About Arizona

  • Arizona was admitted to the union as the 48th state, the last of the contiguous states, February 14, 1912.
  • Origin of state’s name: Spanish interpretation of “arizuma,” an Aztec Indian word meaning “silver-bearing.” Also based on Pima Indianword “arizonac” for “little spring place.”
  • Arizona is referred to as “The Grand Canyon State”
  • Arizona is the sixth largest state by area, comprising 113,909 square miles. New England, plus the state of Pennsylvania would fit inside Arizona.
  • Arizona is home to 21 federally recognized tribes with over 250,000 Native Americans.
  • Reservations and tribal communities comprise over 25% of 
Arizona’s lands.
  • The Navajo Nation spans 27,000 square miles across the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico , but its capital is seated in Window Rock, Arizona .
  • Phoenix is the state capitol, as well as the largest city, with over 1.3 million residents.  Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, which has a population of 3.8 million.
  •  Phoenix originated in 1866 as a camp to supply military post Camp McDowell.
  • The population of Maricopa County is larger than that of 23 of the states. Almost 60% of Arizona residents live in Maricopa County.
  • The state of Massachusetts could fit inside Maricopa County (9,922 sq. miles).
  • Humphrey’s Peak, just north of Flagstaff, is the highest point at 12,643 feet above sea level.
  • The lowest point, 70 feet above sea level, is the Colorado River, which runs through the Grand Canyon.
  • The average state elevation is 4,000 feet.
  • Arizona has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits—more mountains than any one of the other Mountain States.
  • Arizona has 26 peaks that are more than 10,000 feet in elevation.
  • Arizona has thousands of marked trails. The northern mountains of Arizona have some of the most beautiful trails in the world. This includes Red Rock Country and the Grand Canyon.
  • There are more wilderness areas in Arizona than in the entire Midwest. Arizona alone has 90 wilderness areas, while the Midwest has 50.
  • The Painted Desert is in Arizona.
  • The original London Bridge built in 1831 has been dismantled and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
  • Some of the richest mines in the world are in Arizona.
  • Arizona is filled with “ghost towns”, remnants of old mining towns.
  • The state bird is the Cactus Wren
  • The state tree is the Yellow Palo Verde
  • The state flower is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom.
  • Petrified wood is the official state fossil. The Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona contains America ’s largest deposits of petrified wood
  • Saguaro Cactus can grow to over 50 feet tall and have a natural lifespan of up to 200 years.
  • If you cut down a protected species of cactus in Arizona, you could spend more than a year in prison.
  • Rainfall averages for Arizona range from less than three inches in the deserts to more than 30 inches per year in the mountains.
  • Flagstaff averages over 8 feet of snowfall annually.
  • Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world stretching from near Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains region.
  • Arizona grows enough cotton each year to make more than one pair of jeans for every person in the United States.
  • Yuma is the country’s largest producer of winter vegetables, especially lettuce.
  • Yuma is the sunniest place on earth according to Guinness Book of World Records.
  • More copper is mined in Arizona than all the other states combined, and the Morenci Mine is the largest copper producer in all of North America .
  • Bisbee is known as the Queen of the Copper Mines because during its mining heyday it produced nearly 25 percent of the world’s copper.
  • Bisbee is the Nation’s southernmost mile-high city.
  • The world’s largest solar telescope is located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Sells.
  • Pluto was first discovered at the Flagstaff Lowell Observatory in 1930.
  • The Discovery Channel and Lowell Observatory built The Discovery Channel Telescope located near Happy Jack.
  • Billy the Kid killed his first man, Windy Cahill, in Bonita.
  • Famous labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma.
  • The world’s largest to-scale collection of miniature airplane models is housed at the library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.
  • There are only two places in the country where mail is delivered by mule; the village of Supai and Phantom Ranch.  Both are located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
  • Located on Arizona ’s western border, Parker Dam is the deepest dam in the world at 320 feet.
  • South Mountain Park/Preserve in Phoenix is the largest municipal park in the country.
  • Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, located about 55 miles west of Phoenix, generates more electricity than any other U.S. power plant.
  • Built by Del Webb in 1960, Sun City is the first 55-plus active adult retirement community in the country.
  • All bees in Arizona are Africanized, meaning all bees in Arizona are “Killer Bees”.
  •  Meteor Crater, the best preserved meteorite crater in the world, is located near Winslow.
  • The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles southeast of Prescott near the community of Mayer.
  • The hottest temperature recorded in Arizona was 128 degrees at Lake Havasu City on June 29,1994.
  • The coldest temperature recorded in Arizona was 40 degrees below zero at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971.
  • Wyatt Earp was neither the town marshal nor the sheriff in Tombstone at the time of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. His brother Virgil was the town marshal.
  • The Sonoran Desert which runs across Arizona is the most biologically diverse desert in North America .
  • The two largest manmade lakes in the U.S. are Lake Mead and Lake Powell.  Both are located in Arizona .
  • The longest remaining intact section of Route 66 can be found in Arizona and runs from Seligman to Topock, a total of 157 unbroken miles.
  • The 13 stripes on the Arizona flag represent the 13 original colonies of the United States.
  • The negotiations for Geronimo’s final surrender took place in Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, in 1886.
  •  Prescott is home to the world’s oldest rodeo and Payson  is home to the world’s oldest continuous rodeo—both of which date back to the 1880s.
  • Kartchner Caverns, near Benson, Arizona , is a massive limestone cave with 13,000 feet of passages, two rooms as long as football fields, and one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites: measuring 21 feet 3 inches.