Abandoned water storage tank in a wash in the Mojave Desert.Isolated cabin being built adjacent to a wash in the Mojave Desert.

Singing sand dunes, cinder cone volcanoes, Largest Joshua tree forest, and carpets of spring wildflowers are all found within this 1.6-million-acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains, and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave provides serenity and solitude from major metropolitan areas.

A majority of the Mojave Desert is located in southeastern California and southern Nevada, with smaller portions in Utah and Arizona. The Mojave Desert occupies approximately 43,750 square miles and is considered the smallest and driest desert in the United States.

High winds, often above 50 miles per hour, are also a weather factor and occur frequently along the western end of the Mojave, and are less common toward the east.

The Mojave Desert contains a number of ghost towns. The most well known of these being the silver-mining town of Calico, California. Some of them are of the more modern variety created when Route 66 was abandoned in favor of the Interstates. Among the more popular and unique tourist attractions in the Mojave is the self-described World’s Largest Thermometer at 134 feet high, reportedly also the highest temperature ever recorded in the region located along Interstate 15 in Baker, California.