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

Quartzsite

Rockhound’s Paradise

At this time of the year, ordinarily 2,000 vendors of rocks, gems, minerals, fossils and everything else imaginable create one of the world’s largest open air flea markets in Quartzsite. Eight major gem and mineral shows as well as vendors of raw and handcrafted merchandise have peddled their wares to snowbirds, collectors and enthusiasts, making Quartzsite the place to be the first two months of each year. Is it happening in this year of COVID? Bookmark DesertUSA’s Quartzsite page and come back for the latest information as it develops. Read more…

Pat Garrett

Journey into a Sacred Wilderness

Baboquivari Peak Wilderness

As I reviewed a map of Arizona, one region swiftly caught my attention. It was a wilderness area, part of which lies within the 2,900,000-acre Tohono O’odham Reservation located outside of Sells, in southern Arizona. In its mountains is a very prominent peak called Baboquivari Peak. Research revealed that the wilderness area is considered a very sacred place to the Tohono O’odham people living nearby. A friend from archaeology field school was excited to join me; together we planned to journey into this fascinating wilderness area.  Read more…

Rainbow Basin

Saving the Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owl Rescue in Downtown Phoenix

It amazes me how few people have seen burrowing owls. When I talk about them, their usual response is “but owls are only out at night!” Well, these animated little critters actually spend a good deal of their time outside their burrows during the day, especially in the early morning, and late in the day just before the sun sets. The next response I usually get is “well, I don’t get out to wilderness areas very often.” How about downtown Phoenix? Yes, there are burrowing owls in downtown Phoenix at the Rio Salado Habitation Restoration Area which is accessible from a number of trailheads from 7th Ave to 16th St just south of I-17 on the Salt River. Read more…

Rainbow Basin

Jenkins’ Lost Lode

The True Story

Chapter 12 of Thunder God’s Gold by Barry Storm (John Clymenson), published in 1945, tells a very interesting story about a large piece of rich gold quartz found by William (Bill) Jenkins while on a picnic in the Superstition Mountains with his family in 1937. According to Storm, the chunk of quartz was half the size of a man’s head, with visible gold all through it and had extremely rich in inclusions of brown oxidized hematite, which was assayed to contain $2,000 worth of gold to the ton. The story presented in Storm’s book appears to give intimate details about the location where Jenkins found this rich sample, in a canyon identified by Storm as Willow Creek. Read more…

News

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.

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.