Arizona (abbr.: AZ or Ariz.), state of the United States of America, in the southwest, 295,023 km2, with 3.6 million inhabitants; capital city: Phoenix.
Arizona consists of three parts: in the north the horizontally stratified Colorado Plateau (here up to 2200 m high), in which the Colorado and its tributaries have carved deep canyons (including the Grand Canyon, west of the Painted Desert); in the center an ore-rich mountain area with north-west-southeast running chains; and in the southwest a mainly desert-like region of mountain ridges and plains, flowed by the Gila. The climate is hot and dry. Consider steppe and desert steppe vegetation; only in the higher, wetter mountain regions does any forest occur.
The average population density is 12 inhabitants. per km2. About 88% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are Phoenix and Tucson. See top cities in Arizona.
Agriculture (cotton, dried fruits, vegetables, hay), especially in the fertile valleys, is tied to irrigation; this was made possible by the construction of several large dams in the Colorado (Hoover Dam), the Gila (Coolidge Dam) and the Salt River (Roosevelt Dam). More dams are planned to prevent future water shortages. In the north, extensive livestock farming is practiced (cattle, sheep). The main mining product is copper (more than half of the total production of the United States). Other minerals include silver, gold, zinc and lead. Important industries are copper smelting, metal and electronic industry. The state is bisected from east to west by two highways that are mainly used by through traffic (via Flagstaff and via Tucson).
Arizona has a lot to offer, especially to tourists interested in curious natural phenomena and ancient cultural remains. The many protected monuments within the state include the Grand Canyon area, the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, the Petrified Forest (petrified prehistoric trees) and the Saguazo National Park, (two areas of protected giant cacti); in addition, there are various listed remains of old Indian settlements (including Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Montezuma Castle National Monument) and of 17th-century mission posts.
Arizona is famous for its important prehistory, which culminated with the Hohokam culture (500 BC-1400 AD). Between 1000 and 1300 the present-day Native American tribes of the Apache and Navaho invaded Arizona. The first whites to arrive here were the Spaniards, in search of the fabulous Seven Cities of Cibola, where they hoped to find gold. In 1539 the Franciscan Fray Marcos de Niza passed through the area, in 1540 the expedition of Coronado followed, who conquered the pueblo Zuni. Around 1600, two expeditions of Juan de Onate followed. Franciscans and Jesuits established missions in the land of the Hopi, which were destroyed in the great revolt of 1680. The Franciscan Eusebio Francisco Kino (d. 1711) started ranching with great success and brought southern Arizona to prosper.
In 1821 Arizona became Mexican and during this time several settlements were destroyed by the Apaches. The Mexican War makes Arizona American in 1848. The purchase of a southern swath of land from Mexico in 1853 by James Gadsden brought an influx of prospectors and ranchers.
In 1863, President Lincoln recognized Arizona’s status as territory. In 1864, Colonel Kit Carson subdued the Navahos, but the war against the Apaches in the south lasted until 1886, when the stubborn Chief Geronimo finally surrendered. Arizona was admitted to the Union as a state in 1912.
Arizona was hit hard by the 1929 crisis, when almost all mines were shut down. But after 1945 a period of great prosperity began, especially due to the copper mines. This was accompanied by a very rapid increase in the urban population. The state is traditionally majority Democratic.
Arizona National Parks
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is the largest area of canyons and gorges in the world. In the past, the Colorado River carved out the rocky area and today this is the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is part of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona. The Canyon has a length of 466 km and is on average 16 km wide. The depth of the ravines and gorges is 1600 to 2000 meters. The park has been in existence since 1919 and also includes a portion of the Colorado River. The Colorado River allows the park to be divided into two parts. Namely the South Rim and the North Rim. The distance between the two canyon rims is 10 miles if you draw a straight line, but if you have to drive there you’ll have to cover a whopping 345 miles to get from the North Rim to the South Rim. The South Rim is open all year round and easily accessible, but the North Rim, on the other hand, is only open from May and closes again in October. The park contains 60 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 24 species of reptiles and 5 species of amphibians.
Petrified Forest National Park
200 Kilometers east of Flagstaff is the Petrified Forest National Park. The park has become famous for its trees that have turned to stone and have many colors. The highest point in the park is Pilot Rock at 1900 meters. The park has one of the largest collection of petrified trees in the world. The area consists of dry plateaus, rock formations, desert areas and plains with swamps. Cacti and other desert plants thrive in this area. The animal species found in the park are antelopes, porcupines, rabbits, coyotes and foxes. To spend the night in the park you have to camp in one of the two wilderness areas, because there are no hotels or motels in the park.
Saguaro National Park
The Saguaro National Park consists of two areas, namely the Rincon Mountain Unit and the Tucson Mountain Unit. Saguaro is only a very small part of the vast Saguaro Desert. The reason why this area has become a national park is that giant cactus grow there. And this is the only place in the entire United States where these plants/trees grow. The cacti can reach a height of 15 meters and be 200 years old. From the Visitor Center in the Rincon Mountain Unit you have a beautiful view of the desert and the giant cacti that grow there. The Tucson Mountain Unit Visitor Center features a variety of animal and plant species that live in the Saguaro Desert.