PSR Visit
A blast of cold, wet weather surprised Death Valley over the weekend and dumped snow in at least the Panamint and Inyo Mountains, if not in other higher elevations of the Death Valley National Park.  The year to date rain total at Furnace Creek also raised from a quarter inch to .31 inch.

Don't look for it to stay long, however, as temperatures are already starting to warm to season norms.  All it takes is one patch of bare ground to start showing through, and before long the rest will be gone.

However, for those currently visiting Death Valley, the cooler weather provides another opportunity to hike the low elevations comfortably, as well as one last opportunity to pelt a loved one with a snowball this year.  As one Park employee put it, "Today we enjoy perfect weather" in Death Valley.

On April 21st, we visited the Southern Inyo Mountains on the edge of Death Valley National Park and only made it to about the 9000 foot level before heavy, knee-deep snow impeded our  progress.  I expect it'll be another two weeks before the Swansea-Cerro Gordo road is again fully passable.

Death Valley is back to its usual form, claiming the nation's highest temperatures during the entire first week in April, reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit on April 4th.

Death Valley was last the nation's hot spot back in mid-March when it claimed the top temperature for seven of eight consecutive days.  During that spell the highest temperature was 102 recorded on March 16th.

The return of hot temperatures to the region prompts us to remind visitors of the need to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water during your stay.  This is just the start of the hot season, as during the summer months between June and September temperatures can exceed 120 degrees every day, occasionally for weeks at a time.

Now is a terrific time to explore the mid to higher elevations.  Day time temperatures there are still quite comfortable for hiking, while evenings are still cool enough for a light jacket around the campfire.

If you are visiting Death Valley be sure to consult the Morning Report issued daily by Death Valley National Park.  You can find an easy link to the Morning Report on our top and left side menus.
Firefighters recently fought a brush fire in the Gold Valley area of Greenwater Valley. One source estimated that as much as 3000 acres burned on April 15, and another source reported that an aircraft was being used to helpt contain the fire.

The fire is burned immediately adjacent to where another brush fire occurred last year. The source of this fire is under investigation.

We urge visitors to be especially careful with fires and cigarettes at their campsites as conditions are very dry and very windy.

If you're looking hoping for a repeat of recent spring blooms in Death Valley, I'm sorry to say that it won't be this year.  It takes big, late winter rains to launch the flowers, and this year the heart of Death Valley has received but a quarter inch of rain this year.  There's no magic number that I know of when it comes to how much rain will result in a bloom, but something tells me it's got to be more than a quarter of an inch.

However, the least I can do is leave you with a look at one of Death Valley's famous Spring bloom from last year.

 No Spring Bloom in Death Valley this Year

Death Valley Area News
The latest news from inside Death Valley National Park