The Arizona State Parks Include An Amazing System Of Caverns Undiscovered Until 1974
The system of state parks in Arizona was originated during the 1950`s, influenced by the rapid growth of recreation and tourism following the end of World War Two.
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Unfortunately in recent years, Arizona has been wrestling to control a budget deficit of several billion dollars.
So in January 2010 the authorities voted to close thirteen of the Arizona State Parks. Eight had already been closed so that left only nine open.
Thanks to partnerships with local agencies, fund raising activities and donations some of the parks have since re-opened.
Arizona was the last of the 48 states on mainland America to join the Union which it did on the 14th of February 1912.
The Grand Canyon As Dusk Is Falling
Located in the south west corner of the country, it shares a border with Mexico to the south that is almost 390 miles long. It is a truly amazing state with much to attract tourists.
It is, of course, famous for being the home of the Grand Canyon which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of the United States.
Arizona also has one of the largest meteor impact sites in the world. Near the town of Winslow high on the Colorado Plateau is the Barringer Meteorite Crater. Almost a mile wide and 570 feet deep, it is an incredible sight, especially when viewed from the air.
Not The Moon But The Barringer Meteor Crater Near Winslow Arizona
In terms of size, Arizona is the sixth largest state in America with more than a quarter of its 114,000 square miles being Federal Trust Land.
This is home to the Native American Navajo Nation and tribes such as the Apache, Yaqui, Hopi, Hualapai, Yavapai. and Quechan. With 85,000 residents speaking the Navajo tongue and 10,000 speaking Apache, Arizona has the largest number of people in the U.S.A. who speak Native American languages.
Although Arizona is renowned for its desert landscape, what is often not realised is how much of the land is under forests. Despite a low rainfall 27% of Arizona is forested.
The Arizona Desert Provides Some Wonderful Sunsets
Despite the relatively low rainfall the climate in Arizona can be quite pleasant. Long sunny days with high temperatures are offset by air-conditioning and the mild winters help to attract many senior citizens from colder climates to the north.
These "snowbirds" have led to a growth in the population, especially during the 1960`s when many retirement communities were established. This population growth saw a similar growth in the numbers of the Arizona State Parks. Eight were added during the decade of the Sixties.
As you would imagine in a state that has an annual rainfall of only 12.7 inches, a number of the state parks in Arizona are located around water features. Lakes and rivers prove to be a great attraction for people living in a land-locked state.
Examples of Arizona State Parks near water are Lake Havasu State Park, Lake Lyman State Park, Buckskin Mountain State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park and Alamo Lake State Park.
Early Morning At Lake Havasu State Park
The dramatic landscape of the region is also showcased in such Arizona State Parks as Red Rock State Park, Picacho State Park, and the Lost Dutchman State Park while Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is based around, what is thought to be, the largest natural travertine bridge in the world.
Another very special example of the state parks in Arizona is the Kartchner Caverns State Park. Undiscovered until 1974 these amazing limestone caves were kept as a secret for fourteen years until the landowners sold the area to the state for development as a park
The Amazing Kartchner Caverns State Park
Despite their ongoing financial problems the parks are all still well worth visiting. They are run by the Bureau of Arizona State Parks, if you have any questions or would like any more information here is their official website.Here is a list of the Arizona State Parks The numbers in front of their names indicates their position on the map below.