Death Valley spring has begun!

I had another little drive over to Death Valley today. Rumor had it that the flowers were really starting to POP over there. I was not disappointed. It was more color than I've seen here in FOREVER! Love it!

If you are faint of heart and have a deep seated fear of spiders - do not look below or close your eyes and have some let you know when it's over.
I did not notice as I was half blinded by the sun and far enough away that there were little critters crawling all over the flowers. In fact, I discovered, they were on all of this particular flower!

This lovely purple flower with the infestation of red spiders is known as a Desert Five Spot and is only around (so the lady at the visitor center told me) when there has been a lot of rainfall so this is a super cool treat! The name comes from the spots on the inside of the petals which is just visible on the right. I really wish the book or the nice lady had said something about the spiders.. eeek!

This my lovely little guidebook tells me is Death Valley Phacelia or is at least the closest thing I could find online or in the book. The inner blue was throwing me off, but everything else matched up. If you are going to be in the Death Valley area and want a guide book for the wildflower season, I'd recommend the one on the link above. The photos are real pictures (which is sometimes easier than off of drawings) and so far it's helped me a ton! =)

This last little gem (and I will be returning with a better camera) is the Broad-Leaved Gilia and is very abundant right now as are the other two.

There are many others lurking alongside the road and I'm hoping to convince my dad to make a trip with me so I can take advantage of his camera which is much fancier and does not have an automatic focus with a life of its own! Ahhh.. my little elph should be home in a couple of weeks, but I don't want to miss a thing! =)

Hope that spring is on the way for the rest of you! If not now, then hopefully soon!


Susie said…
Hi, I just happened onto your blog and it looks like you live in Nevada like I do.?

Thank you for the pictures and info on the wildflowers in Death Valley. It's now 2010 and I'm wanting to drive out to Death Valley, from Las Vegas. Not quite sure the best way to go.

Very nicely done.
Jenna said…
Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments!

Thanks also for reminding that it's time for me to start trekking out to Death Valley to check things out.

I do live in Nevada, I'm about an hour west of you in Pahrump. For me the easiest way is to head down highway 372 to Shoshone and go from there.

Death Valley is huge and amazing! For the first time out. I would recommend going to the visitor's center and gathering all the good maps and info.

To get there... hmm.... let me think of a way that will be easy to follow.. You could drive out blue diamond which turns into highway 160 and then head out here to Pahrump (I recommend filling up here since the services in Death Valley are limited and expensive)... take a left at the Walgreens (that's 372) and head right out to Shoshone, CA which is where 372 literally ends. You take a right, and there's about a block or two of town with a little Musuem that also has some info on Death Valley as well and is super cute.

From there to get to the Visitor's Center in Death Valley, you can just stay on that road you came in on (through Shoshone for about 20-25 minutes). There'll be a little town that doesn't look like anyone is there but it has the Amargosa Opera House (which is worth a stop to look around) and a little restaurant now which isn't too bad either.

Right on the other side of Death Valley Junction will be a sign that points to Death Valley, stay on this road and it will take you down in there past a little resort on the hill (take a right there to get to the visitor's center or a left to see Badwater).

So many good things to see... you might want to start with a quick trip in to see where you want to go from there...

We like driving the back way up into Scotty's Castle (up near Beatty) and then back down via Beatty where we stop for lunch or dinner at the casino and see the candy shop (also worth a visit)...

They are definitely alot of day trips that you can do... or stay for an extended time ... there are several RV spots, but I mostly do day trips from here....

Have fun exploring!!!

I'm for certain heading out there in the next couple of weeks to see how the desert blooms are looking, but you can also check this link...

for some additional information.... If I see anything great... I'll be posting pics here for sure and since I know you might check in, I'll add more detail of where I found them... =)
Susie said…
Wow, thank you for all your neat information. That's great.
So you are saying if I fill my car up with gas (not a gas saving car) I can do a day trip on a full tank of gas...ending back in Pahrump?

Really appreciate your help.

Jenna said…
Yup! You sure can! We used about a half tank in our fairly efficient gas burning Toyota Tundra the other day! I'm posting our route in a new post in just a little while... and there are some FABULOUS blooms right now! The best I have seen since I missed the big bloom in 2005.

It's a loop that since you have the extra two hours drive time may make for a longish day, but took us about 4 hours due to a bit of construction once we were down in the bottom of the valley and LOTS of stops for pictures!

I'm going to start working on that new post right now, so it will be finished in a few hours depending on how long it takes to pick out what I HOPE are some amazing pictures!

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