I recently learned of the Super Desert Bloom that happens once a decade or so in Death Valley, California. Southern Nevada residents have been extremely blessed with warm weather during the month of February, 2016. Our average temperatures for February reached mid 70's "happy dance!" A couple of weeks ago while viewing the morning news I heard the story about the seasonal "super bloom" in Death Valley, California. Because of the warm climate and El Nino the desert floor in Death Valley has blossomed magnificent happy yellow desert flowers that carpet the south desert floor just as you approach Badwater Basin. Anxious to see such a wonder I ventured out in search of this happenstance that occurs once every ten years. I must confess my alpha male tendacy… as I started out from Target on Eastern and Silverado Ranch Road I set my location using Google Maps for Death Valley National Park, CA. I was instructed to head North out of the parking lot then turn left onto Silverado Ranch Road. That had to be wrong! I have only lived in Southern California where I was born and Las Vegas, Nevada since 1976. How many times had I seen the Death Valley exit off Interstate 15 over my life. So of course I ignored Google and proceeded south on Eastern where I turned right onto Saint Rose Parkway because in my mind I would take I-15 South toward Los Angeles. No less than 5 minutes Google directed me off I-15 South at the Sloan exit and had me U-Turn to head North on I-15. What!!! I had to pull over and swipe the map directions where ultimately I learned the route was directing me toward Blue Diamond towards Pahrump, NV. "Oh, I see!" Okay Google I said to myself I will try it your way and so I did! The route was picturesque and charming. The last time I drove to Pahrump was about eight years ago, the highway was under construction. Bravo Nevada Department of Transportation "NDOT" the road is smooth that leg took about 40 minutes. Once in Pahrump you will cruise the main drag on State Route 160 turn right on Bella Vista for about 23 miles then right for a few yards and left on to State Route 190 for another 20 plus miles. On this final leg "eureka" I began to see gorgeous blossoms, cars were pulled over and photographer enthusiats were everywhere shuttering away. I stopped a few times, then at the kiosk to purchase a $20 park entry pass (call it a donation later discovered didn't seem to need it). Google directed me to turn right toward Furnace Creek Visitor Information Center. I asked to find the best flower location and was told to head south toward Badwater Basin which took about 20 minutes as many tourists were out. If you want to bypass the visitor information center turn left.
Badwater is interesting too! The desert floor at Badwater Salt Flat has formed crusts of salt crystals. From the road it was as if the pedastrians were walking on air…surreal. Eventually I began to head North toward the direction I entered the park. Not to be missed is Artists Palette on the east. Cars longer than 25 feet are not recommended to take this one way road. The mountains in the backdrop tremendous hues of green, purple, shades of cream and tan. My old sony 35 mm camera nor my iphone 6 came close to capturing these scenic multi-hued hills. Truly spectacular! My Sunday drive was one for my personal history book filled with amazement of God's country.
Living in Las Vegas, Nevada offers more than the world famous Strip! Scenic Death Valley National Park is only a 2 hour ride away. Camp, hike, bike ride where permitted. To click here to search homes for sale in Southwest Las Vegas