The Mojave Desert is bounded by the Tehachapi and the San Bernadino Mountain ranges. The boundaries are quite distinct, since they are outlined by the two largest faults in California: the San Andreas and the Gorlock. The Mojave Desert receives less than 6 inches of rain a year and is generally between 3000 and 6000 feet of elevation. The Mojave Desert also contains Mojave National Preserve and the lowest, hottest place on Earth: Death Valley, where temperature normally approaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit in late July and early August.
The Mojave Desert contains a number of ghost towns, the most significant of these being the silver-mining town of Calico, California. Some of them are of the more modern variety, created when Route 66 (and the lesser-known US Highway 91) were abandoned in favor of the Interstates.
The Mojave River is an important source of water in this arid land.