Intrusive rock sequences in the central and eastern Mojave Desert segment of the Jurassic Cordilleran arc of the western United States record regional and temporal variations in magmas generated during the second prominent pulse of Mesozoic continental arc magmatism. U/Pb zircon ages provide temporal control for describing variations in rock and zircon geochemistry that reflect differences in magma source components. These source signatures are discernible through mixing and fractionation processes associated with magma ascent and emplacement. The oldest well-dated Jurassic rocks defining initiation of the Jurassic pulse are a 183 Ma monzodiorite and a 181 Ma ignimbrite. Early to Middle Jurassic intrusive rocks comprising the main stage of magmatism include two high-K calc-alkalic groups: to the north, the deformed 183–172 Ma Fort Irwin sequence and contemporaneous rocks in the Granite and Clipper Mountains, and to the south, the 167–164 Ma Bullion sequence. A Late Jurassic suite of shoshonitic, alkali-calcic intrusive rocks, the Bristol Mountains sequence, ranges in age from 164 to 161 Ma and was emplaced as the pulse began to wane. Whole-rock and zircon trace-element geochemistry defines a compositionally coherent Jurassic arc with regional and secular variations in melt compositions. The arc evolved through the magma pulse by progressively greater input of old cratonic crust and lithospheric mantle into the arc magma system, synchronous with progressive regional crustal thickening.