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Anasazi - Hohokam - Mogollon - Sinagua

Pueblo Bonito

The Puebloan Legacy - From the Colorado Plateau and upper Rio Grande drainage, southward across New Mexico and Arizona into northern Mexico, the Puebloan peoples have left the most distinctive and complex prehistoric and historic Native American legacy of our western deserts.

Collectively, the Puebloans represent the culmination of tens of thousands of years of cultural and social evolution. It began with Ice Age nomadic big game hunting, and as our climate warmed, progressed to a more systematic game hunting and plant gathering. Later a more stable yet simple village life and rudimentary agriculture was established until, finally, late in the first millennium, elaborate Puebloan standing-wall and, often, multistory communities and more advanced agricultural practices were developed. More...

Faro originated in France around 1713

The Delta Saloon

Faro - Card Game of the Southwest - Today, the card game known as faro is all but forgotten, but when America was young – before windsurfing, Packard automobiles, computers, Hoover Dam, the Scopes “monkey” trial, Route 66 or wind farms in the desert had ever been mentioned – faro was the most popular card game in the country. On the frontier, from Deadwood to Tijuana, from Reno to Langtry, from New Orleans to St. Louis and countless places in between, the faro table was a familiar sight and sound to virtually all persons who hung out in saloons.

So popular was the game that faro gaming tables could be found in just about every saloon in every frontier town. Draw poker (“bluff” or “bluff poker” as it was called back then) was actually a rarity on the frontier until the late 1870’s. In contrast, almost every saloon featured at least one faro table, particularly during the Gold Rush period from 1849 to 1890. In 1882, a New York Police Gazette study estimated that more money was wagered on faro in the U. S. each year, than on all other forms of gambling combined. More...

Salvation Mountain

Leonard Knight

Leonard Knight - The mountain is called Salvation Mountain and the man who built it is named Leonard Knight. It took 25 years of hard labor, endless buckets of adobe clay, 100,000+ gallons of paint, 1000s of hay bales and one man with unwavering faith to build a mountain. This mountain has earned the recognition of The Discovery Channel, Ripley's Believe It or Not and National Geographic. It is not an ordinary mountain and the man who built it was not an ordinary man.

Salvation Mountain is located in a remote area near Niland, CA, between the Salton Sea and the Chocolate Mountains, in a place called Slab City. Some might call Salvation Mountain a work of art, while others may call it a work of faith, but to Leonard it was his life's work and purpose. More...

An airplane rolled in well above a girl on a bicycle

Airplane at Slab City

The Airplane Man of Slab City - Very little out of the ordinary happens here at Slab City, in southern California’s Sonoran Desert, because the “out of the ordinary” happens all the time.  A wintertime community of some 3000 unconventional snowbirds and other restless souls, Slab City blossoms in the winter among the building slabs of the U. S. Navy’s long-abandoned Camp Dunlap.  It is located about four miles east of Niland, eight miles east of Salton Sea, immediately west of Coachella Canal and a tree, south of Sidewinder Cove and north of Outback Country and a tree.  On a clear day – and most of them are clear – you can see Salvation Mountain with its monumental religious art.  In the distance, to the northeast, you can see the Chocolate Mountains.  While there are no RV services at Slab City, you don’t have to pay anything to park there. 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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