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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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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The Bradshaw Trail
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…
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…
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…
- A Pretty Little Secret that Hides in Morongo Valley
- Death Valley Campgrounds Opened Oct 15, 2020
- The World’s Longest Fossilized Human Trackway Discovered at White Sands National Park
- Missing Person at Zion National Park
- Tumacácori Día de los Muertos Honors Lost Loved Ones Amid Global Pandemic
- Human Remains Discovered Below Colorado River Overlook
- Man sentenced for violating Order of Protection in Grand Canyon National Park
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.
Oct. 18th – 24th is Wolf Awareness Week. To read stories about wolves, the California Wolf Center and to learn more about biodiversity, click here.
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.
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.
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.