I’ve got a brand new book to read sitting here in front of me. And it is 452 pages long. The new book is entitled Hiking the Mojave Desert: The Natural and Cultural Heritage of Mojave National Preserve by Michel Digonnet. Those of you who are long time visitors to the site know that Michel’s two books on hiking Death Valley had a huge impact on me and were basically what encouraged me to get out there and explore undocumented areas of Death Valley. It looks like his newest effort will be inspiring me to visit the Mojave Preserve for the first time in the near future. I am going to post a review of Michel’s new book after I get done reading it over the course of the next week or two. Until then, I just wanted to tell you about it and let you know about it being released. Here is the overview taken from the back cover.–
THE THIRD LARGEST DESERT PARK in the country, Mojave National Preserve protects 1.6 million acres of spectacular arid lands at the heart of the Mojave Desert. Part of the celebrated Great Basin province, it is a spellbinding region of mighty mountain ranges rising thousands of feet above vast inland basins. Famous for the majestic Kelso Dunes, the Devils Playground, and the world’s largest Joshua tree forest, the preserve also holds considerable natural and cultural wealth, including a wild range of landscapes, striking plant communities, and a rich mining past. Above all, it is a land of contrasts, alternatively forlorn and vibrant with life, stark and colorful, blanketed in snow in the winter, awash with wildflowers in the spring, and scorching hot in the summer. Being high-desert country and generally a little cooler than Death Valley, topographically less rugged, and far less visited, it offers a tremendous potential for comparatively easier hiking in complete solitude.
This book is an invitation to desert lovers to explore this little-known gem. Meticulously researched, it provides valuable information about the geology, mining history, wildlife, and botany of the beautiful region. Illustrated with plenty of custom topographic maps, photographs, and hand drawings, it describes more than 80 hiking destinations as varied as rugged canyons and lofty summits, salt flats and eerie volcanic plateaus, lush springs and pine forests, cactus gardens, rock art, and a healthy collection of mines, camps, and ghost towns.