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Biological Survey of Ironwood Forest National Monument

Aguirre Valley Images

Photographer: Mark Dimmitt

Right: Aguirre Valley is a large, flat expanse of mostly silty soils. The vegetation consists of creosotebush-dominated scrub dissected by large mesquite washes. Except for the mesquites, trees and saguaros are almost absent. View east from Sunland Gin Road to Solo Peak, the westernmost end of the West Silver Bell Mountains.
Above: At tThe edges of Aguirre Valley where the soils are gravelly, there are some beautiful landscapes.
Left: Several huge braided washes, often a mile wide, cross Aguirre Valley. The trees are almost entirely velvet mesquite.
Aguirre Valley has a number of interesting features that we dubbed "death playas." Wherever the surface completely lacks topographic relief, there are no living plants. The decaying stumps indicate that this condition has developed within the last several decades. The surrounding areas have very slight undulations that collect runoff and support stands of vegetation, mostly creosotebush and shrubby mesquites. Nearby are broad washes with dense forests of large mesquite trees.