People lived in the area that is now Arizona at least 20,000 years ago, before recorded history. But in the 1200s, this civilization disappeared, probably due to drought. Much later, Indian tribes such as the Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Apache lived on earth, and today, 22 tribes still live on reservations in the state. Spanish explorers first arrived in the 1530s, but through the 1840s, Arizona, as well as present-day California, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico, were part of Mexico. The United States gained control of the land after winning the Mexican-American War in 1848. Arizona became a U.S. territory in 1863 and then joined the Union in 1912 as the 48th state.
Arizona’s name may have come from Arizona’s early Spanish-born explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who may have called it “the place of the oaks”, or from the Papago Indian word which translates to “the place of young spring”. About five million people visit the state’s nickname each year: the 277-mile Grand Canyon.
Geography of Arizona
According to itypetravel.com, Arizona is bordered by Nevada to the northwest, Utah to the north, New Mexico to the east, Mexico to the south, and California to the west. The Grand Canyon cuts through the northwestern corner of the state in an area called the Colorado Plateau. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon drops 6,000 feet at its deepest point and stretches 18 miles wide. To the northeast, the Painted Desert showcases more than 160 miles of horizontally striped colorful rock, as well as 200-million-year-old fossilized plants and animals in Petrified Forest National Park. The Basin and Range Province covers the rest of the state and includes the Sonoran Desert, and it extends into several other states.
Wildlife of Arizona
Black bears, bighorn sheep and mountain lions roam in Arizona. Strange animals such as the coatimundi (a lemur-like relative of the striped-tailed raccoon), the pig-like dart, and a small wild cat called the jaguarundi are also on the hunt. Birds such as raptors, Californian condors and falcons fly overhead, while reptiles such as Gila monsters, ornamental box turtles, desert tortoises and rattlesnakes crawl through the deserts. Amphibians such as the endangered Sonoran tiger salamander live near lakes and ponds. The mountains are home to evergreens such as pines and junipers, while the deserts are dotted with mesquite trees, flowering cacti, and shrubs such as sagebrush and creosote bushes.
Population: 146.743 thousand people (2007)
Area: 367.0 sq. km
City status since: 1954
Time zone: UTC-7, summer UTC-6
Altitude: 348 m
The American city of Peoria is part of the state called Arizona. Peoria belongs to two districts – Yavapai and Maricopa. The date of foundation of this American city is 1880, but Peoria has had the status of a city only since 1954. In the summer of 2008, this American city ranked 55th in Money magazine’s list of the best cities to live in. There is a sports complex in the city, where baseball teams called the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres train in the spring. The racial makeup of Peoria is predominantly white. See Arizona cities.
On the territory of the city there are a large number of higher educational institutions and primary schools funded by the state. There are also two beauty schools in the city. Some of the city’s best-known natives and residents include professional baseball player Ichiro Suzuki, Dallas Cowboys forward (Kyle Kosher), George W. Bush ‘s Secretary of Transportation (Mary Peters), and bands called A Change of Pace and The format”.
Population: 244,250 thousand people (2009)
Area: 477.7 sq. km
Time zone: UTC-7
The city of Scottsdale lies in the west of Maricopa County, in the Salt River Valley. It is known as the center of tourism and shopping. Many hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, shopping and entertainment centers fill the streets of the city. Scottsdale lies on the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert. The northern and northeastern outskirts are limited by the mountain heights of MacDowell. The cultural center occupies an area called the Old Town. Previously, families of workers mainly lived here. Within it are ancient buildings. They house art galleries, shops, souvenir shops, restaurants. A modern shopping complex, one of the largest in the country, was recently built in the cultural center.
On the territory of the urban area of South Scottsdale there are 6 dealerships specializing in the sale of cars. Until 2008, there were more than three dozen. The Arizona State University Research Center is located within the district. North Scottsdale is considered the youngest urban area. There are rich mansions and luxurious villas, the main offices of large companies and an ultra-modern business center located near the airport.
Population: 117.517 thousand people (2010)
Area: 180.0 sq. km
Time zone: UTC-7
Altitude: 358 m
The American city of Surprise is part of the state called Arizona. Surprise belongs to Maricopa County and is considered the second fastest growing city in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. In this measure, Surprise is second only to the city of Gilbert.
The city was founded in 1938 by Flora May Stetler. It was she who named the city because, as she said, “she would be very surprised if the city ever reaches a large size.” According to the official version, it was previously believed that the city was founded by Stetler’s husband, but later evidence was discovered that indicated the fact that Stetler owned this territory even before she met her husband, HomerS. Ludden. Initially, there were only a few houses and a gas station for one mile, later inexpensive houses for agricultural workers began to be built here. Surprise experienced tremendous growth in the following years. It was upgraded to a city in 1960. In the 1990s and 2000s, tens of thousands of retirees moved here to live in the Sun City Grand. Sun City Grand is an age-restricted resort-like community with homes built by real estate development company Del Webb.
The main employers of this American city include: Dysart School District, Walmart and City of Surprise. Locally, Surprise is governed by a mayor and six city council members. The mayor is elected at-large, while city councilors are elected from the six districts they represent. All representatives are elected for a term of four years. The city also lives a rich sports life. Surprise is the spring training base for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers baseball teams. In addition, the city also hosted the Golden League Baseball in 2005.
The city will be quite interesting for travelers. Among the main attractions of this American city, tourists should definitely visit: Surprise Stadium, Surprise Lake, White Tank Mountains, Wildlife World Zoo and White Tank Mountain Regional Park.