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.

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Chloride, AZ

California Wolf Center – Julian, CA

Mexican Gray Wolves

Wolves are wild carnivores, members of the dog family (Canidae). They are believed to be ancestors of the domestic dog, which evolved separately more than 20,000 years ago. Lack of wolves is one of the reasons why the coyote population has been expanding rapidly over the last 50 years. I had never seen a wolf up close, so I decided to visit some who are kept in a wolf preserve, the California Wolf Center, near Julian, California.
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©lara hartley

His good friend Horace Bell called him a “most polished gentleman” and a “natural lunatic.” Whichever label fit, 36-year-old William David Bradshaw knew opportunity when he saw it. Powell Weaver, a well-known scout and trapper, had found gold at a place called La Paz on January 12, 1862. Weaver’s strike lay on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, about 250 miles east of Los Angeles. Bradshaw knew that the inevitable stampede of Argonauts – many of them refugees from the exhausted gold mines to the north – would need a new, more direct trail east from the Los Angeles area across the desert to reach Weaver’s strike. Bradshaw also knew that a gold-strike boomtown raised business possibilities that could be more lucrative than most of the claims.  Read more…

Death Valley

New Mexico’s Triple Hitter

Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks State Park, Whitewater Canyon

Rand McNally’s 2010 Road Atlas highlights Silver City, New Mexico, as one of the five “Best of the Road” destinations in America. Surrounded by scenic desert and rugged mountains and with a history that dates back 2,000 years, Silver City offers a triple-hitter for cultural and natural attractions. You can travel to Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks State Park or Whitewater Canyon in trips of under two hours. This quaint city has plenty of lodging and restaurants to sustain you between your adventures. Read more…

The Pumpkin Patch

Charlie Russell’s East Jesus at Slab City

Ever Changing Art Installation

Slab City, California, “The Last Free Place” – In early 2007, Charlie Russell left his tech job, packed all his belongings into a shipping container, and headed out into the desert to a place known as Slab City. Originally intending to work on Salvation Mountain, he began to surround the two art cars he had built for Burning Man with sculptures. These would become the foundational works of East Jesus. Read more…


DesertUSA Bloggers

Lara’s Lane Blog

Put on your best poodle skirt, slip into those blue-suede shoes, smooth out those spit curls and rev up your hopped-up ride. You’re going to Peggy Sue’s Diner in Yermo, Calif. Read more about Peggy Sue’s Diner.


Mojo on the Mojave Blog

Only a 20 minute drive from downtown Palm Springs is a place with much cooler temperatures, it’s an oasis that’s located at the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert.  Considered a secret hideaway by many people and animals, this oasis is called the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.​ Learn more about Big Morongo Valley Preserve.

Fun Kids’ Activity

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids, check out our “Break-at-Home” geode kits. This hands on rockhounding experience is a fun way for kids to learn about geology, how geodes are formed and the excitement of discovery when they break one open.  Learn more about “Break-at-Home” geodes.

Mojave Road Guide

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.

Prickly Pear Drink Recipes

DesertUSA has received so many requests for Prickly Pear recipes and ingredients that we have decided to stock our store with Prickly Pear Syrup, nectar and related products.

Prickly Pear Drink Recipes & Prickly Pear Syrup Products
Buy Prickly Pear Syrup 35 oz on DesertUSA’s Amazon Store.
Buy Prickly Pear Syrup 1 Gallon on DesertUSA’s Amazon Store.