The Sonoran Desert is a vast region that extends from just east of the California Mojave Desert to the western New Mexico border and it runs south from Interstate 40 in Arizona to several hundred miles deep into Mexico. Basically, most of the southern half of Arizona is located in the Sonoran Desert and this means that there is plenty of room to roam when doing a scenic drive!
During the winter season, the Sonoran Desert offers comfortable daytime temperatures, but after sunset the air can be downright chilly. Snow is a very rare sight in the higher elevations this far south and when snow capped peaks happen, they do not last for long. Winter storms might bring a little rain, but this only lasts for a few days out of the entire year. What this all means is the winter season in the Sonoran Desert is usually clear blue skies with plenty of warm sunshine.
The Sonoran Desert is a great place to take a scenic drive when the winter weather is too much to bear up north in the high elevations of the west. Winter is the best time of year to tour the Sonoran Desert and the long summer season lies in the opposite extreme. The Sonoran Desert is hotter than a frying pan during the summer months and the temperatures can easily exceed 120ºF. Some people like it hot, while other do not, but it pays to keep in mind that many businesses in this region are only open during the cool weather season.
Because the hot Arizona summers are so long and because most of the mainstream tourists travel the Interstate Highways, many of the old towns and attractions along the old two lane roads in the Sonoran Desert have gone by the wayside. Ever since Route 66 tourism was rekindled in recent years, many people have eagerly taken the road less traveled. Even so, the old two lane roads that seemingly stretch out forever in the Sonoran Desert no longer bring in enough revenue from tourists to save the day.
U.S. Highway 60 and State Road 72 in Southwestern Arizona are two prime examples of major travel routes that were cast aside after the modern Interstate Highway System came to be. When taking a scenic drive on these roads, a driver deals with far less traffic and there is more time to enjoy the Sonoran Desert landscape along the way. With no rush and no hurry, there will also be more opportunities to experience the relics of the past that never seem to fade away in this arid environment.
Remnants of the golden age of Route 66 style automobile travel can be experienced along the old two lane roads when taking a scenic drive in the Sonoran Desert. Unobstructed scenic views of the vast desert expanse can easily be found too. The view may be a ravine full of giant Saguaro Cactus that look like they are waving hello. A vast pristine Sonoran Desert expanse that stretches out to mountains on the horizon is a sight to take in too. Touring the old two lane highways in the Sonoran Desert means stopping to photograph an age old sun faded neon motel sign from the 1940s or taking the time to check out an old battle tank war memorial by a trailer park out in the middle of nowhere. Even a roadrunner crossing a dirt road becomes something to focus upon when touring this this arid harsh environment.
Weird unusual things in the Sonoran Desert can be amusing and interesting enough to inspire thoughts that only come to mind when touring vast desolate regions like this. Sometimes questions come to mind that there is no answer for. All it takes is a little memory of a scenic drive through the Sonoran Desert to day dream over empty ended thoughts for many peaceful hours. For some, a photo of something odd in the desert provides peace of mind like nothing else.
Bringing a good camera along for a scenic drive on the old Sonoran Desert side roads will reward a traveler with pictures that are far more than just conversation pieces. All it takes is one can look at a photo of a rusty old sign hanging over a dilapidated abandoned building along the roadside and a thousand words easily come to mind. Looking at a saddled mustang tied to a rusty water tank by a mercantile store reminds viewers that some folks in the desert have no need to keep up with modern times. The timeless Sonoran Desert will always be there, while relics of the modern age slowly rust and fade away into the past. A scenic drive on an old two lane road in the Sonoran Desert is not only a great escape, it is an experience that shows how timeless the old Southwest really is!
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