The hottest, driest place in North America now looks more like a Monet painting than an arid,
desolate valley ripened with dirt. Thanks to El Nino, Death Valley has blossomed, quite literally, with a rare, floral “super bloom” that’s sprung its native plants to life.
The “once-in-a-lifetime event”—though it last happened 11 years ago—showed signs of
sprouting in early January after heavy rains pummeled the Valley in the fall, where, instead of
the normal 2 inches per rainfall a year, as much as three and a half inches fell in just a few
hours. As the old additive that we just made up says, “El Nino showers brings Death Valley
flowers.” And it has. Big time.
Decorated with more than a dozen varieties of plants like gravel ghost, phacelia, rock daily,
pincushion, primrose and desert gold poppy, it’s become a spectacle not only for the workers
who’ve only seen a desolate wasteland, but also tourists have begun flocking to the Valley.
Though flowers typically bloom in the park through mid-July, just remember that this place is
named “Death Valley” for a reason.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.