Chihuahuan Desert

Chihuahuan Desert Geography

Chihuahuan desert is located in Mexican country of United States in North American Region which is the second largest desert of North America and covering an area of 3,62,000 km2.

It is surrounded on West by Sierra Madre Occidental, on north by Sierra Madre Oriental, occupies central along with southern New Mexico, part of West Texas of Pecos River, southeastern part of Arizona , northern state of Chihuahua along with Coahuila, north eastern Durango and western part of Nuevo Leon.


Country Mexico, United States
Region North America
Coordinates 30°32′26″N 103°50′14″W
Highest point  - elevation 3,700 m (12,139 ft)
Lowest point  - elevation 600 m (1,969 ft)
Length 1,285 km (798 mi)
Width 440 km (273 mi)
Area 362,600 km2 (140,001 sq mi)
Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest February 11-13
  • West by Arizona's U.S. Route 191
  • On the north by Interstate 40
  • On the east by Texas' U.S. Route 385
  • South to the Mexican border.
Cave Cavern of Crystal Giants
Latitude and Longitude 30.5406° N, 103.8372° W
Rivers Pecos River
Wolves Mexican Gray Wolf

Climate / Weather Forecast

Climate in Chihuahuan desert varies along with season that is temperatures in winter season are very cool while in summer it will be too hot, along with mild frosts during autumn. It has occasional winter rains and is about 10 inches every year while precipitation ranges from 150 to 400 mm. Though it has little amount of rainfalls Rio Grande River is providing precious water in this desert.

Native Plants

Chihuahuan desert is occupied by different plant species such as Creosote Bush, Viscid Acacia, Tarbush, Yucca, Opuntia species, Arizona Rainbow Cactus and Mexican Fire-barrel Cactus. But Creosote Bush is the dominant from all the species in Chihuahuan desert.

  • Lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla)
  • Beargrass (Nolina species)
  • Sotol (Dasylirion species)
  • Candelilla (Euphorbia antisyphilitica)
  • Yucca (Spanish dagger)
  • Agave species (century plants)
  • Tarbush (Flourensia cernua)
  • Chamizo/Chamiza
  • Desert Spoon
  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Ocotillo
  • Barrel Cactus
  • Century Plant
  • Shin Dagger/Lechuguilla
  • Xeriscaping

Wildlife Animals & Mammals

Chihuahuan desert is being a home to huge number of precise invertebrates that includes desert tarantula, whip scorpions, vinegaroon, desert millipede, wide range of scorpion and giant centipede. Apart from this we can find fish species such as pup fish, amphibians such as barred tiger salamander, lizards such as whiptails, snakes, bird species, mammals such as bat fauna, mule deer, white-tailed deer and pronghorn are some of them that are widely seen in Chihuahuan dessert.

  • Poised to strike
  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Rock Hopping
  • Desert Cottontail
  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Roadrunner
  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Collared Lizard
  • Greater Earless Lizard
  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Scared Rabbit
  • Gopher Snake
  • Always hungry

People and Population

Chihuahuan desert provides shelter to more than five million people who cover Mexico City, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rio Grande Basin, EI Paso, Juarez, Ciudad Juarez and Sierra Madre Occidental high lands. The terrible threats from Chihuahuan desert are contributed by growing population, poor management of water, expanding agricultural space, invasive species and wildlife trade.

Chihuahuan desert is considered as the most biologically diverse desert of the world by World Wide Fund for Nature.

Cave of the Crystals

Location Naica, Saucillo Municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico
Coordinates 27°51′3″N 105°29′47″W
Depth 300 m (980 ft)
Length 27 m (89 ft)
Discovery 2000
Geology Limestone
Hazards High temperature (58 °C) and humidity (~ 99 %)
Access Privately owned

Insects & Reptiles

Great Plains Toad Squirrel Treefrog Crevice Swift Schott's Whipsnake
Green Toad Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad Slevins’s Bunch Grass Lizard Trans-pecos Ratsnake 
Red-spotted Toad Chiricahua Leopard Frog Four-lined Skink Glossy Snake
Texas Toad Western Tiger Salamander Western Banded Gecko Sonoran Lyre Snake 
Woodhouse's Toad  Texas Alligator Lizard  Reticulate Banded Gecko Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
Colorado River Toad  Arizona Alligator Lizard  Gray-checkered Whiptail  Sonoran Mud Turtle
Gulf Coast Toad Eastern Collared Lizard  Ringneck Snake Yellow Mud Turtle
Arizona Treefrog Gila Monster Coachwhip Eastern Painted Turtle

Centennial Museum & Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Established 1936
Location 500 W. University Avenue
El Paso, Texas
Coordinates 31.769275°N 106.505821°W
Nearest car park Permits at museum office

Mountains List

  • Sierra Madre
  • The Sierra del Carmen
  • The Organ Mountains
  • The Franklin Mountains
  • The Sacramento Mountains
  • The Sandia-Manzano Mountains
  • The Magdalena-San Mateo Mountains
  • The Chisos Mountains
  • The Guadalupe Mountains
  • The Davis Mountains

Nature Trails & Hikes

Trail Name Difficulty Distance
Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail Easy 0.5 mile round trip
Chimneys Trail Moderate 4.8 miles round trip
Devil's Den Moderate 5.6 miles round trip
Grapevine Hills Trail Easy 2.2 miles round trip
Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail Easy 1 mile round trip
Mule Ears Spring Trail Moderate 3.8 miles round trip
Panther Path Easy 50 yard loop
Sam Nail Ranch Easy 0.5 mile loop
Tuff Canyon Easy 0.75 mile round trip
Upper Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail Moderate 3.8 miles round trip

National Parks

Big Bend National Park

Country United States
State Texas
Region Chihuahuan Desert
City Alpine (nearest)
River Rio Grande
Location Brewster County, Texas
 - coordinates 29°15′0″N 103°15′0″W
Highest point  
 - location Emory Peak, Chisos Mountains
 - elevation 7,832 ft (2,387 m)
Lowest point  
 - location Rio Grande
 - elevation 1,800 ft (549 m)
Area 801,163 acres (324,219 ha)
Founded June 12, 1944
Management National Park Service
Visitation 316,953 (2013)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Location Eddy County, New Mexico, U.S.
Nearest city Carlsbad
Coordinates 32°10′31″N 104°26′38″W
Area 46,766 acres (18,926 ha)
339 acres (137 ha) private
Established May 14, 1930
Visitors 365,000 (in 2011)
Governing body National Park Service
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Type Natural
Criteria vii, viii
Designated 1995 (19th session)
Reference no. 721
State Party United States
Region North America

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Location Culberson County and Hudspeth County, Texas, USA
Nearest city Dell City, Texas
Coordinates 31°55′0″N 104°52′0″W
Area 86,367 acres (34,951 ha)
Established September 30, 1972
Visitors 159,360 (in 2012)
Governing body National Park Service

Pecos River

Country United States
States Texas, New Mexico
Source Pecos Falls
 - location 29 mi (47 km) north of Pecos, New Mexico
 - elevation 11,759 ft (3,584 m)
 - coordinates 35°58′34″N 105°33′29″W 
Mouth Rio Grande
 - location Seminole Canyon, Val Verde County, 37 mi (60 km) northwest of Del Rio, Texas
 - elevation 1,115 ft (340 m)
 - coordinates 29°41′59″N 101°22′17″W
Length 926 mi (1,490 km)
Basin 44,402 sq mi (115,001 km2)
Discharge for IBWC station 08-4474.10 near Langtry, Texas
 - average 265 cu ft/s (8 m3/s)
 - max 152,910 cu ft/s (4,330 m3/s)
 - min 42 cu ft/s (1 m3/s)

Tourist Attractions

Things to Do

  • Art Galleries
  • Best Sunrises/Sunsets
  • Bowling Centers
  • Entertainment
  • Historical and Cultural Sites
  • Movie Theaters
  • Museums
  • El Paso
  • Ranches, Farms & Orchards
  • Regional Casinos
  • Vineyards and Wineries

Chihuahuan Desert Images / Photos

Chihuahuan Desert Dogs
Chihuahuan Desert Dogs
Chihuahuan Desert Dunes
Chihuahuan Desert Dunes
Chihuahuan Desert Kangaroo Rat
Chihuahuan Desert Kangaroo Rat
Chihuahuan Desert Location Map
Chihuahuan Desert Location Map
Chihuahuan Desert Map
Chihuahuan Desert Map
Chihuahuan Desert On USA Map
Chihuahuan Desert On USA Map
Chihuahuan Desert Soil
Chihuahuan Desert Soil
Chihuahuan Desert View
Chihuahuan Desert View