dated peaks, Zuñí Salt Crater near Quemado, the very fresh lava of
the Carrizozo and San José flows, the ice caves near Grants.
Erosion and Weathering: Chaco Canyon National Monument, El
Morro (Inscription Rock) National Monument, Enchanted Mesa,
Tucumcari Mountain, the volcanic necks already mentioned, Rio
Grande Canyon near Taos, Cimarrón Canyon, the great Red Wall be-
tween Thoreau and Gallup, glacial phenomena of north central New
Mexico, work of the wind at White Sands National Monument (one
of the largest areas of gypsum sand dunes in the world).
Miscellaneous Features: Estancia Salt Lake, Zuñi Salt Crater, the
great fault escarpments of such ranges as the Sandía, Manzano, Ca-
ballos, San Andrés, Sacramento, and others, Sweet's Ranch Petrified
Forest, the Turquoise Hills, and the Santa Rita open copper pits.
In all, more than 6,000 species of flora have been recognized and
recorded in New Mexico. Many of the trees and shrubs are entirely
different from those of the rest of the country. The desert cacti, in
season, turn into vast fields of flowers, most of which are not to be
found in flower keys of the eastern and northern parts of the country.
Many extraordinary forms of flora are peculiar to the southwestern
In the Lower and Upper Sonoran zones, which are sometimes
grouped together under the term Sonoran Desert, the predominant vege-
tation in New Mexico is desert grass, creosote bush, mesquite, piñón
pine, and soapweed; and valuable grasses: the gramas, the galleta, and
buffalo give range value to the lands of Upper Sonoran elevation.
Woody plants, like desert willow, screw-bean, valley cottonwood, and
cacti, are found in variety. Higher elevation areas known as the Upper
Sonoran zone contain most of the valuable grazing and dry-farming
lands, where the principal crops are wheat, corn, milo maize, kaffir, and
broom corn on the eastern plains and pinto (Mexican) beans in the
Estancia Valley and near-by foothills.
The rough lands north of the plains are generally characterized by
scrubby forests of juniper, piñón (nut pine), and oak. The parts of
the Upper Sonoran zone which are not under irrigation are covered
with such vegetation as sagebrush, snakeweed, and short grasses, with
saltgrass and valley cottonwood along the rivers. The higher edges
of the valleys are less arid and are generally covered with piñón, juniper,
and a better stand of grass.
Certain steep broken areas of the Sonoran Desert, like the Gila River
Basin in the southwest, have scattered growths of oak, juniper, and
piñón and an abundance of food-yielding plants. In the canyons are