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EAST MOJAVE DESERT
The Eastern Mojave Desert, in the South Western US, is incredibly diverse. Elevations range from a few hundred feet to well over 6,000 feet, resulting in several different climate zones. As you would normally expect, summers get very hot, but winters are an exact opposite and snow is common. Due to the wide ranging elevations, you can pass through several different vegetation zones in very short order. This includes zones where Joshua Trees are plentiful, zones where the predominant plant is the Creosote bush, zones where 30+ foot Juniper and Pinyon Pine trees are plentiful, and, of course, zones where several different types of cacti thrive.
This desert is also home to a diverse group of wild life, including Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, Bob Cats, Mountain Lions, Quail, Chuckar, Ravens, rattle snakes, Hawks, Coyotes and a whole bunch of rabbits. Many hundreds of years ago, this desert was volcanically active and the Cinder Cones are still present today as evidence of their contribution to the desert landscape.
Historically, this desert was used as a main trail from east to west, (the Mojave Trail), a source of many minerals and precious metals, and home for pioneers, settlers and those who just enjoy the desert. Centuries ago, different Indian tribes called this area home and left evidence of their presence through their petroglyphs and drawings. Exploring this area requires a good 4 wheel drive vehicle, a lot of extra fuel, a willingness to hike, and a very good understanding of it's history.
See the full trip report, here.