All of the California deserts are located in eastern Southern California. American Indians were the first humans in the California desert. The highest temperature ever recorded on the surface of the earth, 134 degrees Fahrenheit, was recorded at Death Valley National Park, part of the California desert region, in 1913. The second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, Death Valley, Calif.
There are three main deserts in California: the Mojave, Colorado and the Great Basin deserts. The Mojave Desert is bounded by the Tehachapi Mountains on the northwest, and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains on the south. It extends eastward to California's borders with Arizona and Nevada and also forms portions of northwest Arizona. The Colorado Desert lies in the southeastern corner of California, between the Colorado River and the Transverse Ranges, and continues into Mexico and Arizona to the south and east, though in these areas it is called the Sonoran Desert. The Great Basin desert lies immediately to the east of the Sierra Nevada cordillera and extends eastward into the state of Nevada.
The deserts encompass the entirety of Imperial County; the southern and eastern portion of Inyo County; the eastern portions of Mono County, Los Angeles County, Kern County, San Diego County, Riverside County; and most of northern and eastern San Bernardino County.