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Arizona is one of the Four Corners states, situated south and east of the Colorado River. It borders New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, touches Colorado, and has a 389-mile international border with Mexico. Arizona is the sixth largest state in area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Aside from the Arizona Map Grand Canyon, a number of other National Forests, Parks, Monuments, and Indian reservations are located in the state. Of the state's 118,000 square miles, approximately 15 percent is privately owned. The remaining area is government forest and park land, recreation areas and Native American reservations.

Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, which includes cacti. It is also known for its exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well known is the pine-covered high country in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the lower deserts of the state. Like other states of the Southwest, Arizona has an abundance of topographical characteristics in addition to its desert climes. More than half of the state features mountains and plateaus and contains the largest stand of Ponderosa pine in the United States. The Mogollon Rim, a 2000-foot (600 m) escarpment, cuts across the central section of the state and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, where the state experienced its worst forest fire ever in 2002. Arizona belongs firmly within the Basin and Range Province of North America. The region was shaped by prehistoric volcanism, followed by a cooling-off and related subsidence. The entire region is slowly sinking.

The Grand Canyon.The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona. The canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is largely contained in the Grand Canyon National Park—one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of the Grand Canyon area, visiting on numerous occasions to hunt mountain lion and enjoy the scenery.

The Canyon, created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years, is about 277 miles long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles and attains a depth of more than 1 mile (1.6 km). Nearly 2 billion years of the Earth's history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateaus have uplifted.


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