National Parks, Travel, USA

A Day in Death Valley

Sunday was the first day of Spring, and what better way to celebrate than by going to see a desert in full bloom? The super bloom at Death Valley National Park is a rare, but beautiful sight. Usually the incredible heat and scarce rainfall keep any flora from growing, but this was an El Nino year, which meant lots of rain and slightly cooler temperatures in the earlier part of the year. All the perfect set up for the super bloom.

superbloom
Taken from here
Unfortunately, by the time we made it out the heat had returned and the flowers were already starting to die. But we did get to see some beautiful blooms and views, so the trip was well worth it.

We started the days adventure at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

The dunes are so vast, and with almost nothing growing in the sand, it almost seems like you’re on another planet.

DSC_0626 (2)

This was easily my brother’s favorite part of the trip, he just loves to get sand everywhere! And we got a small preview of the blooms.

Driving down Highway 190 was where we saw the first of the wildflowers. The desert was blanketed in yellow, which added a beautiful splash of color in the otherwise neutral backdrop.

Next we went to the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, it’s a short loop trail along a very thin stream of water. While anyone not accustomed to a desert environment would be quite disappointed with the liberal use of the word creek, even the small amount of water is pretty amazing for Death Vally. The creek even has its own unique wildlife, the Salt Creek Pupfish, who have adapted to survive the harsh conditions.

This part of the valley is quite lively, with lush greens covering most of the desert. It was also cool to see the salt build up along the dried up creek beds.

Before heading home we took a small detour off Highway 190 to Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road. It’s very light off-roading, but has some great views; a rainbow of mountains on a clear blue background.

 

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