The Mohave Desert’s “super bloom,” born of the brief but heavy El Niño rain storms that swept across parts of California earlier this month, is a sight unseen for more than 11 years.
Death Valley National Park officials say the magic only happens after a natural confluence of meteorological conditions like the one that just occurred, briefly turning Death Valley into a valley of life.
Golden Desert Sunflowers in bloom currently carpet the rolling hills of Badwater Basin, located in the national park, just off Highway 178. There, other wildflowers of different colors have taken root and are also blooming, treating onlookers to Technicolor oceans of yellow, purple and pink set against the gray skies of early March and one of the most treacherous and barren landscapes in the world. Depending on weather conditions, park rangers believe this bloom may last until mid-July — when temperatures could reach as high as 120 degrees.
In the meantime, wildflowers have bloomed in the desert town of Tecopa, a four-hour drive north of Los Angeles on interstate 15, to Highway 127. Here, Delight’s Hot Springs Resort is a great place to relax and rejuvenate, offering rustic cabins, hotel rooms and suites that are just steps away from the renowned Tecopa Hot Springs Baths. Many visitors say the mineral waters here are healing, with just one or two soaks in the private pools proving their claims.
Shoshone, just north of Tecopa on Highway 127, is another old gold mining town where time takes a holiday. Here stands the Shoshone Museum, at one time a bank, a boarding house for gold miners, a school house, and a gas station. Photographs and tools from this era are housed here, along with dinosaur bones found in the area.
A 1937 Chevy covered in rust sits in front of the museum, first parked there when the building was a gas station in the early 1950s — testimony to the authentic charm of a place that moves at its own speed.
Delight’s Hot Springs Resort is located at 368 Tecopa Hot Springs Road, Tecopa, California, 92389. For more information, call (800) 928-8808 or visit delightshotspringsresort.com.