Death Valley comes alive with 'superbloom' of wildflowers

Story highlights

  • Death Valley National Park has a rare bloom of wildflowers
  • There hasn't been a "superbloom" in the desert park since 2005

(CNN)Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest places on Earth, is experiencing a rare occurrence fit for the record books.

Despite its inhospitable climate, the below-sea-level basin in Furnace Creek, California -- about 150 miles west of Las Vegas -- is now teeming with millions of blooming wildflowers.
The desert valley hasn't seen this many blooms since 2005 because the area receives very little rain, with an annual average of 2 inches. Summer temperatures in the valley, which contains the lowest point in the United States, can sizzle to approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit, with a nighttime low about 90 degrees.
    Death Valley's colorful flower blanket began budding due to a perfect combination of the elements: periodic rainfall, solar warmth and reduced winds. El Niño, a climate cycle, has also brought more rain than usual to the valley.
    The array of colorful flowers includes the pale white gravel ghost and the staple desert gold, which turns the valley floor into a sea of yellow.