads this weekend.

Feb 13, 2017 DVNP reports: Over the weekend an uncommon weather event took place at Death Valley National Park: it rained! On average Death Valley only receives about 2 inches of rainfall each year. Most of that #rain, however, falls during winter.

When it does rain in Death Valley, it can bring big and small changes to the #landscape as seen from Dante's Ridge. Down below new reflective pools are forming within Badwater Salt Flat. Meanwhile up high on the mountains, lichen soaks up cascading water and responds vibrantly with green colors.

We are starting to see some wildflowers appear in the southern end of Death Valley. By Ibex Dunes we are seeing Desert Gold and then off of Harry Wade Road we are seeing some Primrose, Desert 5 Gold, Buckwheat, and several other species as well. We probably won't have as big of super bloom like last year but these recent blooms are promising!

Feb 6, 2017 DVNP reports: When will wildflowers bloom? Spring is a great time so February March-ish. We are not expecting anything like the super bloom we had in 2016 but it will be beautiful no matter how many desert gold blooms we have.

Jan 24, 2017 DUSA reports: DV getting some rain and the Amargosa crossing was flooding. The late rain may help with wildflower bloom.

Jan 19, 2017 DVNP reports: Gray skies in the mountains all around us. We haven't gotten much #rain in the valley, but we have been lucky enough to see a few rainbows!

Jan 11, 2017 DVNP reports: What's the possibility of another superbloom?? The results are in... and it's not looking good. Last year's superbloom was a once-in-a-decade event at best by trends (last were '98, '05, '16). We also have received 13% (.23 inches) of the precipitation that we did last year (1.76 inches) in the same amount of time (October-January). It is likely that the seed bank that took at least a decade to build was exhausted last year. That doesn't mean Death Valley isn't worth a spring visit!

Jan 1, 2017 DUSA reports: More rain and snow in Death Valley area this weekend good start for the upcoming wildflower season.

NPR photo


More reports from 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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More on Death Valley Park

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 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.

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