SOME DESERTS OF THE WORLD
The transition from the hot Sonoran Desert to the cooler and higher Great Basin is called the Mojave Desert. This arid region of southeastern California and portions of Nevada, Arizona and Utah, occupies more than 25,000 square miles.
On the northwestern boundary it extends from the Sierra Nevada range to the Colorado Plateau in the east; it abuts the San Gabriel-San Bernardino mountains in the southwest. Near the Great Basin-Mojave border lies Death Valley, the lowest point in North America and a national park.
The Mojave's desert climate is characterized by extreme variation in daily temperature and an average annual precipitation of less than 5 inches. Almost all the precipitation arrives in winter. Freezing temperatures occur in winter, while summers are hot, dry and windy.
The Mojave has a typical mountain-and-basin topography with sparse vegetation. Sand and gravel basins drain to central salt flats from which borax, potash and salt are extracted. Silver, tungsten, gold and iron deposits are worked.
While some do not consider the Mojave a desert in its own right, the Mojave Desert hosts about 200 endemic plant species found in neither of the adjacent deserts.Cactus are usually restricted to the coarse soils of bajadas. Mojave Yucca and, at higher elevations Desert Spanish Bayonet, a narrow-leafed yucca, are prominent. Creosote Bush, Shadscale, Big Sagebrush, Bladder-sage, bursages and Blackbush are common shrubs of the Mojave Desert.
Occasional Catclaws grow along arroyos. But, unlike the Sonoran Desert, trees are few, both in numbers and diversity. The exception is the Joshua-tree. While this unusual tree-like yucca is usually considered the prime indicator of Mojave Desert vegetation, it occurs only at higher elevations in this desert and only in this desert.
Source for image and information: http://www.desertusa.com/du_mojave.html