A storm squall runs across the desert has a streak of light breaks through the clouds.

Later in the early morning I wake to the sound of rain drops pattering on the canopy of my tent along with some wind that rustles the fabric of the shelter. Taking a gamble that I can get a photo session in at badwater basin with the rain that has accumulated it should have created a layer of water over the salt flats. Making a move out of furnace creek and towards badwater road but right by the entrance there are signs stationed along the street stating closed due to flooding, oh boy I think that is going to be an inconvenience. Opting quickly for a plan b I’m going to take a chance the cloud cover over the valley will look dramatic and decide to head towards Dante’s Peak has I drive up Furnace Creek Rd only to realize that too has now been closed from flooding, this should be interesting.

A dark mysterious sunrise occurs following a heavy rain in Death Valley National Park.

So where too now I think and opt to head to an overlook on Scottys castle rd that has a view of the mesquite sand dunes and also down the valley in either direction. The rain has stopped enough to fire up the stove for water and tea which will give me some time to regroup on what to do next. In the time waiting here the day begins to come in and the landscape begins to emerge from the shadows ever more slightly. As the storm is slowly pushing out it brings with it some great clouds and a cool rain squall that is getting a touch of light has it crosses the desert in the distance. Sitting here for awhile and enjoying the view and even taking a nap, it was warmer and drier in the truck than the tent, to pass the time while waiting to see when the roads will clear.

The clouds break and reveal the unique landscape.

For the rest of the morning I spend some time just driving around enjoying the magnificent views of the park. By midday clouds are breaking and  there is a few photo opportunities in the valley while waiting for backwater road to open up. Eventually they do allow access on the road up until golden canyon so off for a quick hike and to check out some of the structures. After I comeback it feels like more of the road is open and I opt to head to Artists Palette has theres a chance the rain has strengthened the colors of the clay. Once up on the top of artists pallets overlook it is easy to see that rain has created a little more liveliness to the pastel colored earth. 

The rain helped to make the colors pop on this fun shape inside Artist Palette.

There is still some daylight left and after getting several photos I’m happy with it’s time to find a good sunset experience. Once again just as it was the previous day as I’m driving down artists palette I can see a rainbow starting to emerge above Arsmojas Range. Being right next to Westside Rd I take the turn in search of finding a good foreground for the rainbow that is settling into the mountains delivering its pot of gold. Upon arriving out the small salt flats on westside road there is another photographer equally excited about the rainbow and composition where sharing and we both marvel at the show that is in front of us. We take pictures until both rainbows, there ended up being a double display of color, disappear and then switch onto the sunset which is chill but doesn’t quite live up to the excitement of the rainbow scenery.

A rainbow shows off in the distance after a rain storm clears in Death Valley National Park.

After chatting with the other photographer for awhile has its getting dark a hiker emerges from down the road. She said she just hiked 20 miles after getting caught in the rain last night and is looking for a ride back to furnace creek. Sure I say hop in and so she does and we engage in brief conversation about life and things. Turns out she is a former biologist and photographer herself now author, I wish I could remember the name of the book, be she was working on a piece about hiking through some of north americas deserts. After giving here a ride back to furnace creek I drop her off at the store and head back to camp for the night satisfied with the day.

Sunset form westside road at the tail end of quite a day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap