But he had not gone far when he was led astray by a guide, and after the loss of his entire outfit and several of his men, and intense suffering of the survivors from cold and hunger, he turned southward through the valley of the Rio Grande and then westward through the valley of the Gila into southern California.
The Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum), a poisonous lizard, whose bite is injurious but rarely, if ever, fatal to man, also occurs in the desert regions.
Suspectum, the gila monster, in the hot and sandy lowlands of the Gila basin.
Pueblo ruins are plentiful in the basins of the Gila and Colorado rivers and their tributaries.
The Colorado desert (together with the lower Gila Valley of Arizona) is the hottest part of the United States.
Among the venomous reptiles and insects are the rattlesnake, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum), a poisonous lizard, and the tarantula (Mygale Heintzii), which, however, are common only in certain places and at certain seasons.
Of the mountains it ranges from temperate heats in the foothills to semi-tropic heat in the lower valleys of the Gila and Colorado.
The second half of the 19th century witnessed several great finds; first, of gold placers on the lower Gila and Colorado (1858-1869); later, of lodes at Tombstone, which flourished from 1879-1886, then decayed, but in 1905 had again become the centre of important mining interests; and still later the development of copper mines at Jerome and around Bisbee.
From the Gila to the southern boundary the parched land gives no water to the sea, and the international boundary runs in part through a true desert.
The westward-flowing streams - the San Juan, Rio Puerco of the West, Zuni, Rio San Francisco and Gila - are of only slight importance, though their flow is perennial.