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Visit Death Valley Now, the Desert is Blooming!

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POST UPDATE: With the National Park Service Centennial this year, the Park Service expects record crowds to all our parks, especially during summer vacation season. Death Valley is a park best visited before summer, as I explain in this TV interview. at the top of this post.

Death Valley in “super bloom” of a generation

If you need a further nudge for a spring visit to Death Valley National Park, this video from the Park Service even wets our whistles for a possible “super bloom” of wildflowers, a rare occurrence. It will all be over by May, so don’t delay!

I love Death Valley, and as I said in the interview with WBTV-Bounce, I’d recommend entering the park from the Nevada side, where there is fascinating human history, from both the gold rush days and the dawn of the nuclear age.

If you come from the California side, be sure to visit the ghost town of Rhyolite and the history museum in Beatty, both in Nevada.

This rest of this article was originally posted on March 31, 2013. 

Lost in Death Valley, after dark, with an inaccurate map

Death Valley Chuckwalla

Traveling with my parents in Death Valley National Park after sunset, we took a gravel road that was designed to cross the park. However, we found that it was completely unmarked, which left us to our own devices.

Fork left or right?

Our choices ended up in a cul de sac so we retraced our route back to tarmac some 70 miles away before we would run out of gas.

Whew! What an adventure!

Remember, the difference between an adventure and a catastrophe is whether you live to tell about it. Click the “podcast play button” at the top of this post to listen to a morning-after debrief with my parents at Mel’s Diner in Beatty, NV. You won’t want to miss it!  We all love the way Dad’s Subaru Forester handled the task, as you’ll hear, and Mom sings the praises of BioFreeze for her aching back. My parents are such good sports!

Here’s a video my mom took through the windshield.

Lost in Death Valley after sunset from TamelaRich on Vimeo.

About Tamela Rich

Avatar for Tamela Rich
Tamela has extensively traveled the U.S. and Canada, delivering her message to Pack Light | Travel Slow | Connect Deep. Her keynotes and workshops include life lessons she has learned through chance encounters on the road.

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  • jweaving

    Thank you for sharing this! This reminds me of a ‘birthday hike’ a year ago in Cold Springs, NY. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for us. The “short hike” became the longest most disorienting I’d ever been on, with temperatures dropping at/slightly below freezing (something we were not prepared for). I can relate to the difficulty of finding reference points and frustrations with maps. It certainly was something we also experienced. We finally submitted to calling for the rangers, and with our great luck — the rangers whose duty it was for the mountain we were on… just happened to both have the night off. Needless to say, it added for a higher level of adventure with a set of rescuers trying to locate two people just as foreign to the landscape in the pitch black dark, each of us armed with only whistles and our voices… and us with a dying cellphone. 🙂 Certainly a birthday for **me** to remember.

  • Jason, you are such a brave global traveler. I always say “The difference between an adventure and a tragedy is whether you live to tell the tale” and isn’t it true that we talk far more about the adventures than the days that go 100% to plan?