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Archaeology & Geography

Arizona is more than desert and cacti! Mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes are just a few of the geographic features you’ll find in Arizona (though we do have lots of desert, too).

That’s because Arizona is home to a diverse, beautiful landscape shaped by millions of years of history. Read on for information on each of Arizona’s distinctive regions:

  • Northern Arizona
    This region is full of many natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, the Red Rocks of Sedona, Monument Valley, the Petrified Forest and extensive pine forests surrounding Flagstaff. From Meteor Crater, formed about 50,000 years ago, to prehistoric Indian dwellings dating back to 1200 AD, the geology and archaeology of Northern Arizona is fascinating.
  • North Central Arizona
    Known as Arizona’s "Four Season Playground," North Central Arizona features cool pine forests, mountain retreats and trails, making it perfect for hiking, biking, camping and more. Around 1000 AD, volcanic activity in the region improved soil conditions, allowing the Sinagua (or "Western Anasazi") to thrive in the region between Phoenix and Flagstaff, where evidence of their civilization still abounds.
  • Phoenix & Central Arizona
    Home to Phoenix, the state capitol and the sixth largest city in the nation, Central Arizona is a major tourist destination and business center and has more golf courses per capita than any state west of the Mississippi River. Central Arizona includes both low-lying desert and mountain peaks, as well as several Native American museums, prehistoric ruins, Native American reservations and national monuments.
  • Tucson & Southern Arizona
    This region is well known for its nature, history and Spanish influence, which dates back to before Europeans settled the East Coast. From the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson to the Sonoran Desert State Park to the subterranean habitats of Kartchner Caverns and Colossal Cave, you can really get a great view from above and below in Southern Arizona.
  • Arizona’s West Coast
    Stretching along the Colorado River from the Hoover Dam to the Mexican border, Arizona’s West Coast has numerous beaches, coves and lakes that provide a fantastic playground for boating, fishing, water skiing and wildlife viewing. Among these various landscapes you can visit attractions featuring archaeological history dating back to the early prehistoric era.
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