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View Poll Results: Desert Battle: High Desert vs. Low Desert
High Desert (Antelope Valley, Victor Valley, etc.) 30 51.72%
Low Desert (Coachella Valley, Imperial Valley, etc.) 28 48.28%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-26-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
8,029 posts, read 14,425,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsue-z View Post
Oak trees and cottonwoods all over the hills around Palmdale. Where?? Some oak trees and cottonwoods along riparian areas next to usually dry creeks like Littlerock,Big Rock, Bouquet etc. Some oaks in the "Lakes" area like Lake Hughes, Elizabeth etc. but certainly not "widespread" in the hills around Palmdale.
There are patches of elm and cottonwood north of Lancaster. Cottonwood does surprisingly well... probably because the roots are invasive and the calichi layer a few feet down tends to trap water near the surface. I could always find damp sand no more than two feet down behind my house, which no doubt explained why I had big healthy cottonwood trees (I was 15 miles NW of Lancaster). At least until they aged out and fell over.

Unfortunately the craze for "cottonless" cottonwoods leads to only male trees being planted, which absent female trees seem to be very short-lived, as little as 15 years. The female trees are much longer-lived, and male trees seem to live a lot longer when female trees are also present. Or such has been my observation. (There used to be a lot of cottonwoods along the Santa Clara river, including some HUGE specimens on Soledad Canyon Road which have since been cut down. Still some near Acton.)

BTW you can grow cottonwoods from a stick -- cut a branch that's in the shape and proportions that you want the eventual tree to be, and stick half of it in the ground (but not near a septic or water line!!) It needs to be watered for the first couple years but after that, if there's any subsurface moisture at all, can do fine on its own. They make the most cool-feeling shade of any tree.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Oroville, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
I'm not sure those northern areas are considered high desert. Mammoth Lakes region definitely does not feel like desert at 7,880'. It's much more like a mountain town with lakes and a big ski resort.

I would prefer that whole Eastern Side of the Sierra. Lee Vining is an interesting beast with Mono Lake.

Its funny that that you didn't mention Death Valley which actually has the lowest point in North America. It also has some of the highest sand dunes.
Same here. All that's listed are the areas of SoCal when the most scenic are in NorCal on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. When I worked summers in Yosemite I regularly went over Tioga Pass on day trips to the East Side. So starkly different than the rest of California - very "Old West" feeling.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:02 PM
 
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I think its great having both.

Although California really has THREE deserts:

The low desert (actually called the Colorado desert): Has the resort and retirement communities of the Coachella Valley as snowbirds from the northeast come to the Southwest for mild winters, so therefore they are a lot nicer than anywhere else in Californias deserts. Though the Imperial Valley south of the Salton Sea is easily the poorest region of the state.

As far as nature goes: LOVE Anza Borrego! Palm grove oases, annual desert wildflowers, desert bighorn sheep, badlands with slot canyons. Its amazing! But really only doable a couple months out of the year. March is the best time.

The lower high desert (the Mojave): Generally undesirable. Towns are either old run down mining towns in the far desert, or serving military bases and people passing through on interstates. Closer to LA, generally the cheapest and least desirable areas to live (Antelope and Victor Valleys).

Nature: J-Tree NP is very accessible, lots to see and do: boulder scrambling, desert vegetation, amazing views, etc. and is good to visit for more months than Anza Borrego, as its less hot throughout year, (avoid in hottest part of summer, and beware of a little snow in winter).

The HIGH high desert (though Death Valley is obviously lower than anywhere even the ocean) really a western extenstion of Nevadas Great Basin/Basin and range. Probably has the greatest variety of natural wonders along 395, access to eastern Sierra, etc., etc.

California has more climate, geology, and ecosystem diversity than anywhere else in North America.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Jurupa Valley, CA, USA 92509
1,377 posts, read 1,856,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
I think its great having both.

Although California really has THREE deserts:

The low desert (actually called the Colorado desert): Has the resort and retirement communities of the Coachella Valley as snowbirds from the northeast come to the Southwest for mild winters, so therefore they are a lot nicer than anywhere else in Californias deserts. Though the Imperial Valley south of the Salton Sea is easily the poorest region of the state.

As far as nature goes: LOVE Anza Borrego! Palm grove oases, annual desert wildflowers, desert bighorn sheep, badlands with slot canyons. Its amazing! But really only doable a couple months out of the year. March is the best time.

The lower high desert (the Mojave): Generally undesirable. Towns are either old run down mining towns in the far desert, or serving military bases and people passing through on interstates. Closer to LA, generally the cheapest and least desirable areas to live (Antelope and Victor Valleys).

Nature: J-Tree NP is very accessible, lots to see and do: boulder scrambling, desert vegetation, amazing views, etc. and is good to visit for more months than Anza Borrego, as its less hot throughout year, (avoid in hottest part of summer, and beware of a little snow in winter).

The HIGH high desert (though Death Valley is obviously lower than anywhere even the ocean) really a western extenstion of Nevadas Great Basin/Basin and range. Probably has the greatest variety of natural wonders along 395, access to eastern Sierra, etc., etc.

California has more climate, geology, and ecosystem diversity than anywhere else in North America.
The areas of the Coachella Valley in which I'd consider to be the most "resort-y" are, IMO, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Bermuda Dunes. The rest, not so much (though parts of Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio (and maybe Coachella) are a bit "resort-y" as well).

Aside from that, great insightful post!
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Jurupa Valley, CA, USA 92509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post
Coachella Valley is a very unique situation in California desert. Its everything opposite of most other desert towns. Most other desert communities are pretty isolated, conservative, live and let live, and low profile.

Though some unknown reason however Coachella Valley seems to appear like a piece of the coastline moved into the desert.
Though one can also ask why many the OC coast except for Laguana Beach seem to be politically like the inland despite being a Hollywood star playground for so long.
Interesting you say that, but why would you think that the Coachella Valley seems to appear like a desert version of a piece of the coastline? Actually, don't answer that. I myself sometimes see the general area that way as well.

I view the higher-income areas of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes) as a desert version of the higher-income areas of Orange County (I don't have a lot of knowledge on OC, so bear with me), such as Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Irvine, Fountain Valley, and others.

For the lower-income areas of the Coachella Valley (Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Indio, Coachella), I'd view them as a desert version of the lower-income areas of OC, such as Santa Ana, Anaheim, Stanton, La Habra, Westminster, and/or Garden Grove.

As for the more rural areas of the Coachella Valley (Thermal, Mecca, Thousand Palms, Sky Valley, Oasis, Whitewater, etc.), well, I'm not quite sure where they would fit...

This may sound like a lame resemblance, but this is how I sometimes view the Coachella Valley.

Last edited by Brandon Graves; 11-28-2017 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:33 AM
 
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Good analogy and observations.

Though one interesting thing I find intersting is that Coachella Valley is extremely left liberal in terms of their voter political demographics as well as local government policy making comparable to that of West Hollywood. They are a huge exception to the inland more conservative rule, essentially a liberal oasis in the conservative desert. They have a large LGBT community. On the flip side Orange County including some of the coastside cities are famous for their conservativeness sometimes even more so than cities much farther inland. Even though the coast line of Orange County just as with Coachella Valley are both known as Hollywood's celebrity hangouts.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:18 PM
 
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Low Desert. It's the Sonoran desert, same desert as Phoenix, so it gets more summer monsoons and rain that cools things off. Plus, it's got the Tramway.

High Desert--fine, it snows once every year, but it's in the Mojave desert, same desert as Vegas, and hardly rains in the summer, meaning it's unbearably hot, dry, and barren. Vegas is a much worse city than Phoenix.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Graves View Post
Because it gets SO hot (115-125°F), even under the shade!
I would take neither. It's so freaking hot here from June to October. I would rather take mid-atlantic humidity over a broiler climate any day. At least there they have evening t-storms to cool things off.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Having lived in both Minnesota humid and 100F, and high desert 122F and bone-dry -- I'll take the dry heat any time! Your sweat may vary.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Las Cruces NM
151 posts, read 120,684 times
Reputation: 160
Default High Desert, but not higher than the Owens Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Graves View Post
High Desert (Hi-Desert, Hi-Dez)

Los Angeles County
Antelope Valley (AV, The 661) (Palmdale, Lancaster, Pearblossom, etc.)

San Bernardino County
Victor Valley (VV, The Other 760, Victim Valley) (Victorville, Apple Valley, etc.)
Morongo Basin (Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Morongo Valley, etc.)
Barstow Area (Barstow, Fort Irwin, Newberry Springs, etc.)
Searles Valley (Trona)
Needles

Kern County
Indian Wells Valley (IWV) (Ridgecrest, Inyokern, etc.)
California City, Rosamond, Boron, North Edwards, etc.

Inyo County
Owens Valley (Lone Pine, Bishop, Independence, etc.)
Panamint Valley
Saline Valley

Mono County
Mammoth Lakes, Bridgeport, Lee Vining, etc.

Low Desert (Lo-Desert, Lo-Dez)

Riverside County
Coachella Valley (CV, Desert Empire, The 760, Deadly Empire) (Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, etc.)
Palo Verde Valley (PVV, Blythe Area) (Blythe, Ripley, Mesa Verde, etc.)
Desert Center, Chiriaco Summit, Eagle Mountain

Imperial County
Imperial Valley (IV) (El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Salton City, Niland etc.)

San Diego County
Anza-Borrego Desert (Borrego Springs, etc.)

Which of these two California deserts do you prefer, especially in the summer months, the High Desert or the Low Desert? Which area of those two California deserts?

Any answers/insights/votes (yes, votes) are greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!

A comment and my answer...
Comment: Needles is low elevation at about 500 ft, making it a low desert / Sonoran Desert extension. Similar, but near and not inside the California border, are Laughlin NV and Bullhead City AZ. Look at extreme and average temperatures Needles to Laughlin, and plants like palo verde, smoke tree, etc.

Answer: high desert, if it were only summer climate.
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