Alkali flats Dry lake or salt flat consisting of fine-grained sediments.
Antimony Silvery element used as a flame retardant and in ball bearings.
Anza-Borrego Desert Southern California desert roughly two hours northeast of San Diego.
Arctomecon californica Rare California bear-paw poppy.
Arroyo Dry creek bed.
ATV All-Terrain Vehicle.
Badlands/bajada Any section of barren land where rapid erosion has cut the loose, dry soil or soft rocks into strange shapes, as in various places in the Western United States.
Bear-paw poppy See Arctomecon californica.
Bight Bay formed by a curve in a river.
Black River River in the eastern Yukon region of Alaska.
Bryce Canyon Natural amphitheater located in a remote area of southwestern Utah.
Bullhead City City in Arizona along the Colorado River.
Captain Ahab Captain of the whaling ship Pequod, in Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick.
Cibola National Wildlife Refuge Rests on the lower floodplain of the Colorado River between Arizona and California, surrounded by desert.
Chollas Kind of cactus.
Colorado River Indian Reservation Indian reservation established in 1865 and composed of members of the Mojavi, Hopi, Navajo, and Chemehuevi nations.
Combine Machine that harvests grain crops, commonly corn, soy, oats, and wheat.
Cordova Small Alaska city located on the east side of Prince William Sound.
Crevasse Deep crack or fissure, especially in an ice sheet or glacier.
Davis Gulch A gulch, or narrow gorge, in southern Utah with an oasis at its bottom.
Denali National Park U.S. National Park and Preserve containing Mount McKinley, North America's highest mountain.
Dillard, Annie (b. 1945) Pulitzer prize–winning American author of narrative nonfiction.
Edwards, John Menlove (1910–58) British writer and rock climber.
El Capitan Popular mountain destination for rock climbers located in California's Yosemite National Park.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803–82) American poet and Transcendentalist philosopher whose works include the essay "Self-Reliance."
Emory University Private university located in Atlanta, Georgia, founded by Methodists in the 1830s.
Escarpment Steep slope or cliff formed by erosion.
Fireweed Wildflower so named because it is one of the first plants to grow on ground that has been burned.
Glacial till Unsorted sediment deposited directly by the glacier.
Gogol, Nikolai (1809–52) Ukrainian-born Russian novelist and playwright who often mocked the corrupt morals of society and the ineptitude of government; his best-known story is "The Overcoat."
Haines, John (b. 1924) Former poet laureate of Alaska.
Imperial Valley Agricultural community in California bordered by the Colorado River to the east and the Salton Sea to the west.
Inupiat People native to Alaska's northwest arctic region.
Kayenta Anasazi Ancient Native Americans who created pictographs and rock art in the deserts of the American southwest.
Kerouac, Jack (1922–69) American author and member of the so-called "Beat" writers who wrote the seminal novel On the Road.
Kobuk River River located in the arctic region of northwestern Alaska.
L'Amour, Louis (1908–88) American author of popular Western novels.
Lake Mead Largest reservoir in the United States, located on the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona.
Lake Powell Reservoir in southern Utah.
Lake Tahoe Large, freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range, located along the border of California and Nevada.
London, Jack (1876–1916) American author and social activist best known for his novels Call of the Wild and White Fang.
Manson, Charles (b. 1934) Cult leader in the1960s convicted of murdering six people.
Mexican serape Long, blanket-like shawl similar to a poncho.
Mojave Desert High desert bordered by the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and Tehachapi Mountain ranges.
Morro Bay California city on the ocean in San Luis Obispo County.
Muir, John (1838–1914) Scottish-born California naturalist and preservationist.
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration, responsible for U.S. civilian aeronautical space program.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844–1900) Prussian-born philosopher who believed in questioning all ideas and doctrines and proposed theory of the "Super Man."
Niland Small, mostly agricultural town in Imperial County, California.
Nordwand German for "north face" as in describing a mountain.
Ocotillo Succulent native to the American southwest.
Pacific Crest Trail Hiking and horseback-riding trail that runs between Mexico and Canada through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.
Ptarmigan Medium-sized game bird.
Saguaros Giant cactus with thick, spiny stems and white flowers native to the southwestern United States.
San Jacinto Peak Highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountain range, a favorite of naturalist John Muir.
Saltbush Various plants of the goosefoot family, frequently growing in saline or alkaline soil, as in salt marshes or desert areas.
Salton Sea Saltwater lake located below sea level in the Colorado Desert.
Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California and Nevada that is 400 miles long and 70 miles wide.
Stegner, Wallace (1909–93) Essayist and novelist of the American West; his most famous work is the novel Angle of Repose.
Stikine Ice Cap Extremely large ice field on the Alaska–British Columbia border known for its technically difficult ice-climbing peaks.
Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62) American author, poet, naturalist, and philosopher who wrote Walden, about living simply in natural surroundings.
Tolstoy, Count Leo (1828–1910) Russian writer and aristocrat who late in life became a fervent anarchist and pacifist; his most famous novels are War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
Topographic map Map that depicts both natural and man-made features.
Twain, Mark (1835–1910; born Samuel Clemens) American humorist, satirist, and novelist; wrote the novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
United States Geological Survey Agency that studies the country's landscape, natural resources, and potentially threatening natural hazards.
Wells, H. G. (1866–1946) English historian and science-fiction author.
Weston, Edward (1886–1958) Famous photographer of the American west.
White gypsum Very soft, white, and chalky mineral.
Whymper, Edward (1840–1911) English illustrator, mountain climber, and explorer.
Yarrow Flowering plant known in herbal medicine and folk medicine to staunch the flow of blood from a wound.
Yosemite National Park U.S. National Park located in California.
Yuma Proving Ground One of the largest military sites in the world, where the U.S. Army tests weapons.