A Wet Death Valley

[We went back to Death Valley 3 months after this post for the 2016 wildflower bloom. See my article for a photo journey through the wildflowers!]

Final stop! It was too wet to climb in our last week in Red Rocks near Vegas, but we were lucky enough to hit rain in one of the hottest places on Earth. Rainy Death Valley landscapes are rare, but they've had a couple good floods this season and the wildflowers are already blooming. We're following along the super bloom updates for a return trip in a couple months.

Temps were in the comfortable low 60s during the day around sea level. The park's elevation varies from -282ft to over 9000ft, and with a ton of campsites, the most we've seen at a national park, you can be comfortable somewhere.

Death Valley rain

Ubehebe Crater

Below, Ubehebe crater's somewhere beyond the clouds. We'll see it in a couple months.
Death Valley rain

Zabriskie point

Death Valley Zabriskie point

Titus canyon

Death Valley titus canyon

Devil's Cornfield

Death Valley devil's cornfield

Artist's Palette

Death Valley artist's palette

The 5-mile Golden Canyon-Gower Gulch-Zabriskie point loop

Death Valley zabriskie point hike Death Valley zabriskie point hike Death Valley zabriskie point hike Death Valley zabriskie point hike

Devil's Golf Course

It's the Devil's Golf Course since only the devil could play on such terrain. It's about 1-2ft hard salt mounds with pointy tips that you can walk on. Just don't fall! That'd sting!
Death Valley devil's golf course

Badwater salt flats

Here you'll stand at the lowest place in North America at -282ft. It's normally dry with hexagonal mounds like honeycomb, but this season's rains have washed them away.
Death Valley badwater salt flats after rain Death Valley after rain

Dante's Peak

Below, view of the salt flat and Devil's Golf Course from Dante's Peak.
Death Valley dante's peak

You can even see light reflecting off of the temporary rivers of water!
Death Valley dante's peak

Approaching Wildflower bloom

Thousands of just-budding flowers everywhere. See my photo post on the wildflowers of the 2015 bloom.
Death Valley wildflowers

And so we're home after almost 14k miles on the road in 3 months! The transition back was surprisingly easy. More to come--I've got time now that I'm laid up in bed in surgery recovery for the next couple weeks!