The Mojave Desert, which stretches across around 47,000 square miles across Southern California and a small portion of Utah, Nevada, & Arizona, is the smallest of all the deserts in North America. The Mojave Arid is a section of a basin encircled by mountains and plateaus, which creates desert conditions due to the rain shadow effect. The Mojave Desert is known for its wide range of elevations, which range from over 5,249 feet above sea level on certain mountains to 282 feet below ocean level in Death Valley, which is the lowest point in the region of North America.
The Mojave Desert Location:
Southwest of the United States is where you'll find the Mojave Desert. It occupies a region of around 25,000 square miles that is between the Sonoran Desert to the south and the Great Basin Desert which is to the north, among other deserts. The San Bernadino mountains, the San Gabriel mountains, & the Tehachapi mountains encircle the western boundary of the Mojave Desert.
One of the tiniest deserts in North America is allegedly the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert is primarily found in California, with tiny portions being present in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. One of the three national parks in the Mojave Desert is Death Valley, which also happens to be the lowest and hottest site in all of North America. Second, the Mojave National Preserve & third, the Joshua Tree National Park.
The Mojave Desert History:
The Paleo Indians lived in what is now known as the Mojave Desert over 12,000 years ago. The Chemehuevi were the first tribe to be identified. Other tribes, including the Shoshone, Southern Paiute, & Mojave, moved in as the terrain started to alter. They obtained their water from the Colorado River and used crushed sandstone to create ceramics.
Spanish explorers discovered their way to the desert in the late 16th century in pursuit of gold and silver. They encountered the Mojave, the largest and most numerous tribe in the area, and gave the tribe's name to the desert. Along the Californian coast, missions were founded in the 1700s. The Mojave Indians were visited by Franciscan missionary Father Francisco Garces, who even spent some time residing with them. Father Garces, incidentally, penned the sole account of the Mojave way of living.
When gold was found in Northern California, individuals had to go through the Mojave Desert, which was tough. When the mines stopped producing, the miners began prospecting for gold and silver in the Mojave Desert. Several mining settlements grew up all over the desert. When the mines ran dry and the miners fled, the towns they had built would be abandoned as ghost towns. More than a million people now reside in the Mojave Desert, and still, more do so nearby.
The Mojave Desert Facts:
1) The smallest of the four main North American deserts is the Mojave Desert.
2) According to many scientists, the Mojave Desert is only a land area sandwiched between two deserts (Joshua Tree & Death Valley).and not exactly a desert.
3) The highest point in the Mojave Desert is Charleston Peak, at 3,633 meters.
4) The Mojave Desert region is home to between 1,750 and 2,000 distinct plant species, of which about 25% are unique.
5) The only native tree to the Mojave Desert is the Joshua tree, which is a keystone species that supports 1,750-2,000 more plant species.
How to reach The Mojave Desert:
Las Vegas has the closest airport to the Mojave Desert. Once in Las Vegas, it's 90 minute drive to the Mojave Desert. (The largest source of visitors to the Mojave Desert is Las Vegas, a famous destination for gambling and entertainment).
Best time to visit The Mojave Desert:
February to April