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High Sonoran Desert Location

High Sonoran Desert

Scottsdale Sunset


Troon Wild Flowers

Higher elevation (2,200 to 2,800 feet above sea level) provides cooler temperatures, cleaner air, and opportunities for views of the Valley floor. Troon is located in arguably the most beautiful section of the Sonoran Desert.

The Sonoran Desert has the greatest diversity of vegetative growth of any desert worldwide. What we call the High Sonoran Desert is in the Arizona Upland section of the Sonoran Desert, and includes the Troon North area. This area is the highest and coldest area of the Sonoran Desert.

Bi-Seasonal Rainfall

The two rainy seasons produces a high biological diversity. The winter rains are usually gentler and longer. These storms are brought in from the north and west bringing colder rains and sometimes snow. The wettest months are generally December and January, and are important to the blooming of spring wildflowers.

The summer monsoon rains begin sometime in July with August as the wettest month. Monsoon doesn’t refer to the rain, but the seasonal shift in winds bringing periods of wet and dry to an area. These warmer, tropical rains from the south are caused by a shift in weather patterns.

The Phoenix area average annual rainfall is about 8 inches per year (compared to Las Vegas, which averages only 4.5 inches per year). The Troon North area averages over 11 inches of rain a year.

Eroding Granite

Pinnacle Peak is made almost entirely of granite and so are the surrounding mountains : Troon Mountain and the the north end of the McDowell Mountains. Mountains of granite also add to the local diversity of plants and animals.

When granite erodes it forms a course sand. This sand has pockets of air which fill and hold water (instead of the water running off) during and after a rain. Plants are able to take a "longer drink" and therefore some plants that would otherwise not survive can flourish. Vegetation is noticeably different from the south end of the McDowell Mountains.

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