In spring, the desert around Las Vegas likes to shows off its colors. Cacti and desert plants put on a display of gold, white, purple, red, and even a little pink and orange. Stop to study these flowers, and you’ll find beautiful, intricate blossoms.
During about mid-March to late May, a drive to Las Vegas takes you past a desert offering bursts of color. Depending on the rainfall during winter, you may see a spattering of color, or a landscape drenched in swaths of yellow or purple. Keep your eyes peeled. If you can, pull over and take a closer look. Visitors to Las Vegas will find spring a great time of year to explore the Mojave Desert. (Further south, closer to Phoenix, you’ll be in the Sonoran Desert, easily identified by its signature Saguaro Cactus. In the Mojave, look for Joshua Trees.) Temperatures are mild, inviting hikes and drives. When you take off for a day trip to Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, or the Valley of Fire, watch for flowers. If you’re a photographer, be prepared to fiddle with the close-up setting on your camera for a while.
You can visit sites like DesertUSA to check on wildflower reports throughout the Southwest. In some areas, flowers can last throughout the spring and summer, although the hottest summer temperatures send them into hiding. In the early fall, however, you may still catch some blossoms.
If you’d like to know the names of the flowers you’re studying, spend some time with a wildflower guide for the Mojave Desert, or check out the websites for state and national parks and protected areas. Don’t know the difference between a Desert Dandelion and a Desert Marigold? Figuring out the identity of these colorful plants is half the fun.