"If we get another rain," Slater says, "the flower bloom will continue at higher elevations like the Mid Hills," where globe mallow will paint the hillsides orange. The Joshua tree woodland on Cima Dome might sport creamy white blossoms, but Slater notes they do not bloom every year.
Mojave National Preserve, http://www.nps.gov/moja
Ranger Alan Van Valkenburg expects that by mid-March the tiny white sprouts he sees on the floor of Death Valley National Park will become the season's first buds, ushering in a peak bloom later in the month. He says that near Furnace Creek the abundant yellow desert gold will turn the desert into, well, gold.
The purple notch-leaf phacelia will add a colorful counterpoint, one best enjoyed from a distance. "It's a plant that's very beautiful, but don't touch it," Van Valkenburg says. "It can produce a rash much like poison oak."
By the end of April, Van Valkenburg says temperatures will be too hot for most plants.
When the valley floor sizzles and wildflowers withdraw for the year, others come to life elsewhere. "If things work out just right, the bloom might be getting to peak in higher elevations like Emigrant Canyon, Scotty's Castle and Greenwater Valley," Van Valkenburg says.
Death Valley National Park,