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The Whole Mojave


View from shadow mountains near El Mirage
The Mojave Desert exists in a rain shadow created by the Transverse Ranges and the Sierra Nevada

The greater Mojave Desert is bounded by the Sierra Nevada, San Gabriel, and San Bernardino mountains to the west. These mountain ranges block the westerly winds and moisture created by the Pacific Ocean, in turn creating a hot and arid desert environment on the eastern side. The Mojave Desert is bordered on the east by the Colorado Plateau. The northern boundary of the Mojave blends with the Great Basin Desert, while the southern boundaries merge with the Sonoran Desert.

Inspiration Point - San Gabriel Mountains
The mountains hold back moisture from the ocean - Inspiration Point
Rainfall varies with elevation; approximately 4 inches per year near Baker, and up to 9 inches per year in the higher elevations. Summer months are characterized by a brief monsoon; however, the majority of the rainfall occurs in late winter, with February typically being the wettest month. Average high temperatures are 90 degrees in the summer months and can exceed 105 degrees. During the winter months, temperatures can drop below freezing, occasionally bringing snow to the higher elevations.
snow in Mojave Desert
Snow can occur in the higher elevations - Phelan, Ca.

adapted from;
Heidi Koenig, M.A., RPA
Anthropological Studies Center Sonoma State University


Map of Mojave Desert

The "Classic American Desert"

... the Mojave does not really fit the classic image of ...

AbeBooks Search

Life at the Extremes

The Mojave Desert, the driest and smallest of the ...


The Mojave Desert is an environment of extreme heat, ...

Human History

... results show that Paleoindians may have reached this area as ...

Rising to the Occasion

As more people seek escape from the congestion of nearby ...

Management Challenges

But because ecosystems do not recognize such boundaries, ...


Groundwater and the Mojave and Colorado Rivers are the ...

Off-Highway Vehicles

... riding motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies, and ...

Fire and Weeds

... not common in the Mojave Desert, and when they did occur, ...

source - BLM

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