Don Bain's 360° Panoramas of the
Deserts of Southern California
Parts of Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties, California
The region I call the Deserts of Southern California runs from the triangle of Antelope Valley near Tejon Pass to the eastern borders of the state along the Colorado River and south to Mexico. It contains vast open spaces, including huge military bases, and the accidentally man-made Salton Sea below sea level. The northern portion, moderately high elevation, constitues the Mojave Desert. South of there, to the Colorado River and the Mexican border, falls within the Sonoran desert, also referred to as the Colorado Desert in California.
Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and Anza-Borrego State Park fall within this region (I treat Death Valley and east of the Sierra separately). Most of the numerous mountain ranges, and even some of the valleys, are protected as federal wilderness.
Landscapes in this varied area include uplands covered with Johua trees, sand dune fields, lush irrigated valleys, countless rocky mountain ranges, California's only native palm groves, and the sprawling golf and condo oasis of Palm Springs. Many people drive through it without stopping or really seeing much on their way to Las Vegas. I enjoy poking into all the odd corners, enjoying the solitude and quiet, and the special charm of the desert.