Facts on Arizona
Location and Interesting Fact:
The state of Arizona lies in the southwestern United States. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona is home to Grand Canyon National Park which is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Climate and Geography:
is famous for its desert landscape. The desert climate makes for very hot summers and mild winters, especially in the southern part of the state. But not all of Arizona is desert — some 27% of its land area is forested, which is not much less than what is found in France or Germany. The northern half of the state has both forests and mountain peaks which afford a cooler climate.
One of the first U.S. National Parks is Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River over millions of years and is about 277 miles long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles and has a maximum depth of more than a mile. The layers of rock exposed by the slow grinding of the Colorado reveal a geologic history older than 2 billion years.
Another astonishing feature in Arizona is Meteor Crater. Due to its desert location, this example of a meteorite impact is very well preserved. It is almost a mile wide, and some 570 feet deep.
The climate varies in the different zones of Arizona. At lower elevations, a desert climate prevails. During the winter the weather is mild with temperatures from 40–75 °F. The summer months bring a dry heat ranging from 90–128 °F. Arizona has two rainy seasons — those from cold fronts from the Pacific Ocean in winter and monsoonal rains from the south in the summer. Average annual rainfall is 12.7 inches.
In the north of Arizona lies the elevated Colorado Plateau, with a much cooler climate featuring mild summer and cold winters.
In 1539, a Spanish friar by the name of Marcos de Niza was the first European to explore parts of Arizona. In 1775 the Spanish established Fort Tucson. In 1848, after the Mexican-American War, most of what later became the state of Arizona was added to the United States. Arizona history is rich in legends of America's Old West. It was here that the great Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise led their people against the frontiersmen. Today Arizona has one of the largest U.S. Indian populations. More than 14 tribes are represented on 20 reservations.
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