| Arizona is a U.S. state located in the Southwestern United States. It is noted for its desert landscape, exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well-known is the pine-covered high country in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the lower deserts of the state. |
Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. It borders New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, touches Colorado, and has a 389 mi (626 km) international border with the states of Sonora and Baja California in Mexico. Aside from the Grand Canyon, many other National Forests, Parks, Monuments, and Indian reservations are located in the state. Arizona was the 48th and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912. Residents are called Arizonans.
Visitors to the state can take in some of the world's natural wonders including the Grand Canyon, Salt River Canyon, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, Havasu Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Saguaro National Park, Picacho Peak State Park, Monument Valley, the Colorado River, Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge and the Superstition Mountains.
• One of the largest - both in size and popularity - attractions in the state is the expansive Grand Canyon measuring 277 miles long and extending to a depth of more than a mile. More than five million visitors a year visit Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world's premier natural attractions. Aside from casual sightseeing from the South Rim (averaging 7000 feet (2100 meters) above sea level), whitewater rafting, hiking and running are popular activities. The floor of the valley is accessible by foot, muleback, or by boat or raft from upriver.
• Take a drive through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert where you will observe one of the world's greatest and colorful concentrations of petrified wood. The park covers close to 220,000 acres allowing for plenty of hiking options.
• Hike along the Arizona Trail, a 800-mile (still 10% under construction) non-motorized trail that extends form Mexico to Utah. This distinctive encounter with the land includes views of canyons, mountains and nature.
• A short, but memorable stay is at the "Four Corners" where you will find the only point in the country where four states meet (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado). You can visit all four states at the same time!
• Ever seen a ghost? You can visit one of over 275 ghost towns across Arizona including the Ghost Town of Oatman where you'll witness Wild West gun fights in the streets.
• Visit the 3.15-acre site of the Biosphere 2, loosely known as the second Earth, and witness this two million dollar scientific experiment that explored the use of closed biospheres in space colonization. One of the largest living laboratories in the world, it is located in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains in Oracle, Arizona.
• Don't miss out on America's mystery attraction "The Thing?" where you can satisfy your curiosity by coughing up a dollar. Roadsigns along the I-10 guide you to this tourist trap that you just can't help but stop and see.
Hotels are mainly concentrated in the larger cities with over a hundred to be found in the state capital of Phoenix alone. Sedona and Tuscon also contain a wide variety of hotel options, in addition to a considerable array of bed and breakfasts. If staying in Arizona wouldn't be complete without sleeping at a dude ranch, Tuscon has a variety to choose form. Whatever your budget, there is bound to be an option that suits your needs.
Central Arizona also offers a range of resorts whether you are looking for a golf getaway or a health spa. Many of the 5-star resorts are situated in Scottsdale, a city adjacent to Phoenix, that has become known internationally as a posh tourist destination. Prices can range from $150-$500/night at one of these exclusive resorts.
There are also numerous vacation rentals available concentrated primarily in the Central and North Central part of the state. Whether you are opting to rent a condo, experience Arizona life at a Ranch House or simply looking for an extended stay this may be the option for you.
For an outdoor or romantic getaway, the White Mountains in the Northeast offer a wide range of cabin rentals where you can enjoy hiking, fishing, biking or simply relaxing in the surrounding of the mountains. Cabins can accommodate a couple looking to getaway, or a group of 14. Prices range from $85-$225/night.
Campgrounds can also be found across the state, whether you're planning to pitch a tent and watch the desert sky or stay in the comforts of an RV. Rates can be found as low as $8/night.
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Highway through Painted Desert, Arizona, U.S.A.
• Southeast Arizona's Sky Islands
• Greater Phoenix
• Northern Arizona including Grand Canyon and the "Arizona Strip"
• South Central Arizona
• Western Arizona
The climate is typically dry, hot desert in the southern lowlands, and coniferous forest in the upcountry north and east. Summertime temperatures are routinely above 110 during the day in the desert, but much cooler in the higher elevations. Mild winters in the low country, but the upcountry gets cold and frequently receives snow.
When in the desert be sure to carry plenty of water. Dehydration happens surprisingly quickly, especially if you aren't accustomed to the heat.
Education • Arizona State University
• University of Arizona
• Northern Arizona University
• Arizona is the top copper producer in the country.
• It is home to one of the largest Indian populations in the U.S. with more than 15 tribes and 20 reservations.
• The unofficial tallest fountain in the world is located in Fountain Hills.