Arizona Deserts: Can You Name All Four?

Arizona Deserts

Arizona in September is still hot.  Remember, you’re in the desert. But which one?  Located in America’s Southwest Region, the Grand Canyon State boasts four unique deserts within its borders. Plus, Arizona is the only state where all four deserts can be found. So, can you name all four Arizona Deserts? Read below to get the answers!

Arizona Deserts - Saguaro Cactus

Arizona Deserts – Saguaro Cactus

Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert covers southwestern Arizona, including the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.  Maintaining warm temperatures year round, it’s one of the hottest deserts of the US.  Despite the sparse amounts of precipitation during the year, the desert is home to a diverse population of flora and fauna because it has two rainy seasons a year.  The Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world where the saguaro cactus grows in the wild.

Mojave Desert

Northwestern Arizona contains part of the Mojave Desert, which is at a higher altitude than the Sonoran Desert.  The boundaries of the Mojave Desert can be determined by the presence of the Yucca palm, which is endemic to the desert.  Unlike the Sonoran Desert, the Mojave Desert has few trees, both in number and diversity.

Painted Desert

Arizona Deserts - Painted Desert Badlands - Petrified Forest National Park

Arizona Deserts – Painted Desert Badlands – Petrified Forest National Park

The Painted Desert is a broad area of badlands located on the Colorado Plateau in Northern Arizona. It stretches from north of Cameron, near the Grand Canyon, to just beyond the Petrified Forest.  It derives its name from the colored sediments and bentonite clay seen from its Chinle rock formation, left exposed by erosion. In the southern portion, the remains of a Triassic period coniferous forest have fossilized over millions of years.

Chihuahuan Desert

A small portion of southeastern Arizona is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Because of its higher elevation in comparison to the Sonoran Desert, it tends to have milder temperatures during the summer.

Tips for Exploring the Arizona Deserts

If you wish to explore the deserts, remember these five important tips.

1 – Bring plenty of water.

2 – Hike early.

3 – Never hike alone.

4 – Wear sunscreen and protective clothing.

5 – Let someone know your plans and when you expect to return.

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