Saturday, December 27, 2014

Diverse trails abound across Mojave Desert

Joshua Tree National Park, in the Mojave Desert.
North America’s driest landscapes, fascinating rock formations, and extinct volcanoes await day hikers in the Mojave Desert.

At 25,000 miles, the Mojave is the smallest of America’s four deserts. Thanks to its proximity to Hollywood, however, it’s often the most filmed desert in television shows and motion pictures. Most Americans are somewhat familiar with it, if only as a desert backdrop.

The Mojave stretches across the rugged California desert north and east of Los Angeles as well as Arizona’s northwest corner and the southern tip of Nevada including Las Vegas. Its boundaries are roughly synonymous with the Joshua tree’s growth area. Both Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks sit within the Mojave.

Because of its elevation, the Mojave can be bitterly cold in winter yet during summer its temperatures can soar so that standing in it for only a few minutes proves deadly. In fact, the highest temperature ever recorded in the United States occurred in Death Valley at 134 F.

Here are just a few of the great day hiking trails for exploring the Mojave:
g Amboy Crater
g Best trails for seeing Death Valley National Park’s wonders
g Best trails for seeing Joshua Tree National Park’s wonders
g Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail (Death Valley National Park)
g Little Butte Trail (Saddleback Butte State)
g Little Rock Recreation Area
g Skull Rock Trail (Joshua Tree National Park)

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.