[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.
Below, Ubehebe crater's somewhere beyond the clouds. We'll see it in a couple months.
The 5-mile Golden Canyon-Gower Gulch-Zabriskie point loop
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!
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.
Below, view of the salt flat and Devil's Golf Course from Dante's Peak.
You can even see light reflecting off of the temporary rivers of water!
Approaching Wildflower bloom
Thousands of just-budding flowers everywhere. See my photo post on the wildflowers of the 2015 bloom.
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!