Death Valley is generally fairly barren, but thanks to El Nino this year the valley is expected to get a super bloom of flowers that occurs once each decade. It last occured in 1998 and 2005. The flowers started popping up in January, and they are expected to keep coming.
According to park ranger Alan Van Valkenburg:
“You always get flowers somewhere in Death Valley, almost every month of the year, but to have a big bloom like this, which we hope will become a super bloom … those are quite rare.”
One local also spoke out about how amazing the experience is.
“I suddenly realized there are so many seeds out there just waiting to sprout, just waiting to grow. I had no idea there was that much out there,” he said.
Areas that are normally rocks can become filled with life — briefly — during super blooms.
“It’s here for a moment, then it fades. It’s a privileged to be able to be here and see one of these blooms.”
The Death Valley National Park posted about the super bloom in an Instagram post that read:
“We got you a valentine’s day present… it’s thousands of flowers. #YoureWelcome #BestValentineEver”
Anyone interested in checking it out should take note that the area south of Copper Canyon is supposed to be particularly spectacular.
It’s especially interesting considering the fact that all that potential is there at all times, it just lays in wait for the right conditions. There are not only more flowers than normal blooming but they are bigger than normal as well.
Death Valley has an overall average temperature of 77 with lows in the 30’s to 80’s and highs in the 60’s to well over 110 degrees. The valley generally gets 2.4 inches of rainfall per year, but in 2015 it got so much rain that it had a once in a 1,000 year flash flood. The rainfall in that particular storm was 2.7 inches, which is more than it usually gets in the entire year. The flood actually sent so much water and mud into the park that it highly affected one of the park’s top sites called Scotty’s Castle, which will be closed for about a year to make up for the mess.
Scotty’s castle is a mansion that was built in the 1930’s as a getaway, and the attraction faced a lot of damage, as did the road getting there. Ten whole miles of the road were destroyed by the flood which will also of course need to be rebuilt.
The flowers are expected to continue blooming from here on out, and they might even extend into July in some of the upper elevations of the valley.