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Arizona: deserts and spectacular landscapes

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Arizona (Grand Canyon State) is a state located in the southwestern part of the United States. The Arizona territory is largely arid and semi-desert. But despite this feature it presents a great variety of landscapes. The city of Phoenix is the capital of Arizona. In addition to the state capital, the other main cities are Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa and Tempe. All these cities are located in the area around the capital. While among the inhabited centers outside the metropolitan area of Phoenix we find Tucson and Flagstaff.


Arizona has a geographically distinct territory in three defined areas. Towards the southwest is the Sonora desert, one of the largest and warmest deserts in North America. To the southeast and in the central area, the last offshoots of the Mexican plateau extend. In the northern area we find the Colorado plateau, which has an average height of 1,200 – 2,200 meters. And it is characterized by the presence of deep canyons, including the famous Grand Canyon formed by the Colorado River.

To the southwest, the Colorado plateau is closed by the Mogollon Rim, a rocky escarpment of sandstone and limestone. To the south of the Grand Canyon rise the San Francisco Peaks, where the Humphreys Peak (3,851 meters), Arizona’s highest mountain, is located.

The main rivers are the Gila, Little Colorado and above all Colorado. Due to the dryness of the area, numerous dams have been built along the course of the rivers, creating vast artificial lakes, including Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu.


As for the state economy, agriculture is possible thanks to the presence of these artificial lake basins, cotton, fruit, citrus are grown. The breeding of sheep and cattle is widespread.

The resources of the subsoil are remarkable, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, gold and silver are extracted. Industry is a very important sector, especially in the mechanical, electronic, aerospace and high technology sectors. Tourism has developed considerably due to the presence of places of considerable landscape interest and numerous vestiges of ancient Indian civilizations.


Arizona has been explored since the 16th century by the Spanish. At the end of the 17th century the Jesuits founded some missions in the south of the country. Subsequently some presidios were founded including Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. The territory of Arizona passed to Mexico in 1821, and was ceded to the United States in 1848, at the end of the war between the two countries.

Tourist attractions.

The climate.

Official page of the state government.

  • Area: 295,254 sq. km. (6° largest state of the United States of America)
  • Population: 6,166,000 (data 2006) (Whites 88.7%; Amerindians 5.6%; Blacks 4.2%, Asian 2.7%. Data 2005).
  • State Capital: Phoenix.
  • Language: The official language is English (spoken as a first language by 74.1% of the population). Spanish is spoken as a first language by 19.5% of the population, Navajo from 1, 9% (data 2000).
  • Religion: Christian (Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran), Jewish.
  • Time: UTC-7; in the Navajo Nation UTC-7 (Summer: UTC-6).



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