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DesertUSA is a guide to the American Southwest. Our stories feature topics ranging from rockhounding and boating to desert parks and unique points of interest. DesertUSA’s content includes in depth information about the natural history of the desert regions of the United States.
Four Drives into the Heart of Desert Wildflower Country
If you’re sensitive to the rhythms of the desert, you’ll know that the period from March to mid-April is a time when a special kind of natural magic can occur. All through February, if the gentle winter rains have arrived on schedule, wildflowers have been peeking their heads up out of the sandy soil, reluctant to expose themselves to the still chilly air. Now, with the increasing temperatures and longer daylight of early spring, perennials and annuals burst forth, making a spectacular show in particularly abundant years. Read more…
East Jesus – Salvation Mountain – The Water Tanks
A few miles east of Niland, California, is an area know as the Slabs. The Slabs have been referred to both as “the last free place on earth” and an “anarchist RV town.” The site was the location of Camp Dunlap, a U.S. Marine Corps base activated on October 15, 1942 as a training facility during World War II. Camp Dunlap was used to train the artillery and anti-aircraft units of the Fleet Marine Force. In October 1961, the United States Department of Defense conveyed the land on which Camp Dunlap was situated back to the State of California. All of the former buildings at Camp Dunlap were removed. The remaining slabs however, were not removed, and became what is now called Slab City. Read more…
Joshua Tree Blooms
Joshua trees need a special moth and freezing winter temperatures to propagate. While the lower desert is beginning to bloom with its flowers rooted in the desert sand, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is starting to bloom in a most unusual way. You must make a trip to see this, these are the Joshua tree blooms. The Joshua trees, the sentinels of the Mojave Desert, are just beginning to show their glory. Read more …
The gray fox is the only member of the dog family that can climb trees, usually to seek refuge or in search of roosting birds. It can reach a speed of 28 mph for short distances and has lived for up to 10 years in captivity; longevity in the wild is probably much shorter. The gray fox is smaller in size than the coyote — usually 32 to 45 inches long, and weighs 7 to 11 pounds. Read more…
- Mather Campground road improvement project to continue this summer within Grand Canyon National Park
- Mile-and-a-Half Rest House composting toilet facility on Bright Angel Trail closed March 18-April 6 2022
- Manzanar to Host Community Volunteer Day March 3rd 2022
- Upcoming Civil War Virtual Lecture Series 2022 at Pecos NP in New Mexico
Critter Cam Trail Footage
The secret lives of animals.
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do with your kids, check out our “Break-at-Home” geode kits. This hands on rockhounding experience is a great way for kids to learn about geology, how geodes are formed and to experience the excitement of discovery when they break one open. Learn more about “Break-at-Home” geodes.
An adventure through time. Explore the route used by pioneers on their way to California. The Mojave Road lets your SUV act as a time machine, guiding you on a trail that stretches for 138 miles through country virtually unchanged since prehistoric times. Learn more about the Mojave Road Guide by Dennis Casebier.
Southwest Taffy Cactus Chews are manufactured by Cerreta Candy Company, located in Arizona. The delicious taffy flavors are inspired by prickly pear, jumping cholla and saguaro cacti. The Prickly Pear Taffy is pink, the Saguaro Blossom Taffy is yellow and the Jumpin’ Cholla Taffy is light green. Shop for Taffy