Arizona is the sixth largest state, by land, in the country. Arizona borders Mexico and four other states. Arizona is known for its year round warm weather. It is popular for snowbirds, people who spend half their year living here and the other half in their own state. Thinking Arizona as warm year round is only partly true. Arizona is much more diverse than Phoenix.
It’s true there is always something to do in Arizona outside. The two distinct regions have near-perfect conditions for whatever you are attempting to do, whether its skiing or hiking or boating. Having so few rainy days and the snow staying in the mountains, you will find it a perfect day for playing. The nights in Northern Arizona are restrictive in the winter months and the hot sun in the southern region prevent some later afternoon/early evening play in the summer months. Outside of those two extremes, Arizona is the perfect outdoor playground.
Southern Arizona is most know for its desert, offering the hot summers and mild winters. This part of the state does not receive snow and a limited rainy season. This part of the state is covered in cactus. Southern Arizona was shaped by volcanoes. Southern Arizona is affected by the moist air coming from Mexico and California. Late summer and early fall bring monsoons to the desert region. This area seems typically three to four inches of rain a year, half of it falling in these two months.
The hot summers forced the Arizona Diamondbacks to build a fully retractable roof over their stadium. It is simply too hot in the summer months to watch a game, or play one, in the afternoons.
Northern Arizona is known for its mountains and forests. This part of the state is home to the Grand Canyon, the ski resorts in Flagstaff. One quarter of Arizona is Indian Reservation and covers much of Northern Arizona. Northern Arizona is covered by national forests, parks and monuments. The Colorado Plateau resides here. In fact, 27% of the state is covered by forest. The Grand Canyon was formed by the Colorado River. It was declared a National Park by President Roosevelt after visiting the area on a hunt. Northern Arizona is affected by the cool winds blowing south from Canada and the United States. According to wikipedia, the most northern part of the state receive 25 to 30 inches of precipitation while the plateau area of approximately ten inches.
Hiking, site-seeing and physical activity is the same in both halves. You will see breathtaking views in both. You’ll see deep red rocks nestled against the blue sky. You’ll see the aftermath of flash flooding caused by the powerful monsoon season. Hiking is so popular in Arizona for good reason. Pick the right time of the year to head out, depending on the region you are hiking. Be familiar with each season and its highs and lows. Plan what you want to do and where, around the temperature of the season.
Get out and play!