On this day in 1905 Matt Riley died while trying to cross Pinto Basin in Joshua Tree National Monument without sufficient water. Most tragically, his body was found just 200 yards from one of the park's few natural water sources, Cottonwood Springs.
I've enjoyed a walk across Pinto Basin myself, and have camped near Cottonwood Springs - both are beautiful places, but best experienced in cooler months. 90f is time for me to seek shade; 114f is insane to hike in, arguably suicidal.
That said, I've been to slightly cooler parts of the California deserts in July, once with my sister at the wonderful Red Rock Canyon State Park. If your goal is to enjoy the warm wind from the comfort of a hoodoo's shadow and bring plenty of water it can be quite nice.
But desert hiking in July? Maybe in early morning or just before sunset. Learn from the local residents: no animal crosses the sand in the heat of a summer day.
This advice from the park service is not only invaluable whenever you're in the desert, but may be a good metaphor for many of life's travels, keeping in mind that life isn't a sprint but an endurance sport, and sometimes a step back lets you take many more forward later on:
"Drink your water supply rather than trying to conserve it. When it is half gone, it is time to turn back."http://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/historyculture/matt_riley.htm