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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.

Spanish oxidized coins

The Lost Ship in the Desert

Sonoran Desert Mystery

Of all the legends about lost and found, and lost again treasures in the Southwest, there is none more mystifying than the enduring tale of a large sailing vessel which lies, full of riches, somewhere in the restless sands of California’s Salton Sea basin, toward the northern end of the Sonoran Desert. Implausible as it sounds, the wreck of an ocean-going ship 100 miles or more inland from either the Pacific or the Gulf of California, the story has persisted for centuries in reports from Indian peoples, Spanish explorers, prospectors, migrants and treasure hunters.  Read more…

Burro Schmidt's Tunnel

Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel to Nowhere

A Miner’s Obsession

All William “Burro” Schmidt would ever say about his tunnel, according to Seger and Ayers, was that it was a “shortcut.” He never really explained why he spent some 33 years of his life digging, single handedly, through a mountain to reach an isolated ledge, over 4,000 feet above sea level. “Miners don’t talk much,” said Ayers. Read more…

Spaceport America

Truth or Consequences

New Mexico

Truth or Consequences – “T or C” to most New Mexicans – lies just downtream from Elephant Butte Dam and the lake which makes the region an attraction to snowbirds, tourists and recreation seekers. It is bracketed by the Fra Cristobal and Caballo ranges on the east and the Black Range on the west. As county seat, T or C serves agricultural and ranching interests. The construction of Spaceport America, home of Virgin Galactic, by the state of New Mexico has heightened interest in the area. Read more …

Male Dingo with Pups

The Dingo

Canis lupus dingo

The dingo arrived in Australia around 2000 BC, probably brought by Asian seafarers in a semi-domesticated state. The timing of its arrival, its solitary habits, and the rigors of the climate isolated it from further domestication. 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.

Drizzle DesertUSA’s Hot Honey on fried chicken, wings, cheese, pizza, ice cream and more.  Visit our HOT HONEY Recipe page for ideas on how to spice up your appetizers and beverages. Check out our Hot Honey Toddy, Spicy Margarita and Spicy Paloma recipes.  Click here to view DesertUSA’s HOT HONEY RECIPES.