Something unusual is going on in Death Valley, where NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews was dispatched over the weekend.
Rangers in the area say they haven’t seen it like this in more than a decade: A massive bloom of wildflowers is carpeting large swaths of the desert basin, gradually moving up into the canyons. Their beauty can be seen along highway 190 as you drive in from the west.
But Matthews says it’s from Furnace Creek south along Badwater Road that the “super bloom” is at it’s most spectacular. The further south, the better the view.
Roughly 35 miles south of Furnace Creek, the road is closed due to flash flood damage. Although the damage is severe, it is likely responsible for the dramatic and beautiful flower show lining the highway.
If you can spare the time, driving the backroads from Death Valley to Joshua Tree through places like Amboy and Kelso will also reward you with another big bloom.
Joshua Trees in the national park are just starting to show their enormous white clusters, while in Tehachapi yellow fiddlenecks and golden poppies paint the green hills.
It is certainly a banner year for wildflowers.