Mojave Desert - 2011



Visited the Mojave Desert, one of four recognized desert regions in North America in May 2011. The four deserts in North America are the Mojave, the Sonoran, the Chihuahuan and the Great Basin deserts. The three first are hot and dry, while the Great Basin Desert is considered a cold desert.

The Mojave Desert, the hottest desert in the US, is located primarily in southeastern California, with smaller parts in southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona. The Mojave Desert's boundaries are generally defined by the presence of Joshua trees, considered an indicator species for this desert.

More specificallly, I drove through the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley, both situated within the Mojave desert territory. After that, I drove east through Las Vegas, and then north toward Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, located on the border between the Mojave and Great Basin deserts.

A very fascinating region, with distinct arid vegetation. Desolate places, where peoples are few and far between. Some landscape and plant photos are shown here. As always, visiting foreign countries and trying to identify local species, the chances are high some of the depicted species are wrongly named.


Mojave National Preserve near the Nevada-California border

Mojave desert


Joshua trees, the character species of the Mojave Desert

Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia var. jaegeriana)


Desert blooming in late May 2011

Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)


Desert Marigold

Mojave Aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia)


Mojave Aster

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)


Desert Globemallow


Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera)



Mojave Yucca

Engelmann's Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii ssp. engelmannii)


Engelmann's Hedgehog Cactus flower

Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris)


Beavertail Cactus

Branched Pencil Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima)


Silver Cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa)

The four desert regions in North America



Mojave Desert, outside Baker, California

Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata)


Arid land, Death Valley National Park

Desert Rock Nettle (Eucnide urens)



Death Valley National Park


Desert Five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia), Death Valley NP



Showy Gilia (Gilia cana), Death Valley NP


Calthaleaf Phacelia (Phacelia calthifolia), Death Valley NP


Golden Evening Primrose / Yellow Cup (Camissonia brevipes), Death Valley NP

Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), Death Valley NP


Could be California Goldfields (Lasthenia californica), Death Valley NP

Desert Trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum), Death Valley NP


Notch-leaf Scorpion-weed (Phacelia crenulata), Death Valley NP

Death Valley view


Rocky slope in Death Valley NP

Death Valley NP


Plains Pricklypear cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea), Utah near Hurricane

Maybe Pale Evening Primrose (Oenothera pallida), Utah near Hurricane


Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

Mojave Indigo Bush (Psorothamnus arborescens), Utah near Hurricane


Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata), Utah near Hurricane