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Geology, Commerce and Politics of the Colorado River

Colorado River and the Grand Canyon

Colorado River, Lifeline of the Southwest - The Colorado River and its tributaries flow through the Great Basin, the Sonoran and the Mojave Deserts, providing a vital lifeline to the arid American Southwest. These rivers are also responsible for carving some of the most spectacular natural wonders on the planet! Today the Colorado Basin offers the most diverse outdoor adventure and recreation opportunities in the U.S.

The Colorado River is born at about 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows southwest for 1,470 miles to the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Mexico. It is the international boundary for 17 miles between Arizona and Mexico. Before the construction of a number of dams along its route, it flowed 80 miles through Mexico to the Gulf of California. More...

A Measure of Time

Sculpted window in canyon wall

Canyon de Chelly - I heard a raven call from a nearby grove of cottonwood trees, his insistent crock, crock echoing off the red sandstone walls of Canyon de Chelly, in northeastern Arizona. I could see the first light of the dawn of the summer day shining softly through the walls of our tent. I could hear Martha, my wife, breathing quietly, still asleep. Soon, I heard Gary Henry, a Navajo friend and our guide, begin to build the morning fire. We had camped on his family's land in the canyon, not far from a sheep pen built under a rock overhang where people of the Puebloan Anasazi tradition had painted stars on the roof centuries earlier. More...

It isn’t just good; it’s perfect, the way a cave should be.

Bats leaving the caverns

Chambers of Enchantment - Carlsbad Caverns - Plunk. Water drops heavily onto limestone. Drip, drip, and drip. It splashes into puddles and then spreads into pools. Water lands on your nose. One less droplet to continue a cycle of a half million years, the constant creation of rock curtains and columns within Carlsbad Cavern.

The hole in the ground is the centerpiece of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a slice of the Chihuahuan Desert in the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. The park features one of the most spectacular cave systems in the world. Of the 70+ caverns within the park, only Carlsbad, with 29 miles of underground caverns, and Slaughter Canyon's New Cave, with three miles of caverns, are open to the general public. More...

Gunfight at the OK Corral

Wyatt Earp Mine

Wyatt Earp - Wyatt Earp is best known as the fearless frontier lawman of Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, and as principal survivor of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. But the Marshall Earp of legend accounted for only about 5 years of Wyatt's long and eventful life.

Wyatt spent most of his years traveling and living in the deserts of the Southwest with his four brothers Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren, as well as his wife Josie. His lifelong passion for mining, gambling and sports led him from one boomtown to another across the span of the western frontier and into the 20th century. More...

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DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. The desert is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time in recreational activities. You can camp, hike, bike, fish or just explore this unique environment found only in the American Southwest. DesertUSA has information on national parks, state parks, BLM land, and the Colorado River and its lakes. We also have articles about the cities and towns located in or near the desert regions. Use DesertUSA.com as a resource to explore the many adventures that await you in the desert.


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