Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah to the north, Colorado to the northeast, and New Mexico to the east; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912.
The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.
Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters.
Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; the Colorado Plateau; mountain ranges; as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls.
There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Alpine, and Tucson.
In addition to the internationally known Grand Canyon National Park, which is one of the world’s seven natural wonders, there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments.
Cities such as Phoenix and Tucson have developed large, sprawling suburban areas.
Traditionally, the state is politically known for national conservative figures such as Barry Goldwater and John McCain, though it voted Democratic in the 1996 presidential race and in the 2020 presidential and senatorial elections.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens.
The state also has a substantial Catholic and Mormon population.