Arizona: Land of Contrasts
|Arizona embodies the rugged Wild West glamorized in movies like Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) and the John Wayne, Robert Mitchum classic, El Dorado (1967), both filmed in the Grand Canyon State. Wide open spaces, desert panoramas marked by giant saguaros, red rock spires reaching up to an endless sky - this is Arizona. Snow-covered alpine ski slopes, sparkling blue lakes, tall skyscrapers - this, too, is Arizona. A land of contrasts, our 48th state is rich in natural wonders, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers every season of the year.|
|With such a diverse topography, Arizona offers so much to see, starting with the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. That the Colorado River carved out this mile deep, 18-mile wide, expansive collection of colorful ridges and mesas is almost incomprehensible. To the south of Grand Canyon National Park stand the San Francisco Mountains, Arizona's highest peaks rising over 12,000 feet above sea level. This is a popular area for skiing in winter and hiking amid Ponderosa pines and aspens during the summer months.
Many of Arizona's mountain ranges follow a northwest to southeast orientation. The Santa Catalina Mountains form part of the beautiful backdrops for the picturesque desert city of Tucson, located in the southeastern part of the state. The historic mountain town of Prescott in central Arizona is surrounded by over a million acres of national forest with miles and miles of recreational trails.
The western part of the state is known as "River Country." Dams built along the Colorado River formed lakes, including Mohave, Mead, and Havasu, which have become favorite recreational playgrounds for boaters, water skiers, swimmers, and fishing enthusiasts.