Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park Wildflowers Begin Their Bloom

March 17, 2011, 12:11 pm

It has started. The annual wildflower bloom in California’s Death Valley National Park has begun with a bloom of Desert Gold wildflowers on a hilly area of volcanic earth north of Ashford Mill near Furnace Creek Resort. Although this year’s bloom is not expected to surpass the breathtaking 2005 bloom – called the “Bloom of the Century” by many – it is still an event that is highly anticipated by visitors and residents alike because it heralds in a magnificent way the arrival of spring.

“This will be the 14th wildflower season that I will experience, and it never loses its appeal,” said Phil Dickinson, director of sales and marketing at the Furnace Creek Resort. “Even if the bloom is not abundant, it is a welcome sign of spring when the wildflowers start to appear in this rugged desert park. The best way to discover wildflower displays is to leave your car and explore the park on foot.”

Death Valley National Park’s wildflower bloom typically begins in February at the lowest elevations of the park and usually continues through April, and in some higher elevations, as late as June. The National Park Service posts a wildflower update online at http://www.nps.gov/deva/naturescience/wildflower-update-2011.htm.

From mid-February through mid-April, the best viewing opportunities are near the Inn at Furnace Creek and other lower elevation sites. The early blooming species include Desert Star, Desert Gold, Poppies, Verbena and Evening Primrose. By early April, the Panamint Mountains and other higher elevation sites begin a showy bloom of Paintbrush, Lupine, Joshua Tree and Panamint Daisies. By late April, the highest elevations of the Panamint Mountains sprout Mojave Wildrose, Rabbitbrush, Mariposa Lilies and Lupine.

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image: Phacelia along Badwater Road and Ashford. Credit: Xanterra