The State of Arizona is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. 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.
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.
Arizona is located in the Western United States as one of the Four Corners states. Arizona is the sixth largest state in area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Of the state's 118,000 square miles, approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is government forest and park land, recreation areas and Native American reservations.
Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, which is rich in xerophyte plants such as cactus. It is also known for its climate, which presents exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well known is the pine-covered high country of the Colorado Plateau in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the desertic Basin and Range region in the southern portions of the state.
Like other states of the Southwest, Arizona has an abundance of topographical characteristics in addition to its desert climate. More than half of the state features mountains and plateaus and contains the largest stand of Ponderosa pine in the United States. The Mogollon Rim, a 2000-foot (600 m) escarpment, cuts across the central section of the state and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, where the state experienced its worst forest fire ever in 2002. Arizona belongs firmly within the Basin and Range region of North America. The region was shaped by prehistoric volcanism, followed by a cooling-off and related subsidence. The entire region is slowly sinking.
The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona. The canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is largely contained in the Grand Canyon National Park - one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of designating the Grand Canyon area, visiting on numerous occasions to hunt mountain lion and enjoy the scenery.
The Canyon was created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years, and is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6 to 29 kilometers) and attains a depth of more than 1 mile (1.6 km). Nearly 2 billion years of the Earth's history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateaus have uplifted.
Arizona is home to one of the largest and most well-preserved meteorite impact sites in the world. The Barringer Meteorite Crater (better known simply as "Meteor Crater") is a gigantic hole in the middle of the high plains of the Colorado Plateau, about 25 miles west of Winslow. A rim of smashed and jumbled boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises 150 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly a mile wide, and 570 feet deep.
Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time, except in the Navajo Nation, located in the northeastern region of the state.
Information from Wikipedia
The state's principal crops are cotton, lettuce, cauliflowers, broccoli, and sorghum. Cattle, calves, and dairy goods are, however, the most valuable Arizona farm products. Manufacturing is the leading economic activity, with electronics, printing and publishing, processed foods, and aerospace and transportation leading sectors.
High-technology research and development, communications, and service industries are also important, as are construction (the state is rapidly growing) and tourism. Military facilities contributing to Arizona's economy include Fort Huachuca, Luke and Davis-Monthan air force bases, and the Yuma Proving Grounds. Testing and training with military aircraft and desert storage of commercial and military planes are both major undertakings.
Arizona abounds in minerals. Copper is the state's most valuable mineral; Arizona leads the nation in production. Other leading resources are molybdenum, sand, gravel, and cement.
The mountains in the north and central regions have 3,180,000 acres (1,286,900 hectares) of commercial forests, chiefly ponderosa pines and other firs, which support lumber and building-materials industries. The U.S. government owns about 95% of the commercial forests in the state. National and state forests attract millions of tourists yearly.
Tourism centers in the North on the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, meteor craters, ancient Native American ruins, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations that cover nearly all of the state's northeast quadrant. Southeast Arizona's warm, dry climate and Spanish colonial ruins also attract a large tourist trade, as do golf courses and other leisure facilities.
Information from Pearson Education
Sunshine practically every day of the year, recreation just a short drive away and a quality of life that is unsurpassed.
Living in Phoenix or any of the Valley's four major regions - Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest - gives residents a chance to experience the unique qualities that make living here so pleasurable.
Before there was a metropolitan area, individual cities were established. As the Valley's growth joined these cities into one cohesive area, separate regions became known for their own identity through the attractions, businesses and people who contribute to each area's character.
The Northeast Valley attracts some of the area's most upscale residents and its desert is a scenic wonder.
The Southeast Valley offers such amenities as Arizona State University, bustling Mill Avenue and the dramatic Superstition Mountains where a legendary gold mine is rumored to exist.
While the Southwest Valley still has a large portion of land dedicated to agriculture, it is also experiencing growth as cities such as Litchfield Park and Avondale expand.
The Northwest Valley is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Valley, and a laid-back place where major league baseball teams come for spring training.
Wherever one chooses to settle, they'll discover each area's charm and most likely develop an allegiance that is hard to supplant.
Information from The Arizona Republic
Arizona is spectacular.
No other state offers such diverse landscape and vacation versatility. Known for its Grand Canyon and tranquil desert sunsets, Arizona offers so much more.
Majestic mountain ranges, cool pine forests with changing seasons, swift rivers, calm mountain streams, colorful meadows and massive canyon lakes. Few know that Arizona has the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the world and temperature ranges that actually accommodate water skiing and snow skiing in the same day.
Information from Arizona Leisure
Due to its numerous golf courses, Arizona is home to several stops on the PGA Tour, most notably at the FBR Open, more commonly known as the Phoenix Open.
Information from Wikipedia
Public schools in Arizona are separated into about 220 local school districts which operate independently, but are governed in most cases by elected county school superintendents; these are in turn overseen by the Arizona State Board of Education.
Arizona Schools are above average and that is great news. When Superintendent Tom Horne released the state's 2006 report card, it was with the news that Arizona Schools are usually placed either average, or slightly above, on indicators used to compare schools nationwide. The college entrance exams, the SATs and ACTs, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) all place Arizona Schools in the upper half of the nation's public schools.
What's even more interesting is that Arizona Schools are reaching this above average status while spending less money per pupil than every state except for Utah. Superintendent Tom Horne has stated that increasing state spending to the national per pupil average would propel Arizona Schools into the top ten. The state has yet to approve that funding.
Fans flock to Arizona for its wide range of professional sports.
The Major League Baseball 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, NBA Phoenix Suns and WBNA Phoenix Mercury play in Phoenix, the National Lacrosse League Arizona Sting, NHL Coyotes, and NFL Arizona Cardinals play in Glendale.
Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders play in the southern portion of the state and MLB Cactus League Spring Training brings teams from all over the country into the Greater Phoenix and Tucson areas.
Phoenix is also home to the World Champion Arena Football League Arizona Rattlers.
Information from Arizona Guide
Professional Sports Teams
*Note: The Arizona Heat is currently suspended from the NPF, with a possible return for the 2008 season.
MLB Spring Training
Arizona is a popular location for Major League Baseball spring training, as it is the site of the Cactus League. The only other location for spring training is in Florida with the Grapefruit League.
Spring training has been somewhat of a tradition in Arizona since 1947 despite the fact that the state did not have its own major league team until the state was awarded the Diamondbacks as an expansion team. The state hosts the following teams:
Information from Wikipedia
Avondale's Phoenix International Raceway hosts some of the largest crowds in the state for NASCAR and Indy races.
Arizona is blessed with bright sunshine and fantastic weather year-round, and you'll find endless places to fish, sail, swim, stroll, tramp, run, pedal, paddle - and even just sit and be amazed. You can climb into the sky by balloon or hang-glider, explore the dark depths of great caves, raft whitewater rivers and put miles between you and civilization on the back of a trustworthy horse. You can get a close-up view of plants and animals in the wild, or at our state's many zoos, parks and botanical gardens.
The lakes of Arizona will convince you that Arizona is not all desert. Arizona's lakes are a draw for boating, fishing, hiking, camping and much more. They all have unique attractions. One lake is known for it's wild burro population while another provides paddle-wheel tours. Enjoy cooling off at the lakes of Arizona.
Information from Arizona Guide