The state of Arizona is located in the southwestern United States, and borders, among other things, Mexico. The climate in Arizona is therefore very warm, and the landscapes are completely unique. The state is perhaps best known as home to the incomparable Grand Canyon, but there is also much else to see and do in the state.
Arizona is one of the youngest states, and has a large percentage of Native Americans living in the state. Arizona’s largest city and also the capital is called Phoenix. See cities in Arizona by population.
Facts about Arizona
- Inhabitants: 6.7 million
- Density: 22 per km²
- Capital: Phoenix
- Largest city: Phoenix
- Area: 295,234 km²
- Highest mountain: Humphreys Peak
- Time zone: UTC-7
- California – in the west
- New Mexico – in the east
- Nevada – in the northwest
- Colorado – in the Northeast
- Utah – in the north
Things to do in Arizona
Phoenix is both the largest city and the capital of Arizona, so there is a lot to see and do in the big city. Phoenix is located in a desert-covered valley, but thanks to several man-made waterways, the city has managed to have a rich agricultural landscape and many different crops are grown in the area.
Phoenix is perhaps best known for its many different outdoor activities, and especially its golf courses. There are over 200 golf courses in the area, and the nearby mountainous landscapes offer extremely fine views and also opportunities for hiking and cycling. In the city, there are several attractions for the whole family. Among others, Phoenix Zoo, Japanese Friendship Garden, Historic Heritage Square and South Mountain Park, which is the highest protected desert mountain in the world, are very popular attractions with visitors.
Skiing in Arizona
Thanks to its mountainous landscape, there are several fantastic ski slopes and resorts around Arizona. Several of these ski resorts are also open in the summer, with many other pleasant and exciting activities to experience. Some of the most popular ski resorts are only a few hours from Phoenix, and are great for a day trip.
Among others, Flagstaff Nordic Center, Arizona Snowbowl, Sunrise Park Resort and Mount Lemmon Ski Valley are very popular. All ski resorts have fantastic slopes for all levels of difficulty, and are suitable for the whole family.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
One of the most famous attractions in Arizona is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which showcases, among other things, the unique wildlife of the Sonora desert with the help of several fantastic exhibits. The museum contains a large zoo with several animals that cannot be found anywhere else, and it is possible to see felines, birds of prey and reptiles up close.
The museum also contains a historical exhibit about the Sonoran desert, and also an art gallery.
Rent a car in Arizona
Renting and driving a car in Arizona is the perfect means of transportation to get around the state. With its large size and fantastically vast landscapes, a rental car is the absolute best way to get around the state. With a rental car, the journey becomes both easier and more pleasant, and you are treated to many incredible views along the way.
You can rent a car in all major cities in Arizona, and also at the state’s airports. There are several special roads that are designed to provide the most exciting views possible. In addition, part of the legendary Route 66 also runs through the state, and if you have access to a car, a trip on this road is an absolute must. You can read more about these scenic byways on Arizona’s official tourism page.
Arizona is home to several unparalleled national parks, but the most famous is undoubtedly the incredible Grand Canyon.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park is located in the western and eastern suburbs of Tucson, Arizona. The park protects a unique ecosystem with unique plant and animal species.
Huge Saguaro cacti, which grow to a height of up to 10 meters, are often called the King’s Desert, and even 20-meter plants weighing up to 8 tons are not uncommon. In one year, the cactus will grow by about 3 cm. These cacti live up to 200 years, after 50 years the cactus is about two meters. Unlike the Organ Pipe cactus, the saguaro is quite common throughout southwestern Arizona. In some parts of the park there are literally whole cactus forests.
Saguar is home to the vast Sonoran Desert, which stretches along the southwestern United States and Mexico. There is an extreme climate, temperatures in summer reach up to 50 ° C and the surface of the rocks is hot to an incredible 90 ° C. During the year, only minimal precipitation falls here, in some places it does not even rain at all. There are huge temperature differences between summer and winter, in winter the temperatures below freezing are usually nothing special.
However, the cacti were able to adapt perfectly to these extreme temperature fluctuations. The surface of the cactus is protected by thick skin and sharp spines. Cacti can withstand the gusts of wind thanks to their massive supporting skeleton. In addition, the fleshy body of the cactus can hold up to 900 liters of water in a relatively short period of time. The local Indians knew this in the past, so cacti served as a source of fluid and quench their thirst. Today, cacti are important to many of the animals they replace trees with. Cacti thus nest birds, bats, small rodents and numerous insects, which are thus protected from enemies and extreme temperatures.
National parks have been set up in the area to protect these unique gems of desert nature. With the development of human activity, cacti were in increasing danger of extinction. The arrival of white settlers and the development of agriculture was a big scarecrow. Vegetation and other plant species were destroyed.
Due to its height and frequency, the Saguaro cactus has become a true symbol of the Sonoran Desert. Its unmistakable appearance will certainly leave many impressions and memories in all visitors not only to the Saguaro National Park but also to the entire desert area.