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Albuquerque’s Annual Balloon Festival – What kind of festival brings 20,000 people out in the chilly predawn hours to wait for the main event to start? I squeeze through shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and buy a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito, then join the half-awake masses on the grassy field. This isn’t a stadium rock concert or a Superbowl tailgate party, it’s the largest hot-air-balloon festival in the world. Each October, 750 balloonists from dozens of nations gather in Albuquerque for the nine-day International Balloon Fiesta. More…

Wildfires: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good In the 1860’s, a youthful Mark Twain had encamped with a friend along the forested shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Twain built a campfire, which he carelessly neglected just for a moment. Suddenly, his friend shouted in alarm. Looking up, as Twain said in his book Roughing It, "…I saw that my fire was galloping all over the premises. More…

Cassini Call Home It is a “Mission Possible” – to infuse children and adults with the wonderment and awe of outer space by exposing them to the giant antennas at Goldstone Deep Space Communication Complex. How do you define “wonderment” ? Dictionaries are very simple.
“Something that produces wonder; a marvel.”
“A cause or occasion of wonder.”
“The joy of discovery.”
The last sentence. That’s it. That is what I felt when I saw the giant communication antennas up close and personal on my tour of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex.

Kartchner Caverns Inside the upper caverns of Kartchner, two main galleries the size of football fields are a kaleidoscope of color with 100-foot high ceilings dripping with multi hued stalactites and floors jutting up with matching stalagmites. Giant white columns form where the two meet. Dainty white helictites\ translucent orange bacon, and shields of white calcite adorn this natural wonder. An extraordinarily thin stalactite, called a soda straw, hangs tenuously 21 feet 2 inches down from the cave’s ceiling. More…

Video of the Month – The Tarantula The tarantula is a nocturnal hunter. It does not spin a web to capture its prey, but catches food by speed. It will take virtually anything of the right size that moves within range, but feeds primarily on small insects like grasshoppers, beetles, sow bugs, other small spiders and sometimes small lizards. More…

Trip of the Month – Exploring Route 50 Route 50 spans the U.S. from California to the Atlantic oceans, linking Sacramento, California to Ocean City, Maryland. Where this highway travels through Nevada — between South Lake Tahoe on the western, California border, and Baker on near the eastern, Utah border. More…


Consolation for kids returning to school – cute and friendly desert fox is looking for a home.

This endearing 7-inch, soft plush stuffed animal has perky ears and a wide awake expression, certain to be a winner with children, or with the adult fox-lover on your list. Click here to take a close up view.


James R. Mitchell’s GEM TRAILS BOOKS cover the Southwest and are available in our online book store. Detailed maps and descriptive text lead the rockhound to the best collecting sites for gems, minerals and fossils. Black and white photos aid in locating the collecting area. Stunning color photos help with specimen identification. Ideal for the novice, an important addition to any experienced rockhound’s collection. Click here to view rock & treasure hunting books.

Rockhounding the Wiley’s Well District of California: The GPS User’s Guide not only pinpoints the collecting sites in the Wiley’s Well District, famous for the Hauser Geode Beds, but does the same for every significant junction on the way to them. No maps are needed. One can find his or her way with ease and much greater accuracy than that offered by any map.


Of all the North American lizards, HORNED LIZARDS are the most fearsome-looking and distinctive by virtue of the pointed, protruding "horns" above their eyes.

These Creations are the closest representation to real horned lizards. When you hold one in your hand, you will believe that it is real. The feeling of holding a horned lizard will stay in your memory forever. All figurines are hand painted and made with pewter.


Try a Prickly Pear Margarita made with Prickly Pear Cactus syrup. The syrup also makes exceptionally flavorful Wine Coolers, Spritzers, and Prickly Pear Lemonade. The Syrup comes in 7 oz.,12 oz., 23 oz. and 1 gallon containers. Click Here for more information.

Enjoy Prickly Pear Cactus, Mesquite Bean and Margarita jelly candies – Half pound box featuring three mouth-watering candy selections. Tantalize your tastebuds with flavors of the southwest from the fruits of the desert.


Agate Bookends – Beautiful, unique bookends of Brazilian Agate, in a wide range of colors from brilliant magenta to aquamarine and topaz colorings. Average size: 5" Tall X 8" Wide X 3" Deep but sizes vary. Hurry! Each one is different and they go fast!

Click here to take a look.


Joint Supplement – Do you have an older dog or a dog with arthritis or joint problems? Check out Nimble, a glucosamine product for dogs, that could help return them to pain-free movement. Click here for more information or to buy.

PARK DVDs . . .

State and National Park DVDs – Plan your Summer vacations to the great parks of the American Southwest. DesertUSA has an extensive selection of park DVDs including: Arches, Big Bend, Monument Valley, Death Valley, The Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Zion, Yellowstone, Red Rock Canyon and many more. Click here to browse our park DVDs.

2 Anza Borrego DVDs

Ghost Mountain DVD the story of Marshal South and his family’s adventure of living on Ghost Mountain in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To preview the DVD in Flash Click Here.

Anza Borrego Seasons in the Desert. This stunning DVD covers the various regions of the park, as well as indigenous flora and fauna.

Joshua Tree NP DVD This is THE tool you need to plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

All revenue earned from our online reservation system and store sales are used to support the maintenance and development costs associated with the DesertUSA Web site. By placing reservations on DesertUSA’s reservation system or by purchasing products from the Trading Post, you are directly contributing to the future development and continued maintenance of DesertUSA.

You can book reservations anywhere in the World from the DesertUSA Web site. So be sure to try our online reservation system for your next vacation and/or car rental. Make Reservations Now

Get ready for your visit to the desert with books, gifts and products available from the DesertUSA’s Online Store.

DesertUSA’s purpose is to provide a tool for discovery – a publication that entertains, educates and explores with our readers, the beauty, life and culture of the North American deserts. Visitors come to DesertUSA’s Web site every month to read articles, participate in the Desert Talk message board, shop in DesertUSA’s online store and explore the desert virtually.

DesertUSA encourages you to forward a copy of the Digital Desert Newsletter to friends, family and business associates who may be interested in receiving this newsletter on a monthly basis.