These images are from around the Arizona Desert. Most are taken during hikes or off road excursions. To the east of Phoenix and Mesa are the Superstition Mountians. The mountains were actually formed when a large caldera volcano erupted and basically churned up the rock. The mountains are rather striking as they seem to rise straight up out of the ground with sheer cliffs.
A little to the Southeast along US60 is Peralta trail. At first you start in some foliage near the base and eventually end up on mostly rock with some various desert plant life around. Near the top of the trail you will come to Fremont Saddle where you will have a head on view of Weaver's Needle, a large spire like rock formation. From here you can also see beyond the needle to other distant mountains. During this climb there was still snow on the mountains as well as some remnants at the saddle.
The images following Peralta are from Siphon Draw which almost directly marches you up the cliffs of the Superstition Mountains. The horny toad pictured was only about 2 inches long. This hike was rather rocky, but once you get into the main rocks of the mountain and gain some altitude the views back towards Phoenix are rather amazing. Although you can try to hike all the way to The Flatiron, most will stop at the Basin where there is a bowl like formation formed by water runoff. There is a small stream here as well and a waterfall along with plenty of shade.
The final 5 images are from the Senator Highway which runs through the Bradshaw Mountains. This highway runs from Crown King, AZ to Prescott, AZ and offers beautiful views as far as one can see to the west along with the changing climate and foliage climbing through the various peaks and valleys towards Prescott. The highway is all dirt road and runs through old mining territory in the back country of Arizona.