California’s Death Valley is usually a desolate environment, as the name implies, but this winter has arrived a spectacular wildflower display that is amazing even long time visitors and park rangers. 

Chalk it up to another in the ongoing effects of an El Nino year. Wildflowers in Death Valley National Park, located in east of the Sierra Nevada mountains on a plain of high desert, are not unusual. 

Blooms of color dart the fields here every year, but what is unusual is the size and number of wildflowers this year. Not since 2005, another El Nino year, has the park seen such splendor. 

What does it take for conditions to be just right?

The park service says well-spaced rainfall throughout the winter and spring, sufficient warmth from the sun and a lack of drying winds. This year delivered the right conditions, but there has been some wind lately, so best to get out while you can. 

If you would like to visit Death Valley to view the wildflowers, the Park Service has more information here and here.

Photo credit: Alan Van Valkenburg, National Park Service