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National Parks: Death Valley National Park

It’s hard to believe Death Valley didn’t become a National Park until 1994. The park is home to much of the same remarkable variations in scenery and history as other parks that gained their National park status decades earlier. Death Valley is, of course, primarily known for its inhospitable climate which is why this year’s super bloom is especially notable.  The unusually wet winter (that is, by desert standards) ushered in a growing season that hasn’t been seen in a long time in Death Valley. The rain gave way to a display of beautiful wildflowers that are currently blanketing the valley floor.  Given how rare this super bloom phenomenon is, combined with the fact that it gave me an opportunity to check another National Park off my list, I jumped at the chance to fly out for a few days and photograph. I knew I had a small window to photograph the super bloom but when I called the park ahead of my trip, I was surprised when the Ranger told me to “get there fast because we have no idea how long this is going to last.” Over the course of three days, I tried to see as much as I could of the roughly 8500 square mile park. On one day, I was laying on the salt encrusted floor of Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level and later that afternoon was sitting 6483 feet above at Aguereberry Point watching the sun set. In that time I also visited Rhyolite, an abandoned mining town on the edge of the park, got lost in several canyons, slept in a car to capture a sunrise, hung out with some native death valley lizards, and of course, appreciated the beautiful flowers that I may not get to see again in my lifetime.

Enjoy the photos! Captured here are the following locations in Death Valley National Park: Rhyolite, Aguereberry point, Zabriskie point, Titus Canyon, Golden Canyon, The Devil’s Golf Course, The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Amaragosa Range

wildflowers of the death valley super bloom. Photo by ben Weldon of Ben Weldon PhotographyMesquite sand flats at death valley national park at sunset. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographyvisitors take selfies on the devils golf course at the base of the armadas range in death valley national park. Photo by ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographyremains of a building in the ghost town of rhyolite near death valley national park. Photo by ben Weldon of Ben Weldon PhotographyThe mesquite flat Sand Dunes a Death Valley. Photo by ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographysalt floor of Badwater Basin in Death Valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon PhotographySunset over the mesquite flat sand dunes in Death Valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographywildflowers of death valley during the super bloom. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon PhotographyEntrance to Golden Canyon at Death Valley National Park. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographychuckwalla in titus canyon at death valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographythe trail along golden canyon at death valley national park. Photo by Ben Weldon Photographyvegetation along aguereberry point in death valley national park. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographydried and cracked mud in golden canyon at death valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographyview from the exit of golden canyon at death valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographydeath-valley_015titus canyon path and walls in death valley. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographysunset at aguereberry point in death valley national park. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photographydeath valley sun setting at aguereberry point. Photo by Ben Weldon of Ben Weldon Photography

 

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