The Mojave Desert is an arid desert and the driest desert, located in the Southwest, primarily in southeastern California and southern Nevada, United States, and it covers 47,877 sq mi (124,000 km2). Small areas extend into Utah and Arizona as well. Its boundaries are usually noted by the presence of Joshua trees, which are native only to the Mojave Desert and are considered to be an indicator species, and an additional 1,750 to 2,000 species of plants are believed to support it.
The Mojave spelling comes from the Spanish language, while the Mohave spelling comes from contemporary English. Both are used today, although the spelling of Mojave is formally used by the Mojave Tribal Nation; the word is a shortened form of Hamakhaave.
The Mojave Desert is renowned for having the lowest elevation in North America and the hottest air temperature and surface temperature recorded on Earth.
There are approximately 200 endemic plant species in the Mojave Desert found in neither of the adjacent deserts. The cactus is typically confined to the coarse soils of the bajadas. Mojave yucca and narrow-leafed yucca, a Spanish bayonet, are prominent at higher elevations in the desert. The common shrubs of the Mojave Desert are creosote bush, shadscale, large sagebrush, bladder-sage, bursages, and blackbush.
Bats, bighorn sheep, coyotes, black-tailed jack rabbits, foxes, rattlesnakes, and chukwallas are among a few examples of desert animals living in the Mojave Desert.
There are several national parks located within Mojave Desert area: Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve (The Mojave Road) and Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA).