Silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona.
Author Saguaro Pictures

Living in Arizona

Arizona - The Grand Canyon State

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Arizona

Arizona USA MapArizona USA Map
Are you considering moving to the beautiful Grand Canyon State of Arizona? If so, this will provide you with information regarding your personal, business and local tax requirements; but first here is a list of quick links that will direct you to State agencies that can provide you with more information about Arizona:

For complete details, refer to the Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Administrative Code. In case of inconsistency or omission in this document, the language of the Arizona Revised Statute and the Arizona Administrative Code will prevail.

Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan friar, was the first European to explore Arizona. He entered the area in 1539 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold. Although he was followed a year later by another gold seeker, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, most of the early settlement was for missionary purposes. In 1775 the Spanish established Fort Tucson. In 1848, after the Mexican War, most of the Arizona territory became part of the U.S., and the southern portion of the territory was added by the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Arizona history is rich in legends of America's Old West. It was here that the great Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise led their people against the frontiersmen. Tombstone, Ariz., was the site of the West's most famous shoot-out—the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Today, Arizona has one of the largest U.S. Indian populations; more than 14 tribes are represented on 20 reservations.

Arizona Counties

There are 15 counties in Arizona. Four counties (Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma) were made in 1864 after the creation of the Arizona Territory in 1862. The now longer  Pah-Ute County was part from Mohave County in 1865, yet converged in 1871. Everything except La Paz County were created when Arizona was allowed statehood in 1912.

Eight of Arizona's fifteen counties are named after various Native American indians that are inhabitant in parts of what is presently Arizona, with another (Cochise County) being named after a local pioneer. Four different counties, Gila County, Santa Cruz County, Pinal County, and Graham County, are named for physical highlights of Arizona's scenoc views: the Gila Waterway, the Santa Cruz River, Pinal Peak, and Mount Graham, separately. Another county, La Paz County, is named after a previous settler, while the last region, Greenlee Province, is named after one of the state's initial pioneers

Click a county on the map for county seats

Climate

Click for latest Phoenix, Arizona, weather
Arizona has a dry climate, with very little rainfall. Temperatures vary greatly from ine area to another, season to season, and day to night. Average daily temperatures at Yuma, in the southwestern desert range from 43° to 67°F in January, and from 81° to 106°F in July.

Demography

  • Arizona Geography, History, Facts
  • Arizona Facts & Trivia
  • Arizona Flags
  • Famous People from Arizona
  • Arizona Timeline
  • Arizona Official Song
  • Education

    Silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. 
<br>Author Saguaro Pictures
    Silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona.
    Author Saguaro Pictures
  • Arizona Colleges
  • Charter schools www.asbcs.state.az.us
  • Arizona schools for the deaf and blind www.asdb.state.az.us
  • Education Information www.ade.az.gov
  • Arizona is served by three public universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. These schools are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents.

    Private higher education in Arizona is dominated by a large number of for-profit and "chain" (multi-site) universities.

    Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott and Prescott College are Arizona's only non-profit four-year private colleges.

    Arizona has a wide network of two-year vocational schools and community colleges. These colleges were governed historically by a separate statewide Board of Directors but, in 2002, the state legislature transferred almost all oversight authority to individual community college districts. The Maricopa County Community College District includes 11 community colleges throughout Maricopa County and is one of the largest in the nation.

    Arizona State Flower - Saguaro cactus blossom
    Arizona State Flower - Saguaro cactus blossom

    Arizona State Tree - Blue Palo Verde
    Arizona State Tree - Blue Palo Verde

    Arizona State CapitolArizona State Capitol

    Flora and Fauna

    Arizona's fauna range from desert species of lizards and snakes to the deer, elk, and antelope of the northern highlands. Mountain lion, jaguar, coyote, and black and brown bears are found in the state, along with the badger, black-tailed jackrabbit, and gray fox.

    Just about every life form found among North American flowering plants is present in Arizona. This amazing diversity is partly explained by the fact that the altitudinal range extends from a few feet above sea level to approximately 12,000 feet at the summit of the San Francisco Peaks. The life zone range from Arctic-Alpine on these peaks to Lower Sonoran in the southwest and Subtropical in the extreme south.

  • Arizona State Bird (Cactus Wren)
  • Arizona Official State Flower (Saguaro cactus blossom)
  • Arizona Official State Tree (Blue Palo Verde)
  • Government

    The Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, was the last home for Arizona's Territorial government, until Arizona became a state in 1912. Initially, all three branches of the new state government occupied the four floors of the statehouse. As the state expanded the branches relocated to adjacent buildings and additions. The 1901 portion of the Capitol is now maintained as the Arizona Capitol Museum with a focus on the history and culture of Arizona.

    Chief executive officials elected statewide include the governor, secretary of state (the designated successor to the governor, as there is not lieutenant governor), treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction, all of whom serve 4-year terms. The governor is limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms. The three members of the Corporation Commission, which regulates public services and utilities, are elected for staggered six-year terms, and the state mine inspector is elected for two years. Candidates for executive office must have been US citizens for at least ten years, must be at least 25 years old, and must have been a citizen of Arizona for at least five years

    To vote in Arizona, a person must be 18 years old, a US citizen, and must have been a resident of the state for at least 29 days prior to the next election. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incapacitated by the court.

  • Arizona welcomes you www.governor.state.az.us
  • Public safety www.dps.state.az.us
  • Property tax manuals Property Tax Manuals
  • Arizona Official State Website
  • Attractions

    In the heart of the American Southwest, Arizona is filled with natural wonders, vibrant cities, and charming small towns. The Grand Canyon draws visitors from around the globe, but those who venture deeper into the state will find all kinds of unique places and interesting sites. While cities and towns like Phoenix and Sedona make great vacation destinations, you can head beyond the urban centers to discover Native American cliff dwellings and remnants of ancient cultures, historic ghost towns from the mining days, and a landscape perfect for outdoor adventures. Arizona is home to desert, lakes, mountains, slot canyons, saguaro cactus, buttes, waterfalls, and even a volcano with downhill skiing, all of which offer a wealth of possibilities for visitors.

  • Arizona Official Office of Tourism
  • Amusement Parks

    Castles N' Coasters, Phoenix
      An amusement park and family amusement center located in Phoenix. At about 10 acres, the park features four outdoor 18-hole miniature golf courses, several rides, and an indoor video game arcade. The park was built in 1976, and features a Middle-Eastern motif though other eras are featured such as the Wild West-themed miniature golf course and log flume ride.
    Enchanted Island, Phoenix
      The Valley’s best places to take the family is conveniently located just west of 7th Avenue on Encanto Blvd, right in the heart of Phoenix’s picturesque Encanto Park. Enchanted Island is filled with charm and magic, offering eleven fanciful rides and attractions geared especially toward children aged 1 to 10. Ride the historic Encanto Carousel. Pedal-boat across fish-filled lagoons. Test your skill at our arcade games, and share the memories over a fluffy ball of cotton candy. Enchanted Island is one of life’s simple pleasures. They also host the best company picnics in Phoenix! For more family fun entertainment, visit the Daisy Mountain Railroad, Desert Breeze Railroad, and Freestone Railroad!
    Funtasticks Family Fun Park, Tucson
      More than just a family fun park. There is a lot more to do than just walk around admiring the scenery and watching other families do the same, which is just dull and boring. If you came for a small family outing, there are places safely tucked away where you can have a slow Saturday afternoon to yourselves at Funtasticks.
    Golf n' Stuff, Tucson
      Celebrate! Golf N’ Stuff can help make your next party or celebration extra special! Having a birthday? Family reunion? School field trip? School dance? Summer camp outing? Church social? Company team building day? Sports team party? You name it; we can help you celebrate it!
    Golfland Sunsplash, Mesa
      a series of water parks and family amusement centers originating in Mesa, AZ. The park is separated into two separate parks. Golfland operates year-round and features three miniature golf courses, an arcade, a pizza restaurant, a go-cart track, and bumper boats. Sunsplash operates in the summer and features 29 water-based attractions.
    Schnepf Farms, Queen Creek
      The Schnepf’s were farming over 5000 acres and shipping vegetables across the country. But his favorite crop was candy corn. As visitors drove out to the small farming community they would often stop and ask if they could pick a few ears of corn and some peaches. It wasn’t long until Ray realized that selling corn and peaches for U-Pick was the way to go. And Schnepf Farms began to grow….
    Wildlife World, Litchfield Park
      A 215 acre zoo and aquarium. The zoo specializes in African and South American animals, and has Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals. There is a 0.6 mile "safari train", a boat ride through the Australian habitat, a tram through another segment of the African habitat, and several amusement-oriented rides. Since 2008, it also has added an aquarium with a total tank volume of 180,000 gallons. The latest section, "Adventureland", opened in February, 2016 adding 15 acres, four rides, and a restaurant. Separately a new Mexican restaurant, "Zooberto's", was opened.

    National Parks

    Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park

    Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon, AZ

      Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. The South Rim is open all year The North Rim is open. Most North Rim services will close for the season on October 15, 2018
    Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
      Did you know that Petrified Forest is more spectacular than ever? While the park has all the wonders known for a century, there are many new adventures and discoveries to share. There are backcountry hikes into areas never open before such as Red Basin and little known areas like the Martha's Butte. There are new exhibits that bring the stories to life. Come rediscover Petrified Forest!
    Saguaro National Park,Tucson, AZ
      Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.
    Old Spanish National Historic Trail Old Spanish National Historic Trail
    Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA, AZ,CA
      ¡Vayan Subiendo!"("Everyone mount up!") was the rousing call from Juan Bautista de Anza. In 1775-76, he led some 240 men, women, and children on an epic journey to establish the first non-Native settlement at San Francisco Bay. Today, the 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail connects history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Old Spanish National Historic Trail, AZ,CA,CO,NV,NM,UT
      Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to exchange for mules and horses.

    National Forests

    Prescott National Forest
    Prescott National Forest
    Coronado National Forest - 1,718,945 acres
      Covering the sky islands of the Southwest, Coronado National Forest also includes Mount Wrightson and the birding destination of Madera Canyon. There are eight wilderness areas in the forest as well as observatories on Mount Hopkins and Mount Lemmon
    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest - 2,626,306 acres
      Including the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains, this forest includes 34 lakes and over 680 miles of rivers and streams, more than any other National Forest in the arid Southwest
    Tonto National Forest - 2,866,663 acres
      onto National Forest stretches from the Sonoran Desert to the pine forests at the Mogollon Rim. There are eight wilderness areas and several lakes and reservoirs in the forest[
    Prescott National Forest - 1,257,005 acres
      Vegetation in Prescott National Forest ranges from that characteristic of the Sonoran Desert at lower elevations to Ponderosa pine at higher elevations. There are eight wilderness areas and 450 miles of trails in the forest
    Coconino National Forest - 1,852,201 acres
      The San Francisco Peaks, Mogollon Rim, and Oak Creek Canyon can be found in Coconino National Forest. The forest's Sycamore Canyon is the second largest canyon in Arizona's Redrock Country. The forest also contains Humphreys Peak, which at 12,637 feet is the highest point in Arizona.
    Kaibab National Forest - 1,561,060 acres
      Located on the Colorado Plateau to both the north and south of Grand Canyon National Forest, elevations in Kaibab National Forest reach 10,418 feet on Kendrick Mountain in the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. There are over 300 miles of trails in the forest, including through the Kanab Creek Wilderness.

    Sports

    Arizona has four Major League sports teams, all within the Phoenix metropolitan area, plus a professional WNBA team.

    National Football League
    The Arizona Cardinals are a professional football team based in Phoenix. They were founded in 1898 in Chicago, Illinois. They currently play at the University of Phoenix Stadium. They have never won a Super Bowl, but have had their stadium host a couple of them, including Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. They play in the National Football Conference's West Division.

    Major League Baseball
    The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They play their home games at Chase Field. They were founded in 1998 as an expansion team in the National League's West Division of the MLB. They became the fastest expansion team to win a World Series title (four seasons) when they beat three-time defending champ the New York Yankees in 2001

    National Basketball Association
    The Phoenix Suns play in the NBA's Pacific Division and are the only team not from California in that division. They are also the only men's professional sports team left that do not brand themselves as an Arizona team, only from the city of Phoenix. They were founded in 1968 and play their home games in Talking Stick Resort Arena. They have appeared in two NBA Finals, and lost both

    National Hockey League
    The Arizona Coyotes are a professional hockey league team based in Glendale. They play their home games at Gila River Arena. They have never played in a Stanley Cup Final. They moved to Arizona in 1996 from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They play in the Western Conference's Pacific Division.

    Women's National Basketball Association
    The Phoenix Mercury are a professional women's basketball team based in Phoenix. They play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena. They were founded in 1997 as one of the league's inaugural teams. They play in the Pacific Division of the WNBA. They have won three WNBA titles.

    College Sports

    With three state universities and one private university in NCAA Division I, and several community colleges, college sports are also prevalent in Arizona. The intense rivalry between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona predates Arizona's statehood, and is one of the oldest rivalries in the NCAA. The thus aptly named Territorial Cup, first awarded in 1889 and certified as the oldest trophy in college football, is awarded to the winner of the "Duel in the Desert", the annual football game between the two schools. Both UA and ASU are members of the Pac-12 Conference, one of the so-called Power Five conferences in Division I FBS, the top tier of U.S. college football.

  • Arizona Sports
  • College sports

    Taxes

    Arizona Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 2.59% - 4.54%
    • Sales tax: 5.85% - 10.9%
    • Property tax: 0.81% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 19 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 27 cents per gallon of diesel (19 cents for light or exempt vehicles)

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Nogales International Airport - Beech 1900
    Nogales International Airport - Beech 1900 Photo by Owen O'Rourke
    Arizona Airports. Arizona airports are dedicated to providing excellent customer service through their helpful service. The AzAA (Arizona Airports Association) was formed to bring together representatives of Arizona airports.

    Arizona is the sixth largest state in the US and is a fast-growing state. As a result, it attracts many people from all over the world. It is therefore not surprising that airports in Arizona receive a large number of national and international visitors.

    The Arizona International Airports are the Laughlin Bullhead International Airport, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Tucson International Airport, the Yuma International Airport, the Bisbee Douglas International Airport and the Nogales International Airport. Other major airports are Duncan, Grand Canyon Village, Marble Canyon, Page and Kayenta and Sierra Vista.

    The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a busy airport with the capital of the state of Arizona and a daily traffic of nearly 110,000 people. The airport operates 23 airlines daily.

    Tucson International Airport receives around four million visitors annually. The airlines that fly passengers from this airport include Aerolitoral, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Continental, United / Lufthansa Airlines, AA, Delta / SkyWest, Frontier, Northwest / KLM and Southwest Airlines.

    Arizona airports are built to world-class standards and try to provide customers with the best service in the industry.

    Rail

    Amtrak Southwest Chief route serves the northern part of the state, stopping at Winslow, Flagstaff, KIngman, and Williams. The Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited routes serve South-Central Arizona, stopping at Tucson, Maricopa, Yuma and Benson. Phoenix lost Amtrak service in 1996 with the discontinuation of the Desert Wind, and now an Amtrak bus runs between Phoenix and the station in Maricopa.

    Roads

    Main interstate routes include I-17, and I-19 traveling north-south, I-8, I-10, and I-40, traveling east-west, and a short stretch of I-15 traveling northeast–southwest through the extreme northwestern corner of the state. In addition, the various urban areas are served by complex networks of state routes and highways, such as the Loop 101, which is part of Phoenix's vast freeway system.

    Arizona Housing and Real Estate

    The median home value in Arizona is $244,600. Arizona home values have gone up 7.7% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 3.8% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Arizona is $155. The median price of homes currently listed in Arizona is $284,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $246,200. The median rent price in Arizona is $1,425.
    • Arizona Association of Realtors
    • Arizona Department of Real Estate
    • Sponsor Sites: Arizona Real Estate | Arizona homes for sale | Arizona luxury homes for sale | Scottsdale Real Estate | West Valley real estate | Arizona luxury homes | Partner Sites: AZ Homes for sale MLS | California Homes for sale MLS | Illinois Homes for sale MLS | Arizona Homes for sale MLS| Scottsdale homes for sale | Commercial real estate in Arizona | Phoenix Real Estate | Arizona Real Estate Listings

    Cities & Towns

    As of 2010 There were 91 incorporated cities and towns in the state of Arizona. Incorporated places in Arizona are those that have been granted home rule, possessing a local government in the form of a city or town council. The 2010 census put 5,021,810 of the state's 6,392,017 residents within these cities and towns, accounting for 78.56% of the population. Most of the population is concentrated within the Phoenix metropolitan area, with an 2010 census population of 4,192,887 (65.60% of the state population).

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