Arizona is a spectacular state with eye-popping scenery and wide open spaces. It offers a diverse selection of places to experience that a person simply cannot see anyplace else on the planet. With a climate that lures tourists and permanent residents alike, Arizona is definitely a place to put on one’s “must-see” list.
Perhaps Arizona’s biggest claim to fame lies in its landforms, specifically one that attracts millions of visitors every year called the Grand Canyon. It is a gorge carved by the Colorado River over millions of years and is still being carved by it today. The Grand Canyon is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Most of the Canyon is in Grand Canyon National Park. But that is not the only notable landform in this splendid state. Arizona is also home to the Meteor Crater, also called the Barringer Meteorite Crater, which is a hole nearly one mile wide formed when a meteorite crashed into the earth about 50,000 years ago.
In addition to these remarkable sites, Arizona also has a desert basin and range region in the southern part of the state where cactus grow very well, including the saguaro which can grow to be seventy feet tall. The northern third portion of the state is a plateau region with high elevation.
There are not many prominent waterways in Arizona simply because it contains so many deserts. Arguably, the most important waterway in Arizona is the Colorado River. It is responsible for the formation of the Grand Canyon. There are many other rivers in Arizona and a smattering of lakes which enable Arizona’s farms to exist due to an excellent irrigation system.
Arizona has a strange and diverse climate because of all its different elevations. In the southern area it is hot and dry. While in the northern regions closer to the Grand Canyon and the red rocks of the Sedona, it can get very cold, especially during the winter. In fact, portions of Grand Canyon National Park close down during the winter due to excessive snow. Overall, there is a low average annual rainfall of just over twelve inches.
Copper is an abundant natural resource in Arizona. Oddly enough, water is considered by some to be an excellent natural resource in Arizona simply because of their irrigation system, even though much of the state is considered desert. Land for farming and natural forests for timber also are considered important natural resources.
Manufacturing and mining are two of the biggest industries in Arizona. Tourism is also one of the biggest industries, with tourists drawn to Arizona’s warm climates, beautiful scenery, and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon. Arizona also has a huge solar energy industry simply because it gets so much sunshine.
As noted before, the irrigation system in Arizona enables the state to have many farms. Lettuce is the most abundant vegetable grown on farms in Arizona. But they also grow hay, cotton, and melons. Many farms focus on livestock producing beef, milk, and pork.
The capitol of Arizona is Phoenix. More than seventy percent of the people throughout the state of Arizona are Caucasian, and the second largest ethnicity in the state identifies as Hispanic or Latino. About five percent of people in Arizona are Native Americans. There is also a growing retired population of nearly two million people. In fact, more than one in four people in Arizona is retired.
Arizona has an abundance of National Parks, monuments, and historical sites. By far, the most popular among tourists is Grand Canyon National Park which welcomes about five million people every year. In addition, popular sites to visit are Saguaro National Park and Petrified Forest National Park. Arizona is also home to many ancient cliff dwellings including Montezuma Castle and the Palatki Heritage Site.
A state as stunning as Arizona deserves an equally stunning flag, and they have one. It has a striking center star that is copper-colored to represent the copper mining industry. From that star, thirteen red and yellow rays extend out to the edges of the upper half of the flag, representing America’s original thirteen states, and looking a lot like a beautiful Arizona sunset. The state bird is the cactus wren, the state flower is the saguaro cactus flower, and the state tree is called the palo verde tree, with its beautiful yellow flowers.
With so much to offer, one can understand why so many people are drawn to Arizona. The landscape is extraordinary. Some might even say it is otherworldly in nature. I highly recommend at least one trip to this awe-inspiring state to take in its natural glory.
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Lee, Don. “Top 5 Industries in Arizona: Which Parts of the Economy are the Strongest?” Newsmax. Newsmax Media, 23 February, 2015. 24 February, 2017.
Williams, Brooke. “List of Arizona Natural Resources.” USA Today. USA Today. 03 March, 2017.