Facts about Arizona for each letter of the alphabet.
Please click on highlighted word for more information,
In Arizona March is ARCHAEOLOGY Awareness and Heritage Month. Special archaeology events and programs are held throughout the year. The state has many archaeological sites and some are National Monuments. Casa Grande Ruins was designated the first archaeological preserve in the country in 1892. Canyon de Chelly is one of the longest continuously inhabited places of North America. The Tree of Life is seen in some rock art in Arizona. Artifacts unearthed at Rio Nuevo establish Tucson as one of the oldest continuously occupied places in the country. Casa Malpais is an ancient pueblo people archaeological site near Springerville. The Mesa Grande Archaeological Park preserves a group of Hohokam structures constructed during the classical period and will someday be open to the public. The state has 2 Sinagua archaeological sites. The Arizona State Museum is currently working at several sites. The State Historical Preservation Office is responsible for the organization, evaluation, and protection of prehistoric and historic cultural resources in Arizona.
Arizona has many ART museums and Centers. A variety of Art Fairs and Festivals are held throughout the year. The Phoenix Art Museum has exhibitions from the four corners of the world. The Arizona Art Alliance is an organization comprised of over 4,000 artists from 33 Arizona-based art groups. The Arizona Artists Guild promotes opportunities in the visual arts including exhibitions, educational and outreach programs. The Heard Museum in Phoenix is the leading museum of Native art and culture in the country. The Phippen Museum is a Center for American Western Art. The Arizona Plein Air Painters is an organization composed of artists who are dedicated to practicing and promoting the tradition of plein air (in the open air) painting. There is a Plein Air Festival at the Grand Canyon. The Tempe Festival of the Arts is among the top 20 art festivals in the country. The Mesa Arts Festival has live entertainment, artist demonstrations, and activities for children.
Hundreds of species of BIRDS are found year-round in the state. A large number of birds pass through during migration and The Nature Conservancey at Hassayampa River Preserve celebrates International Migratory Bird Day. In March there is an Annual Welcome Back Buzzards at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. There are many bird watching areas. The cactus wren is the State Bird of Arizona. Arizona is involved in the recovery and protection of the California condor. Almost every North American species of hummingbirds can be found in Patagonia. Sierra Vista is often called the Hummingbird Capital of the U.S. and has a Bird Festival. The Ramsey Canyon Preserve has a hummingbird observation area. There are Birding and Nature Festivals in Verde Valley, Yuma, and Wilcox. Arizona has many BRIDGES and some are on the National Register of Historic Places in Arizona. There are several Suspension Bridges and Covered Bridges. The Mike o"Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge links the states of Arizona and Nevada. It is the highest and longest concrete arch span in the western Hemisphere. The original Navajo Bridge is a Historic Civil Engineering landmark. The Salt River Canyon Bridge is red to complement the color of the canyon walls. The original London Bridge in England was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City a desert town in northwest Arizona. Tonto Natural Bridge north of Payson is a State Park and is the largest travertine bridge in the world.
Arizona has several scenic BYWAYS. The state is part of the Grand Circle that encompasses 5 states and has the largest concentration of national parks and monuments in the country. Sedona has a self-guided driving tour. The state has a variety of trails and celebrates National Trails Day. The Trail to the Havasupai Oaises is considered one of the best in the state. The Arizona Trail extends 800 miles across the state from Mexico to Utah. The Madonna of the Trail has a statue in Springerville. The longest contiguous strip of Route 66 cuts through Arizona. Interstate 19 in southern Arizona is the only metric highway in the United States. In 2012 a gas station along the route in Peach Springs was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The state has many Roadside attractions
One of the chief attractions of Arizona is a healthful CLIMATE, with clear and sunny skies and dry weather. Because of its varied topography, the climate changes from one region to the next. The mountains have cold harsh winters, but desert winters are sunny and mild. Year-round warm weather allows outdoor festivals in any season. The climate is an important factor in the location of space observatories and aircraft and missile proving grounds. The State Climatologist provides information about the Climate of Arizona. Monsoon Season brings rain and high winds. In 2010 several tornadoes swept thru the eastern part of the state. Global Warming may effect the climate of Arizona.
Arizona has many forms of COMMUNICATIONS including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, telephone, and internet. The state has several Telephone Area Codes, and Internet Service Providers are located throughout the state. Many businesses and school are on line. Web Cams are located throughout the state.
Arizona has 15 COUNTIES. The largest county in size is Coconino which is the second largest county in the country. Santa Cruz is the smallest county in the state. Maricopa County has the largest population and Greenlee has the smallest. The term county is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government.
Arizona is the only place on the continent where 4 types of DESERTS are found. Discovery Trail in Vistancia is a collection of outdoor fitness experiences set within the Sonoran Desert, one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America. The Mohave Desert supports nearly 2,000 species of plants. Parts of the Great Basin Desert have a cold desert climate. The Chihuahuan Desert straddles the U.S./Mexican border and is the 2nd largest desert in North America. The Painted Desert is part of the Petrified Forest and has a vivid display of colors. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson demonstrates the implications of human occupancy of the desert. St. Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson is called the White Dove of the Desert because of its gleaming white form.
Several DINOSAURS roamed Arizona during the Mesozoic Era. Many fossils have been found in the Petrified Forest National Park and the park has special events throughout the year. The State Fossil is Petrified Wood. The Species of Phytosaurs that resembles the modern day crocodiles have also been found. Rhamphinion Jenkinsi and Pterosaurs, flying reptiles not related to birds or dinosaurs, have also been discovered. Dilophosaurus Wetherilli was also found in Arizona and made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park". The oldest reptilian nests were found in Arizona. There are several fiberglass Roadside Dinosaurs in the state.The International Dinosaur Park and Museum of the Americas features a six-mile long drive through a 6,500-acre park with about 14 dinosaurs on display with more to be added.
Arizona has many special EVENTS including State and County Fairs. The Ostrich Festival is one of the top 10 festivals in the country. The Tres Rios Nature & Earth Festival is held Avondale. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Several places in Arizona and the Festival in Phoenix is the longest running event in the state. There is a Verde River Day in Cottonwood. Tubac has a Balloon Festival and Page has a Hot Air Balloon Regata. Havasu has a Balloon Festival and Fair. There are many Car Shows, and there is a Bicycle Festival in Cave Creek. A Brazilian Day is held in Tempe and a Greek Festival in Phoenix. The state celebrates Federal Holidays and other special days.
The State FLAG of Arizona is red, blue, and yellow. The red and blue are the same shades as the flag of the United States. The blue and yellow were the colors of the Spanish Conquistadors. Five flags have flown over the land area that is now Arizona including the Castillian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the U.S. flag. There are many County and Municipal Flags. Some cities have a flag including Phoenix, Surprise, and Tempe. Several Native American Tribes have their own flag. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are the State Characters.
The FOOD timeline of Arizona dates back to when the area was inhabited by Native Americans. Grapefruit and other crops were grown in man-made oases that were developed by Spanish missionaries. Later, the Mormons increased the productivity of these oases. The cooking of Arizona is closely linked to that of Mexico and even on a specific type of Mexican regional cooking - that of the state of Sonora which is just across the border. The State Dish is the Navajo Taco. There are many Food Shows, Events, & Festivals throughout the year. The Mac and Cheese Festival began in 2017. Founded in 1967, St. Mary's was the first food bank in the world and is one of the largest food banks in the country. There are over 1,6000 Food Banks and Agencies in the state.
Arizona has had many FORTS, and the state still has some forts. Some parts of Fort Rucker are still standing. Fort Lowell was converted into Old Fort Lowell Park. Fort Apache is located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Fort Huachuca is a United States Army installation. Fort Mojave is part of the Mojave Indian Reservation. The barracks of Fort Naco still stands and has partially been restored. Fort Bowie is a National Historic Landmark and the remains are carefully preserved. Fort Grant is now a state prison. Fort Thomas is a small unincorporated community in Graham County. Fort Whipple has several original buildings. The Fort Whipple Museum is located on the grounds of the VA Hospital in Prescott and is housed in one of the 1909 military officer’s quarters. Fort Verde is a state Historic Park and 4 buildings have been restored.
Arizona has over 275 GHOST TOWNS and many lost mines. Jerome is a restored mining town and claims to be the newest and largest ghost town in the country. Goldfield is a re-created ghost town on what was an active 19th century gold mine. Castle Dome has a museum and re-created and original buildings. The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee is one of the top 10 haunted hotels in the country. At 109 years old, it is one of the oldest operational hotels in the state. The Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix has been associated with ghost sightings and is also one of the top 10 haunted hotels in the country.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Arizona is approximately 31-37 degrees North latitude and 109-114 degrees west latitude. The geographic center of the state is Historic Old Town Cottonwood. The Colorado River is the lowest point and Humphreys Peak is the highest. The state is located in the southwestern part of the United States. It is bordered by Utah to the north, New Mexico on the east, Nevada and California on the west, and shares an international border with Mexico on the south. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using a Global Positioning System, and Arizona has several cache sites. The topography of Arizona ranges from deep canyons, high mountains, and deserts.
The HISTORY of Arizona dates back 12,000 years. In 2,000 B.C., Indians introduced agriculture to what is now Arizona. In 1,000 ad a Hopi Village was founded. Marcos de Niza was the first European to explore what is now Arizona. Many museums are devoted to the history of the state. The Territory of Arizona was claimed by the Confederate States during the Civil War. The westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought near Picacho Peak and each year there is a re-inactment of a Civil War Battle at Picacho Peak State Park. Another re-inactment of a Civil War Battle is the highlight of Verde River Days at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. School students in Arizona participate in National History Day.
The State HORSE of Arizona is the Spanish Colonial. The Arizona Horse Council works to support, enhance and protect horses, horse owners and horse related activities. The state has horse races both at tracks and at county fairs. Many Horse Shows and events are held throughout the year including several Dressage Shows. There is a Draft Horse Show in Prescott. Horseback riding is popular and the state has many Horse Trails. The Arizona Quarter Horse Hall of Fame honors its members and their horses for their accomplishments. The state has many Horse Rescue Groups.
Arizona has a variety of INDUSTRIES. Some of the main industries include manufacturing and agriculture. The state is a national and global leader in the solar industry. The wine industry continues to grow. Tourism and mining are other important industries. Arizona has been the leading producer of copper since its statehood. The largest copper mine is in Morenci which is one of the last company-owned mining communities in the country. The Copper Corridor pays tribute to the rich mining history of 9 communities in Pinal and Gila counties. Arizona produces many minerals and is the 2nd largest producer of silver and perlite. Mines can be toured at Bisbee. Trade Shows are held throughout the year.
Many species of INSECTS are found in Arizona including spiders and scorpions. The state is home to more species of butterflies than any other state. Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale is the largest indoor butterfly pavilion in North America. It also a Live Ant Colony, a Honey Bee Extravaganza, a Rivers of the Amazon exhibit and a stingray touch tank. The State Insect is the Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly. Arizona has nearly 100 species of Grasshoppers including the unusual Carolina Grasshopper. There is an Insect Festival in Tucson.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Arizona Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. It currently consists of 1 chief justice, a vice chief justice, and 3 associate justices. Justices are appointed by the governor from a list recommended by a bi-partisian commission, and are re-elected after the initial 2 years following their appointment. Subsequent re-elections occur every 6 years.
Arizona has KARST and Sinkholes. Sedona has at least 7 sinkholes. There are 2 main fields of sinkholes near Snowflake known as "The Sinks". The state has over 1,000 caves including 3 show caves - Colossal Cave, Grand Canyon Caverns, and Kartchner Caves which is one of the top caves in the world and a State Park. Groundwater seeping thru escabrosa Ridge formed many caves including Colossal Cave which is probably the largest dry cavern in the world. Peppersauce Cave has about a mile of mapped passages. Onyx Cave is a National Natural Landmark. The National Speleological Society has chapters in Arizona that provide information about caving.
Many aspects of life in the state of Arizona focus on KIDS. The state has a special Webpage for Kids, and Kids Voting Arizona teaches kids responsible voting practices. Yavapai has a special Kids Book and SOS for Kids has information, games, and activities. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page.The Arizona Museum for Youth has interactive activities for children and families.
Public LIBRARIES are located through Arizona. There are Academic Libraries, School Libraries, and Special Libraries. Nearly all of the libraries have internet access. The State Library is in Phoenix. The McClelland Irish Library is the only library of its kind in the Western United States dedicated to the great masterpieces of Irish literature. Tucson has a Festival of BooksThere is an annual Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott. A Poet Laureate was announced in 2013. Arizona celebrates National Poetry Month.
Arizona has more MOUNTAINS than any other mountain state, and many peaks that are more than 10,000 feet. Mountain climbing is a popular activity. Mountain Biking is also popular and the state has over 200 Bike Trails. The Superstition Mountains have nearly 180 miles of trails. The Silver Bell Mountains are named for the Silver Bell Mine located at the southern end of the mountains. Mountain Biking is popular and the state has over 200 Bike Trails.
Arizona has hundreds of museums. The Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum in North Phoenix has over 90 acres of an old 1800's town. The Arizona-Sonoran Museum in Tucson has a zoo, museum, and botanical garden. The Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson is the largest non-government funded aerospace museum in the world. Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescot was originally the mansion of the first Territorial Governor. The Rose Tree Museum in Tombstone is home to the oldest rose bush in the world. The state has the first Global Musical Instrument Museum in the world.
Arizona has a wide variety of MUSIC. Because of its proximity to Mexico, Hispanic music is popular.The state has Folk Music Festivals and Events, and Blue Grass Festivals. Throughout the state there are orchestras and bands, and many concerts. Arizona has opera companies in Flagstaff, and Tucson and Phoenix.Plays are produced for children in Arizona by the Youth Theater. The Grand Canyon Music Festival presents jazz and classical music. A well-known classic piece is the Grand Canyon Suite. The Arizona Music Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the contributions of musicians, entertainers, and individuals who have had an impact on the entertainment culture in the state. The Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame preserves, promotes, and perpetuates the art of old time fiddling.
The first residents of Arizona were NATIVE AMERICANS - Paleo-Indians. The next known were the Anasasi. Arizona has 22 federally recognized Tribes, communities and nations. The Navaho Nation is the largest in the country and has an annual Festival of Art & Culture in Flagstaff. It also has a Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock. The Navajo National Monument has 3 intact cliff dwellings of the Pueblan People. Old Oraibi on the Hopi Reservation is the oldest Indian settlement in the country and is the unofficial capital of the Hopi. The main reservation of the Tohono Oodham Nation is the 2nd largest in the country. Several Pow-Wows are held during the year. Apache Jii Day (jii is Apache for day) is held each year in Globe. A Zunni Festival of Arts & Culture is held every Memorial Day weekend in Flagstaff. Fifteen reservations have Gaming Casinos.
Arizona is part of the Old West (the area west of the Mississippi River during the 1800s). The National Festival of the West is held in Rawhide. The state has Cowboys and Cowgirls and Tombstone is one of the top 10 Cowboy Towns in the country, and Prescott is called the Cowboy Capital of the American West. The National Day of the Cowboy is celebrated in Sedona and Wickenburg. Many Rodeos are held throughout the year and the oldest continuous rodeo in the world is held in Payson. The rodeo in Sonoita is billed as "The Best Little Rodeo in Arizona". There is a Wild Western Festival in Glendale and Wild West Days in Cave Creek. The shoot-out at O.K. Coral is re-enacted in Tombstone.
Nearly 7 million PEOPLE live in Arizona and they are called Arizonans. Many wellknown people have called Arizona their home including Chochise an Indian Chief. The Navajo Code Talker Monument in Phoenix honors U.S. Marines from the Navajo Nation who used their American Indian language to transmit radio messages during World War II. The ghost town of Geronimo was named after a famous Indian Chief. Wyatt Earp Days honors the most famous lawman in the west. There is an parade and rodeo. The Hall of Flame Museum sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes. The Arizona Farm and Ranch Experience in Avondale is under development. It will honor the agricultural history in the State. The Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame is located here.
QUILTING is popular in Arizona and the Arizona Quilting Guild has over 1,200 members. The state has a Quilters Hall of Fame that honors the contribution of Arizonans to quilt making. In 2012 there was a Centennial Quilt Project. Weaving is also popular in Arizona and there are many Weaving Guilds throughout the state. The Heard Museum features the contemporary art of two dozen Navajo weavers.
Take a QUIZ about Arizona.
A wide variety of REPTILES and amphibians are found in Arizona including the horned lizard, desert tortoise. There is a variety of frogs and toads including a Barking Frog. The Sonoran desert toad is the largest toad native to the United States. The State Amphibian is the Arizona Treefrog. The state has many snakes and some are venomous. More species of rattlesnakes are found in Arizona than any other state. The Ridgenosed Rattlesnake is the State Reptile. The Gila monster is found in Arizona and is only one of two venomous lizards in North America. The Phoenix Herpetological Society conducts a reptile summer camp for children.
Arizona has many RIVERS and creeks. The Colorado River is the longest and most important river in the state and forms most of the western border of the state. Others rivers include Gila River, Salt River, and Bill Williams River. The Verde River is a National Wild and Scenic River. The Rio Grande marks the border between the United States and Mexico. Most of the small rivers in Arizona are dry in the summer. Some rivers appear dry on the surface while water continues to flow underground.
All forms of SPORTS are played in Arizona. The state has professional teams and most schools have sports teams. Arizona plays host to 2 post-season college football games - The Fiesta Bowl and the Insight Bowl. The Arizona Cardinals football teams traces their history back to 1898. The Phoenix International Raceway is home of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. The Arizona Dragon Boat Festival features dragon boat racing teams from all over the world. Water sportsare enjoyed year round. Skiing is a popular sport and the state has several ski resorts. Mount Lemmon is the southernmost ski resort in the country. The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame candidates are an athlete, coach, team, civic group, executive or other contributor who has brought honor to the state through accomplishments in the world of sports.
Arizona has many forms of TRANSPORTATION. The Arizona Transportation Research Center provides information on transportation. The state has an Adopt-A-Highway Program. Information about driving in winter weather in Arizona is provided by The Department of Transportation. The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum displays exhibits telling the story of railroads in the area. The first license plates were issued in 1914, and a wide variety of specialized license plates are available. To celebrate its 50th birthday in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the Union. The vehicle for Arizona was the Isuzu Rodeo. There is a Route 66 Festival in Flagstaff.
The State TREE of Arizona is the Palo Verde and the name means "green stick". The state has six National Forests including the Kaibab National Forest that borders the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon. Tonto National Forest is one of the largest in the country. The largest stand of Pondererosa Pine in the world is in Sitgreaves National Forest in Prescott. Nearly all forests are govenment owned. One of the most common trees found in the desert is the mesquite. In 1997 Paradise Valley was designated as a Tree City, U.S.A.
Three ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Arizona. The 1st 2 ships predate both the territory and state of Arizona and were named for a region of northern Mexico called variously "Arizonac," "Arissona," or "Arizona." The 1st USS Arizona (1858) was an iron-hulled side-wheel steamer that served in the American Civil War. The 2nd USS Arizona (1865) was a 3850-ton steam frigate launched in October 1865 as USS Neshamny. She was renamed twice, carrying the name Arizona for less than three months during 1869 before becoming USS Nevada. The 3rd USS ARIZONA (BB-39) was a Pennsylvania-class battleship. She served from 1916 until 1941. The USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii marks the sinking of the ship in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizonana (ID-4542A) was a United States Navy cargo ship and troop transport. One of the US Air Force's fleet of B-2 Spirit bombers is named The Spirit of Arizona.
VOLCANOES in Arizona including craters, peaks, & mountains. Volcanoes have left massive craters in the Colorado Plateau Region and Sun Set Crater is the best known example. Many of the sharp peaks in the central highlands are made of volcanic ash. The San Francisco volcanic field is dotted with volcanic cones. Red Mountain has an unusual cinder cone. The artist James Turrell acquired the 400,000-year-old Roden Crater and has been transforming the inner cone of the crater into a massive naked-eye observatory with The Winter and Summer solstice events highlighted.
Arizona has many WILDERNESS areas. Aravaipa Canyon is home to 7 species of native desert trout, desert bighorn sheep, a variety of large and small mammals and reptiles, and at least 238 species of birds. Caves and ledges provide habitat for 12 known species of bats. The Bear Wallow has Black Bears, elk, deer, and a variety of smaller mammals, birds, and reptiles. The most common activities in the Havasu are hiking and wildlife watching. The Paiute area is home to more than 250 animal species. The Dos Cabezas Mountains Wilderness has steep slopes, granite outcroppings, and seasonal waterfalls. The Hassayampa River Preserve celebrates Earth Day and has an annual Nature Festival.
Arizona has several YOUTH HOSTELS. The Grand Canyon and DuBeau Route 66 International Hostels are the closest hostels to the Grand Canyon. Arizona also has Elder Hostels, now called Road Scholars"> and Northern Arizona University has been offering learning adventures throughout the Southwest since 1983.
Time ZONES are established by the Coordinated Universal Time. Arizona is in the mountain TIME ZONE. The state does not observe daylight savings time with the exception of the Navaho Nation which changes from Mountain Time to Daylight Saving Time in the summer. The Hopi Reservation within its heart uses Mountain Time year-round. Arizona has several plant hardiness zones and Riparian Zones.
Arizona has several ZOOS. The Phoenix Zoo is one of the most successful, privately-owned, nonprofit zoological parks in the country. The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary in in Prescott is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the conservation and protection of native and exotic animals. The Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park has a large collection of exotic animals and an Aquarium. Sea Life Arizona has an underwater adventure and features new exhibits annually. The Alpacazona Farm south of Phoenix has a Petting Zoo and an annual Open House and Wool Festival.