"El Camino del Diablo"--Spanish for "The Devil's Highway"--is the name of a trail that spans hundreds of miles in the Sonoran Desert.

It has been used as a route from what is now northwest Mexico to California for thousands of years, and modern-day scientists and other experts say it is a special place.

In this region, Native Americans, Spaniards and other travelers came to rely on an oasis--the waterholes known collectively as "Tinajas Altas" or High Tanks, where some of the desert's limited rainfall is captured in a series of natural pools among rocky valleys in the area's rugged cliffs.

Gayle Harrison Hartmann and four other authors recently wrote a book about Tinajas Altas where they address the human and natural history of this unique resource, which now lies within the boundaries of Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range west of Tucson and east of Yuma, Arizona.

"As one of the co-authors, Bill Broyles, likes to say, 'If this were not on the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, this would probably be a national monument.' It's a place with amazing history and it's quite beautiful during the six months of the year when it's not a furnace," Harrison Hartmann says.

The book is called Last Water on the Devil's Highway: A Cultural and Natural History of Tinajas Altas. In addition to Gayle Harrison Hartmann and Bill Broyles, it is co-authored by Thomas E. Sheridan, Gary Paul Nabhan and Mary Charlotte Thurtle.