Death Valley National Park
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2019 Death Valley National Park - Wildflower Reports
March 18, 2019 Death Valley NP reports: The parts of the park at elevations between 3,000 feet - 5,000 feet are expected to have great blooms, but different species than the lower elevations of course! This will also occur later in the spring -possibly in late April. Stay tuned as we will update this page with blooming info when we get it!
Although there are NO lakes to be found, you can still see evidence of water year-round! The park experienced a lot of flooding recently when an inch of rain fell over a 24 hour period on March 5th-6th. One consequence of this rainfall was a large, ephemeral “lake” which you may have seen popping up in the news recently.
Since water is not readily absorbed into the soil, most of it flows down into the valley and collects at the salt flats. Generally, only a few inches of water collect in these basins, but because it is such a large flat area, it can span for miles. Although beautiful, they last only for a very short period of time after rainfall. Because the evapotranspiration rate in Death Valley is over 150 inches per year, most of the water in these basins has dried up by now.
However, when water dries up and salt begins to precipitate out, it often leaves behind beautiful polygons. These unique formations can be seen about a mile out from the Badwater Basin parking area!
March 11, 2019 Death Valley NP reports: As of MARCH 10th 2019 we have not received the early seasonal rains needed to have a spring superbloom. We did receive rains later in the winter season, but too late to effect the 2019 bloom. We are seeing some wildflowers blooming in the lower elevations, but they are VERY sparse.
The parts of the park at elevations between 3,000 feet - 5,000 feet are expected to have great blooms, but different species than the lower elevations of course! This will also occur later in the spring - possibly in late April.
March 11, 2019 Rick and Margarita report: We found some bouquets of Desert Gold, couple of Sand Verbena, and one lonely 5-spot. However, there were lots and lots of Painted Ladies flying around for entertainment. This is virtually the only location we found flowers. Located between Harry Wade road and Saratoga Springs at the southern end of the park. The one pic you can see the Ibex sand dunes in the background. From there to Furnace creek were very few flowers, if any. Maybe there are little ones, but we could not see any. You could see evidence of flash flooding but the Park Service has cleared the main road. Check the Death Valley road report as there are quite a few side roads or attractions inaccessible.
March 1, 2019 Rob reports: Cold day in Valley, but not as cold as higher elevations or snowed-upon Las Vegas! Despite cold, some weedy species and wildflowers were starting to bloom in the well-watered areas around the visitor's center and campground in Furnace Creek - mostly a few phacelias & early primroses, along with some creosote bushes. We were hoping for more, but on a 46-degree morning, we'll take what we can get! Nothing in drier areas we visited later (Golden Cyn, Salt Creek, Badwater).
Feb 19, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Last weeks rain help a little but still way below what is needed for a good wildflower display.
Feb 15, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Heavy rains hit the area yesterday and many roads are closed. Expect flooding and debris on any park road. Road conditions are still being assessed. Upper Wildrose Road: CLOSED beyond Charcoal Kilns due to snow and ice.
Feb 9, 2019 David reports: I got to travel over the length and breadth of Death Valley this week, and it doesn’t look like there’s anything cooking yet throughout most of the park. I did see early signs of life in the Greenwater Valley and in Death Valley, south of Ashford Mill. Caught some early blooming desert sunflowers at Saratoga Spring, along with patches of phacelia that are also getting ready to put on a modest show. Many of the higher elevations did get some precipitation last weekend (I got about 0.5 inch at Greenwater), so the mountains are all draped with lacy snow on their tops.
Feb 6, 2019 Death Valley NP reports: As of FEBRUARY 3rd 2019 we have not received the early seasonal rains needed to have a spring superbloom. We did receive rains later in the winter season, but too late to effect the 2019 bloom. It would be very unlikely at this point to see a 2019 spring superbloom. We expect to see some wildflowers blooming in the lower elevations, but they will be sparse.
Feb 4, 2019 Death Valley NP reports: Death Valley received rain and snow yesterday and there is more on the way! Expect flooding and debris on any park road and do not cross running water. Road conditions are still being assessed.
Emigrant Canyon Road and Upper and Lower Wildrose roads are CLOSED. There are sections of mud and debris on North Highway/Scotty's Castle Road (between Highway 190 and Grapevine Ranger Station), Dantes View Road, and Artists Drive. If you are planning a trip to Death Valley in the next few days, check weather and road conditions before your trip.
Photo: NWS graphic shows precipitation forecast for Monday, February 4th.
Jan 30, 2019 DesertUSA reports: More rain is the forecast for Death Valley NP.
Jan 28, 2019 David reports: I was in Death Valley NP January 15-17 and we enjoyed some rains and wonderful skies, but I don't think I saw a single wildflower. Here's a photo of an area not far from Furnace Creek where I would have expected to see at least one or two.
Jan 14, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Rain is on the way to Death Valley this week.
Jan 1, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Not much rain in Death Valley to this date, but more rain is coming.
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.
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