All Stories from Deserts

  • Watering Hole

    In the dry, dry Mojave, water holes aren’t just oddities; they’re critical lifesavers. Rock Spring in the heart of Mojave National Preserve is a perfect example of a spot that has

    View
  • Formation Nation

    You don't have to head to a museum to see some of the world's greatest sculpted formations. Take a hike along Caruthers Canyon Trail in Mojave National Preserve’s New York Mountain

    View
  • Bell of the High Desert

    The payoff for the thigh-burning hike up Bell Mountain is a majestic view with a patriotic flair. Unfolding beneath you is a panorama of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountain

    View
  • A Rainbow Connection

    A place called Rainbow Basin Natural Area certainly suggests a glorious radiance of color, and this remarkable desert area north of Barstow doesn’t disappoint. A hike on Owl Canyon

    View
  • Snaking Your Way Through Joshua Tree

    You don’t have to be a rock climber to enjoy this high-friction frolic in Joshua Tree. All it takes is a sense of adventure—a willingness to plunge into a dramatic canyon that’s de

    View
  • Good Times in Anza-Borrego's Badlands

    Anza-Borrego’s badlands look forbidding, but anyone with a sense of adventure can dive in and explore V-shaped canyons, 100-foot-deep slots, and a vast maze of sandstone rock forma

    View
  • Journey into the Chasm of Doom

    When you enter Joshua Tree’s Chasm of Doom, your fate is sealed. Your life becomes an experience of mystery, steep climbs, steeper drops, chimneying, and death-defying squeezes. Wh

    View
  • Chutes and Ladders

    Just when you think you can’t go any farther in Painted Canyon, you remember why this route is called the Ladder Canyon Trail. Whew! There it is: a perfectly placed ladder that get

    View
  • The Undead Ghost Town

    Every Halloween, the worlds of the living and the dead blur together. In the “living ghost town” of Randsburg, that condition is permanent. This strange gold-rush town near the El

    View
  • Psychedelic Lava

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a volcanic landscape in California as memorable and psychedelic as Fossil Falls. This chasm of water-sculpted lava rock in the Coso Mountain Range nor

    View
  • Planet of the Pinnacles

    The Trona Pinnacles have costarred as backdrop in sci-fi epics like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but seeing these tufa towers in person is far more jaw-d

    View
  • Lykken Good!

    A hike followed by brunch? Always a good idea! Palm Springs’ go-to hike for gaining wild views and getting back to the city in time for brunch is North Lykken Trail. The path trace

    View
  • It's a Waterfall Life

    Tahquitz Canyon’s crystalline stream and lush stands of desert lavender, honey mesquite, and leafy sycamores will change how you think about the desert. You might grumble at the $1

    View
  • Murray Up!

    Palm Springs’ highest summit, Murray Hill, is unfairly named. It’s not a hill: It’s a pyramid-shaped peak poking into the sky above the Coachella Valley. And it’s a demanding 2,200

    View
  • Sweet Valley High

    Sometimes you just need a fresh perspective. And getting up high to see things from a different view does the trick! At 3.6-miles (round-trip) the zigzagging Garstin Trail at the S

    View
  • Coachella Kinda Day

    The Coachella Valley Preserve protects some 20,000 acres of wild desert, where the San Andreas Fault has worked as chief landscape architect. Seismic action forced freshwater sprin

    View
  • Don’t Hurry Murray

    Don’t let the desert stereotype fool you: Palm Springs has a wet-and-wild side beyond hotel swimming pools. A 3.8-mile (round-trip) hike in Murray Canyon showcases Palm Springs as

    View
  • Sand to Snow

    The Sand to Snow National Monument, comprising 154,000 acres connecting Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest, is the closest to Los Angeles among Obama’

    View
  • Storm the Castle

    Before President Obama channeled Teddy Roosevelt earlier this year, the Mojave National Preserve was missing a key piece bordering Nevada in the northeast section of the park. This

    View
  • Mojave Momentum

    The largest of Obama’s new monument designations clocks in at a modest 1.6 million acres! Mojave Trails National Monument is home to a variety of desert destinations, including col

    View