I have now included my favorite desert photographs into a gallery titled An Arid Muse. It's a phrase I used for my Anza-Borrego book and one I feel fits my appreciation for the desert southwest. Philip Hyde's book Drylands has been an inspiration and though I've not covered anywhere near the geography he did for his volume, I have managed to get around to a few hot spots over the last 6 years. Hyde's book is a great reference for the beautifully arid places on our continent.
Most of my trips have been to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, part of the Colorado Desert (a subsection of the Sonoran Desert). Joshua Tree National Park sits astride the Mojave and Colorado Deserts so you can experience both ecosystems. One of my favorites for dunes is White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico which sits atop the Chihuahuan Desert, a desert system that dives deep in to Mexico. However, my favorite spot in the southwest is the Colorado Plateau and its Painted Desert. Some consider the Painted Desert part of the Great Basin Desert but I tend to agree with Hyde that it has a character all its own and deserves singular recognition.