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Amargosa Desert



Amargosa Desert
Amargosa Desert near the Bullfrog Hills
Name origin: Amargosa River[1]
Country United States
State Nevada and California
Region Great Basin
County Nye and Inyo
Borders on west: Funeral Mountains & Yucca Mountain
east: Nellis Air Force Range
Parts Franklin Lake Playa[2]
River Amargosa
Elevation 2,411 ft (735 m) [3]
Area 2,600 sq mi (6,734 km2) [4] including:
1981 sq mi of Amargosa River Basin[2]
600 sq mi of Amargosa Valley[4]
Geology Crater Flat
Timezone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
The Amargosa Desert is near Death Valley

Amargosa desert - Amargosa Desert
Amargosa desert

The Amargosa Desert is located in Nye County in western Nevada, United States, along the CaliforniaNevada border. It is largely coincident with the geographic Amargosa Valley.

The desert is named after the Amargosa River, so-named for the Spanish word for bitter because of the bitter taste of the water.[1]



The Amargosa Desert lies at an elevation of about 2,600 to 2,750 feet (790 to 840 m), and includes Crater Flat and the community of Amargosa Valley, Nevada, (formerly Lathrop Wells), which lies at the southern end of the desert.

The desert lies between the Funeral Mountains and Death Valley to the west, and Yucca Mountain and the Nellis Air Force Range to the east.

Natural history

The Amargosa Desert is an arid desert habitat and an ecotone between the northern Great Basin and southern Mojave Desert ecosystems and biogeography regions. The seasonal Amargosa River course runs through the desert, with the rare Shoshone pupfish in nearby Amargosa Pupfish Station of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


  1. ^ a b Gudde, Erwin; William Bright (2004). California Place Names (Fourth ed.). University of California Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-520-24217-3. 
  2. ^ a b Reheis, Maris C; et al. Late Cenozoic Drainage History of the Southwestern Great Basin and Lower Colorado River Regions. p. 48. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Amargosa Desert". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. December 31, 1981. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Walker, George E; Eakin, Thomas E (March 1963). "Geology and Ground Water of Amargosa Desert, Nevada-California" (pdf). Ground-Water Resources - Reconnaissance Series 14. Nevada Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
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