‘Most of Us Thought the Lake Would be Gone by October’: Record Rain Is Keeping Death Valley’s Lake Thriving

When most people visit Death Valley National Park, they’re there for the beautiful desert views or to experience the extreme temperatures in one of the hottest places on the planet. However, the latest attraction, a lake, won’t go away, thanks to a stormy few months in California.

According to a new release from the National Park Service, the park has received 4.9 inches of rain in the last six months. Usually, the desert park in California only gets about two inches of rain all year. 

It’s one of the driest places on earth. However, a recent storm that brought flooding to California, combined with last year’s remnants of Hurricane Hilary, has changed the landscape.

Crews working on repairs at the park. (Source: NPS)

Hilary brought widespread damage to the park, and repairs are still ongoing from this past August. The most recent storm closed several roads due to flash flooding. Crews continue to work to reopen all roads in the park, but the weather isn’t making it easy.

The greatest silver lining from the weather is the Badwater Basin lake. The area is usually a salt flat, but all the rain has added a lake to the park.

(Source: NPS)

“Most of us thought the lake would be gone by October,” said park ranger Abby Wines in the press release. “We were shocked to see it still here after almost six months. This week’s rain will extend how long the lake is here. It’s too shallow to kayak in, but it makes amazing reflections of the mountains.”

Besides all the rain, some higher-elevation areas of the park also saw snow this year.

If Death Valley National Park is on your bucket list, now seems like an amazing time to visit.

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