On my second day in Death Valley, as I drove further north to slightly higher elevations, I noticed that the fields of gold had become fields of yellow. The flowers looked different, too (as much as I could tell at 50 mph). So of course I had to pull over and take a closer look.
The vast expanses of desert gold had become less-dense expanses of yellowcups, aka golden evening-primrose, Chylismia brevipes (formerly Camissonia brevipes; Onagraceae). They can stand nearly as tall as desert gold, but are generally shorter and more wispy in appearance. If you look closely you’ll see a tiny red dot at the base of each petal, an identifying characteristic of this species.
Yellowcups are native to the deserts of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.