State Detail - Arizona

Arizona

Description

Arizona is an immensely varied state. Sixth largest in area, it has aspects of not just one state, but several. The land of the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, ghost towns, and giant Saguaro cactus is rich in history and natural wonders.

Within a day visitors can travel from the sagebrush, cactus, and mesquite to the tall pines and golden aspens; travel through untouched desert and irrigated oases; visit modern cities and ancient Indian pueblos; ride the rapids of the mighty Colorado River; climb the highest peak in the state; and even go boating, fishing, and swimming in a man-made lake. Visitors can also travel the ghost town trail out of the infamous town of Tombstone. As if that isn't enough, skiing is available in the winter.

Many of Arizona's most fascinating sights are being preserved by the federal government. Arizona has two national parks, the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest; one national historical park, Tumacacori; 14 national monuments, more than any other state; one national memorial; two national recreational areas; and two national historic sites. Visits to Chiricahua National Monument, a wonderland of rocks, and to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, a group of cliff-dweller ruins, are unforgettable experiences.

The Colorado River has been harnessed as it travels through Arizona. Two large bodies of water, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, have been formed by the construction of Glen Canyon and Hoover dams. Tours of the dams are also offered. Farther down the river is Lake Havasu City, the home of the transplanted London Bridge. Some state parks, like Alamo Lake, provide recreational facilities, while others, like Fort Verde, Jerome, Tombstone Courthouse, and the Territorial Prison at Yuma tell the state's colorful history. Bisbee and Ajo offer giant holes in the ground ? the result of open-pit copper mining. For a real driving experience, try the Coronado Trail, a winding roadway between Springerville and Clifton/Morenci, or the Apache Trail, just northeast of Phoenix.

The state capital and largest city is Phoenix, and it offers a zoo, museums, a big annual rodeo, golf tournaments, professional basketball, football, professional baseball during spring training, horse and dog racing, and art exhibits. Big events at Tucson, the state's second-largest city, include the Fiesta de Los Vaqueros parade and rodeo, and several arts and crafts festivals.

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