By Manjula Fernando
For the one who seeks to travel, experience the splendor of wildlife, along with the grandeur of a diverse landscape, Arizona is the place. The State of Arizona, which means the “place of the small spring”, also known as the Grand Canyon State, consists of mountains, plateaus, and the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in America. It is located in Yavapai County, 55 miles ESE of Prescott; bordered by Utah from the north, Mexico from the south, New México and Nevada and California from the east and the west. Arizona covers an area of 295,274 sq km (114,006 sq mi). The mean elevation of the state is 4,100 feet above sea level. A blend of unique desert geography and rich volcanic geology, with isolated mountains, sharp ridges and deep canyons create a diverse landscape, unlike anywhere else in America.
The mainland of Arizona has three geographical divisions: the Colorado plateau, the Transition Zone and the Basin and Ridge Region. The last, is featured by mountain ranges running from the northwest to the southeast. Arizona has over 3,928 mountain peaks. These include associated peaks in Arizona, namely Humphreys, Agassiz, San Francisco, Fremont, Aubineau, Rees, Doyle, Baldy, Ord, Paradise Butte, Thomas, and Mount Warren. Highest among these are Humphreys Peak, Agassiz Peak, and the San Francisco Mountain. The Arizona mountain ranges separate her smooth-floored desert basins. In addition, there are some similar highland characteristics in the Transition Zone comprising of mountain ranges of rugged peaks separated by steep, narrow valleys.
Above the desert, and over the grassland, the woods lie with the typical highland feature. Pinon and Juniper trees and the thick forest start at about 2100 m (about 7000 ft). Arizona Mountains are rich with flora and fauna, especially with their beautiful pine covering. Plant lives vary depending on the variations in elevation, temperature, climate, precipitation and soil. So if you are travelling in Arizona, it is not impossible to observe Mountain lions, and desert snakes, two diverse wild life specimens.
Grand Canyon has been a major tourist attraction from the 1930’s. The region’s spectacular scenery and sunny climate has made tourism a major industry in Arizona, having attracted many visitors throughout the year. Not only the desert region, but also the forestry mountains, are valuable in catching the attention of diverse visitors. In addition to the magnificent landscape, interesting activities like horse riding, biking, hiking, camping, mountain climbing etc, are increasing the number of travellers who visit Arizona each year. Exciting Arizona desert jeep tours are now available for the tourists.
Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (CAMRA), also known as Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Mountain Rescue (MCSO-MR) team, is on alert to insure the safety of the tourists. This expertly trained, technical rescue team is dedicated and more than willing to save lives. So when you are planning your next vacation, keep in mind, that paradise of Arizona is waiting for you.
Discover the beauty of the Arizona Mountains in breathtaking deserts of America.
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