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Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert

The Mojave or Mohave Desert occupies a significant portion of Southern California and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Named after the Mojave Native Americans it occupies over 35,000 km² in a typical Basin and Range topography.

The Mojave Desert is bound in part by the Tehachapi together with the San Gabriel and San Bernadino mountain ranges. The mountain boundaries are quite distinct since they are outlined by the two largest faults in California: the San Andreas and the Garlock. Its northern and eastern boundaries are less distinct. One way to determine entry is by observing the presence of Joshua Trees. The Mojave Desert receives less than 6 inches (150 mm) of rain a year and is generally between 3000 and 6000 feet (1,000 and 2,000 m) in elevation. The Mojave Desert also contains the Mojave National Preserve and the lowest-hottest place in North America: Death Valley, where the temperature normally approaches 1200F (500C) in late July and early August.

The Mojave, like all deserts in general, is known for its summer heat, however, much less is known about the Mojave's wintertime cold. Snow, although uncommon, does fall in parts of the Mojave. Amounts range from just a trace to a foot or more of heavy wet snow which can lead to freeway traffic closures and being "snowed in". The coldest wintertime temperature ranges have been below freezing yet above 00F. That said, many parts of the Mojave typically range from highs of around 95-1050F in the summer to lows of around 20-300F in the winter.

Wind is also a weather factor. Las Vegas, situated on the desert's east, may not have many winds, however the community of Mojave, situated at its western end, can have wind nearly every day-- even winds surpassing 50 miles per hour. Nearby Tehachapi Pass because, of this high likelihood of reliable wind, is home to an extensive electrical windmill turbine "farm" which converts the wind, a renewable-clean-resource, into electricity.

The Mojave Desert contains a number of ghost towns. The most significant of these being the silver-mining town of Calico, California. Some of them are of the more modern variety created when Route 66 (and the lesser-known US Highway 91) were 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 135 feet high, reportedly also the highest F temperature ever recorded in the region, which is located along Interstate 15 in Baker, California.

The Mojave River is an important source of water in this arid land. A part of the Colorado River traverses its far eastern portion.

The Mojave Desert is crossed by major highways Interstate 15, Interstate 40, US Highway 395 and US Highway 95.

Cities in the Mojave Desert include Victorville, Barstow, Palmdale, Ridgecrest, and Needles, California. Las Vegas, Nevada is the Mojave's largest city and metropolitan area.

Angelenoss often refer to its southwestern portions, the Antelope Valley and the Victor Valley, as the High Desert.

See also:

Low Desert, Colorado Desert, List of North American deserts

Geography of California
Central Valley | Central Coast | Channel Islands | Coast Ranges | Gold Country | Greater Los Angeles | Imperial Valley | Inland Empire | Mojave | Napa Valley | Northern California | Owens Valley | Pomona Valley | Redwood Empire | San Fernando Valley | San Francisco Bay Area | The Peninsula | San Gabriel Valley | Santa Clara Valley | Santa Clarita Valley | Shasta Cascade | Sierra Nevada | Silicon Valley | Southern California | Wine Country

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Nevada
Regions: Great Basin | Mojave Desert | Lake Tahoe
Largest cities: Carson City | Las Vegas | Reno
Counties: Churchill | Clark | Douglas | Elko | Esmeralda | Eureka | Humboldt | Lander | Lincoln | Lyon | Mineral | Nye | Pershing | Storey | Washoe | White Pine |