During the same month warm weather forces Alaskans to ship snow to the Iditarod track, one of the driest and hottest places on the planet has been turned into a lush field of wildflowers. Death Valley is currently showing off its “super bloom,” a rare phenomenon that occurs on average once per decade. The last time this desert was covered in a carpet of wildflowers was in 2005.
Normally a land of extremes, Death Valley’s below-sea-level basin is under constant drought. Paired with excessive heat, it’s a landscape that hosts only the most resilient of wildlife. But thanks to consistent rain this past October, and relatively mild temperatures, thousands of dormant wildflower seeds have come to life.
If you’re planning on visiting Death Valley National Park, this spring is the best time to do so. Park rangers are unsure as to how long the flowers will last, but typically, desert flowers bloom until mid-July. You can catch the Super Bloom in the Badwater Basin off of Highway 178, as well as along Highway 190, near the iconic Sea Level sign. The bloom is moving north and to higher altitudes, so be sure to check in with the Death Valley National Park’s Wildflower Update for more information on where to experience the super bloom.