Arizona Travel Guide! - Arizona Travel and Tourism Guide.

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Arizona Travel Guide

The tourism industry in ARIZONA has, literally, one colossal advantage - the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. It's the single most awe-inspiring spectacle in a land of unforgettable geology, and one of the few places in the world that you absolutely have to see at least once in your life. However, the Grand Canyon is by no means the most interesting or memorable destination in the state. Indeed, in comparison to its inhuman scale, other parts of Arizona have a more abiding emotional impact, precisely because of the sheer drama of human involvement in this forbidding but deeply resonant desert landscape.

Over a third of the state still belongs to the Native Americans who have lived here for centuries, and who outside the cities form the majority of the population. In the so-called Indian Country of northeastern Arizona, the reservation lands of the Navajo Nation hold the stupendous Canyon de Chelly and dozens of other marvellously sited Ancestral Puebloan ruins , as well as the stark rocks of Monument Valley . The Navajo surround the homeland of one of the most stoutly traditional of all Native American peoples, the Hopi , who live in remote mesa-top villages . The third main tribal group are the Apache , in the harshly beautiful southeastern mountains - the last Native Americans to give in to the overwhelming power of the white American invaders.

Away from the reservations, Wild West towns like Tombstone , site of the famed gunfight at the OK Corral, give a clear sense of Arizona's characteristically rough-and-ready, pioneer mentality; this was the last of the lower 48 states to join the Union, in 1912. The cities , however, are not much fun. In Phoenix , the capital, well over a million souls are scattered over a 500-square-mile morass of shopping malls and tract-house suburbs; Tucson is a bit more civil, but still wears thin after a day or so.

Though the open spaces of southern Arizona can be harsh and violent - most of the southwestern quarter, along the parallel I-8 and I-10 highways, is used as a bombing range - the bleakness is balanced somewhat by the many nature reserves which protect its amazing flora and fauna, such as Saguaro National Park , just outside Tucson, with its giant cactuses, real-life roadrunners and rare Gila monsters.




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