Explore the deserts of the world through stories, articles and experiences on DesertUSA.  Learn about the desert habitat, desert animals, plants, geology, people and cultures. Featured stories highlight desert destinations, outdoor recreation and a variety of points of interest located in the American Southwest.   Popular topics and destinations include: Salton Sea, Route 66, Rockhounding for Geodes, Desert Wildflower Reports, Colorado River and Lake Reports, and many other desert related topics.

Houseboat on Lake Mead

Amistad National Recreation Area

Under the bright sun, the sparkling blue water in Lake Amistad and its four main “arms” and numerous coves is pleasantly warm nine months of the year.  December, January and February temperatures will occasionally fall into the low 30’s Fahrenheit, bring a chill to the water.  The lake provides outstanding opportunities for water sports, fishing, limited hunting and general outdoor enjoyment.  Ironically, the area now receives about three inches less rain a year than in the past, the result of a microclimate created by the full lake. Read more…

Fishing in the Desert

Anasazi Ruins
Grand Gulch, Utah

“I’m sorry sir, this road is closed.”  The Navajo Tribal Police officer stepped from the roadblock and peered into my car through darkened lenses, as if she was looking for something. Finding nothing out of the ordinary except for a mountain bike and assorted camping gear, she explained. Three anti-government zealots had killed a police officer and disappeared into the canyons, sparking one of the largest manhunts in the history of the Southwest. Since they had last been seen near Bluff, Utah, the entire town had been evacuated. I’d have to find another way to get to Grand Gulch, where I planned to spend 3 days exploring one of the largest concentrations of Anazasi ruins on the Colorado Plateau. Photo by Greg Willis (wiki commons) Read more…

Tonto Natural Bridge SP

Dinosaur Triangle in Western Colorado
Rich in Fossils

We walked carefully through the graveyard. Bones, old bones, lie scattered on the ground — bones of creatures who roamed the earth 140 million years ago. We were searching the barren soil for fragments that wash down the narrow gully after thunderstorms. A thick-strata of crumbling clay on the hillside sheds bones like a fractured casket. Colorful pieces of petrified wood and agates mix with the bones and pebbles of worn sandstone and mudstone.  Read more …

Tuweep Wilderness

How to Harvest Prickly Pear Fruit and Pads

The prickly pear fruit usually ripens in the late summer through early fall.  The fruit can vary in color.  The ruby red color of the fruit indicates that it is ripe and ready to harvest.  If the cactus pears are yellow or orange, they may not be fully ripe and will have a tart flavor. The flavor of Prickly Pear fruit has been described as a cross between raspberry and watermelon.  Read more…


Fun for Kids!

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.

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.

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