The trick for finding the right place in the desert to see plenty of wildflower blooms amounts to figuring out where the flowering plants are likely to grow. Areas where warm temperatures, sunshine and moisture combine will yield better results and it does not take much of this combination to make it all happen in the desert. An inch of rainfall in the desert goes a long way, as far as the number of spring wildflowers blooms are concerned.
Warm temperatures, sunshine and moisture is the magic combination that triggers massive desert wildflower blooms. In the desert, most of the rainfall occurs near mountain ranges, so the elevation is another factor. It seems like some of the most abundant wildflower blooms happen between 3,000 and 4,500 feet above sea level on the mountain slopes. This is especially true if there are dry wash ravines running down the slope, because this is where storm water flows and seepage will likely later occur.
Gold Butte National Monument has the right environmental conditions for good spring season wildflower flushes in one particular section between the Gold Butte Road entrance point to the Whitney Pocket landmark. Along this section of dirt road is where the tall mountains overlook the Virgin River basin and there are hundreds of dry wash ravines that are at just the right elevation for desert wildflower blooms. Most of the delicate wildflower blooms can be seen in the small dry wash ravines that run down the slope. The cactus blooms dominate this area and these plants tend to be found on the high ground above the dry wash ravines. After a wet winter, the cactus will continue to bloom into early summer.
Gold Butte Road is a rough dirt road, so only high ground clearance vehicles should attempt the trip. When going south of Whitney Pocket toward Gold Butte Ghost town there are far fewer wildflower blooms to be seen, because the vegetation is more sparse. South of Whitney Pocket, the dirt road also gets rougher. For this reason, the sweet spot between the entrance and Whitney Pocket definitely is the place to go for a colorful day out in the desert. The majestic views of Whitney Pocket definitely are a fitting reward for those who take the time to admire the Gold Butte National Monument wildflower show!
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