View Full Version : Which: One Night in Death Valley or Joshua Tree?
In about a week a non-photographer friend has decided to run to DV to see the spring bloom and I may join him for the two day, one night (Sunday) visit. OTOH, I may be able to convince him to head to JT if that area is now showing better color.
I know it's getting a bit late, but having never been to either park, I'm curious to at least see the place even if I will have precious little time to do much shooting.
If you could visit only one, would it be DV or JT? And which location(s) in these parks do you feel are best bets for wildflower displays given this stage of the season?
We'll be motelling it, so any good suggestions for a decent place to stay are welcome.
You can get the latest about both parks (and other wildflower locations) at The Wildflower Hotline.
Sounds like the title in a Country and Western song.
They're tremendously different places, and if you're going on the basis of wildflowers, stick with Death Valley.
Take bread crumbs.
JT is not late yet. But if you have never been in DV I would suggest DV instead of JT.
Joshua Tree is great but Death Valley is sublime.
I have not been to Joshua Tree but I go out to Death Valley about every third week to visit a client. While the spring flowers this year are truly a once in a lifetime event I would not recommend going if you expect to experience solitude and and an atmosphere for contemplative photography. Ever since the bloom has really started to peak it has been more of a rock concert/college football game atmosphere in the park. On my last visit, two weeks ago, I counted no fewer than 45 large format photographers in the short span from Morman Point to the turnout for Artists Drive. This is not to throw in the countless medium and 35mm photographers, the kayakers in the lake at Badwater, the RV motorcades, the fleets of bicyclists, etc, and if I were going out to photograph, the people just standing around out in the flowers.
Now, in all fairness, the pressure may be down some and I would recommend that you call the information line listed on the NPS website to find out how busy the park is. You may have dificulty getting lodging in the park as well. They had been at 100% capacity for some time with the wildflowers. I would also ask the Ranger for what altitude the bloom is currently at. Ideally, you want the peak to be below 2000 feet which would still keep it in the region of the valley floor. Above that and the bloom will be up in the mountains and may not have the impact you are after.
I don't expect to go back out for another week or two, but I'll see if my client can give me some insight. Feel free to ask if you have other questions regarding the park.
My intention was to witness the spectacular spring wildflower blooms so I appreciate your steering me in the DV direction, Michael, John and Steve.
I was aware of the calphoto site, Jim, it's very good; as is http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html. Check out the photo of Carrizo Plains on their start page.
As it turns out, I am unable to get the necessary day off from work so I will not make it to DV after all. However, given your frank discription, Kevin, of the hordes of people there it seems that I would not be doing much communing with nature; but I appreciate your candid accounting and suggestions.
I just got back from JT Wednesday night. For flowers, it is wonderful. Lots of color and variety as you drive down towards Cottonwood. I went with 3 botanical types and there were having a field day. For JT, it is amazing. I was in DV 7 weeks ago and the lower section was in full bloom as can be noted at desertusa.com. I think now that the main part of the valley is past its prime, but the higher elevations should be good. This is why JT is good, because of higher elevations. Of course much of the desert has wildflowers. The drive to JT was beautiful out by Edwards AFB, etc.
Weather in JT early in the week was cold. Frost on the sleeping bag. Warmed up later, but nights still cool.
Also went to to areas west of King City. These had great variety. Highway 58 is good. Coast by Hearst Castle hasn't really started, as it was just very green. A few lupines. Carrizo Plain is good for poppies and lupine and tidy tips and gold fields. There are some absolutely amazing areas nearby, the best ever. These are areas where vistas are solid color.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.