Two days in Death Valley

In March, I flew to Los Angeles for 10 days to visit Adrienne. And we had heard about this supposed "Super Bloom" that was happening in Death Valley. This is when the desert erupts in wildflowers due to above-average rainfall and this year is the first time in 11 years that Death Valley has had one. Only five hours from L.A., we were not about to miss it.

Well. We didn't do a lot of research on what Death Valley was like... And we were SO GLAD that we didn't, because our minds were BLOWN. Gotta say, the super bloom, while very cool, was the least awesome thing about Death Valley. We were pretty sure we'd traveled to Mars by accident. There were dunes and craters and salt flats and mountains. It was UNREAL. No joke.

One of the coolest places we've ever been, which is why I've written a lot more than usual within the photographs. So check out some photos below, but to be honest... They just don't do it justice.

The Super Bloom!

Different species of flowers bloom during different times during a super bloom depending on the weather experienced that spring and also the elevation. We saw yellow ones during our stay (Yes, yellow. Very specific and scientific.) But during the spring they also get white, purple, and red.

Feel our stoke.

Badwater

This is one of the only places in Death Valley to naturally find water. It's called Badwater because a surveyor once couldn't get his mule to drink the water and he literally said, "This is bad water." The name stuck. It's so creative, right? ;) But the water isn't poisonous, it's just super salty because, ya know, it's in a salt flat. Badwater is also the lowest point in the continental U.S. at 282.2 feet below sea level. Neat!

The Salt Flats

Badwater is the lowest point in the 9,000 square mile basin of Death Valley. Faraway rains bring temporary floods and lots of minerals from the mountains. The salt crystals literally push through the cracks in the mudflat to form strange patterns. But Badwater isn't the only salt flat. There are tons in the area.

Desert Holly! A thriving plant in Death Valley.

The Artist's Palette... A viewing spot known for its rich colors, especially at sunset.

My girl.

We camped one night in Death Valley. The view from our tent was beautiful.

This was our camping expectation when we left for Death Valley.

And this was our reality! A small piece of advice if you want to go see a super bloom... Get a tent site early! We ended up in an overflow RV lot. But it wasn't the end of the world.

Super Bloom flowers

Devil's Cornfield

Going to Death Valley in early spring meant the heat felt great! Low 80s during the day and upper 50s at night. I was seriously soaking up the rays, guys. But it's so hot in the summer that they close down the campsites! It's typically 110-120 degrees fahrenheit during summer days and often won't drop below 100 at night. This happens because it's truly a valley and there isn't anywhere for the heat to go.

One of the last things we did in Death Valley was visit Ubehebe Crater. It's fairly "young" at 2,000 years old and was created by a volcanic explosion that threw rocks over six square miles. It's 500 feet deep and about a half mile across.

The hike out of the crater was no small task. Asthma attack-inducing for me. Literally. Nothing like feeling as if you're gonna die in Death Valley ;)

Snake Path? We'll pass, but thanks, haha.

Death Valley has sand dunes. What? Yeah. I wish I remembered more about the dunes and how they form. But I DO remember that they are held by the roots of desert trees. These root systems also provide habitats for tons of desert creatures, like kangaroo rats. Nope, not your typical rat. We saw one and it was SO CUTE. Look it up!

The drive to and from Death Valley from L.A. was spectacular. Views for miles. And no cell signal for hours! An excellent way to disconnect.

What a trip, y'all. Would definitely go again.


KATHLEEN

SAUNDERS