Known to many simply as the Grand Canyon State, Arizona offers visitors and residents alike an impressive array of attractions, sights and features certain to please. Home to a number of iconic tourist attractions, national parks and other landmarks, this pat of the country should not be missed.
The geography of Arizona is surprisingly diverse, with its 113,309 square miles encompassing high plateaus, desert valleys, mountain ranges and more. Notable bodies of water within the state’s borders include Lake Mead, the Colorado River, Lake Havasu and Lake Powell.
Perhaps the best-known geographical feature found in Arizona is the world-renowned Grand Canyon. However, that is not to minimize the visual glories embodied by the Mogollon Rim, Monument Valley, the Phoenix and Tucson desert valleys as well as the red rock vistas of Sedona.
Of course, no tourist visit to Arizona should ever exclude at least a short jaunt to the Grand Canyon, considering its historic importance and staggering sights. Classified among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the canyon covers an incredible 277 miles and has dips of up to 6,000 feet. Created by the flowing motions of the Colorado River, observers can take note of multiple geological eras embedded in the canyon’s rock formations, caves, ecosystems and fossils.
The climate variations in Arizona can also be rather surprising for those operating mainly on popular perception and not personal experience. In cities situated along the lower elevation points, summer temperatures routinely stretch to near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in the higher spots in northern and central Arizona, cold fronts regularly cause temperatures to fall to subzero levels in winter. Large fluctuations in a single day are not uncommon, something travelers should always bear in mind when packing for their journeys.
Given the impressive variety of climate, topography and natural conditions that abound in Arizona, visitors are well-advised to pay attention to the season in which they want to travel. Desert regions have a peak season of January through March. Mountainous areas peak from June through August when it comes to hosting visitors. Mid-climate zones such as the one that includes Sedona are best explored March through May with September through October a close second.
With a seemingly endless menu of activities and opportunities for historical, cultural and geological discovery, Arizona represents a true gem among American states. There is no reason for curious travelers to delay visiting this amazing natural wonder.