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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Icon of the Southwest
The saguaro often begins life in the shelter of a “nurse” tree or shrub which can provide a shaded, moist habitat for the germination of life. The saguaro grows very slowly — perhaps an inch a year — but to a great height, 15 to 50 feet. The largest plants, with more than five arms, are estimated to be 200 years old. Read more…
Quintessential Mountain Man
Kit Carson, born in Kentucky on Christmas Eve, 1809, grew up in Franklin, Missouri, fired by the tales of those who had traveled the Santa Fe Trail. An impoverished and illiterate teenager, he took up an apprenticeship with a saddle maker. Two years later, drawn by the siren call of the West, he decided he would leave his apprenticeship. Read more…
Capitol Reef National Park
I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Sure, I was expecting some narrows, but the name Burro Wash seemed fairly tame. It was early May in Capitol Reef National Park, and the park rangers had recommended this option for a slot canyon hike. As the forecast was sunny and clear for the next few days, there was no real risk of flash flooding, which could be fatal in canyon country. I had a small NPS map and basic accompanying instructions, but the route was straightforward to find. Soon enough, there would be only two options: pressing ahead or turning back. Read more…
The desert tortoise is an herbivore that may attain a length of 9 to 15 inches in upper shell (carapace) length. The tortoise is able to live where ground temperatures may exceed 140 degrees F because of its ability to dig underground burrows and to escape the heat. At least 95% of its life is spent in burrows. There, it is also protected from freezing while dormant, November through February or March. Read more…
- Grand Canyon Transitions to Winter Operations
- Virtual Tour of Bent’s Old Fort
- Tribal Historic Preservation Program Announces the Signing of 200th THPO Agreement
- Road Repair Project to Begin 11-20 at Big Bend NP
- NPS Reduces Wildfire Risk Across Record 5.4 Million Acres
- Winter Operations at Bryce Canyon National Park
- Desert X 2021: A safe, outdoor art experience.
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.
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.