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Arizona (Listeni/ɛrɪˈznə/; /ærɪˈznə/) (Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Alĭ ṣonak) is a state of the United States, located in the southwestern region of the country. Arizona is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. Arizona is the sixth most extensive and the 16th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. The second largest city is Tucson, followed in population by eight cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area: Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, and Surprise.

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, having achieved statehood on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate in its southern half, where there are very hot summers and quite mild winters. The northern half of Arizona also features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees, a very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and some mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains—as well as large, deep canyons, where there is much more moderate weather for three seasons of the year, plus significant snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Alpine. Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. Arizona has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and it has one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

Arizona is one of the most populous landlocked states of the United States. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, several national forests, national parks, and national monuments are located in Arizona. About one-quarter of Arizona is federal land that serves as the home of the Navajo Nation; the Hopi tribe; the Tohono O'odham; the Apache tribe; the Yaqui peoples; and various Yuman tribes, such as the Yavapai people, the Quechan people, and the Hualapai people.

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Map of Arizona State Route 85.
State Route 85, or SR 85, is a state highway in the U.S. state of Arizona. The highway runs from the United States-Mexico border near Lukeville to the north ending at Interstate 10 (I-10) in Buckeye. The highway also intersects I-8 in Gila Bend and serves as a connector between I-8 and I-10 and for travelers between Phoenix and Yuma as well as Southern California.SR 85 was established in 1936 as a route between Gila Bend and Ajo. It was extended southward to the US-Mexico border in 1955, and extended northward to Phoenix when it replaced U.S. Route 80 in 1977. The northern end of the highway was realigned in 1994 onto the connecting highway between I-10 and Buckeye. The remaining portion of the highway between Buckeye and Phoenix was gradually turned over to the cities and county along the route during the 1990s with the final portion turned over in 2001.The southern terminus of SR 85 is located at the United States-Mexico border near Lukeville in Pima County. The road continues across the border into Mexico to the town of Sonoita.

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Petrified wood
Credit: Daniel Schwen

Petrified wood, such as this sample found in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, United States, is a fossil wood where all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, while retaining the original structure of the wood.

Did you know...

Did you know?

  • ...that the southern side of Mount Elden (pictured) in the state of Arizona was left almost entirely devoid of vegetation after a 4600-acre wildfire ran through the area in June 1977?

  • ... that despite witnessing the event from the bench, Arizona Territorial Chief Justice John Titus declined to bring charges against a prosecutor who tried to kill a criminal defendant in open court?


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Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, OC is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player and former coach and part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes National Hockey League (NHL) team. Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. In 1978, he signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he briefly played before being signed by the Edmonton Oilers. When the WHA folded, the Oilers joined the NHL, where Gretzky won four Stanley Cups, nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, and ten Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season.Nicknamed "The Great One", Gretzky was called "the greatest player of all time" in Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL. He is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the NHL, and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and coaches. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All-Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutively.


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