Known as the Grand Canyon State, Arizona is located along the southern border of the United States. Arizona shares borders with four other U.S. states. California and Nevada are to the west of Arizona, with New Mexico to the east. Arizona is directly south of Utah.
Arizona’s northernmost point aligns with the thirty-seventh parallel of the equator. The furthest south that Arizona extends is the shared border with Mexico. In the east, Arizona’s most extreme point is the border separating Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona’s westernmost point is the city San Luis in Yuma County.
The GPS coordinates of Arizona are 34.0489° N and 111.0937° W. Despite its seemingly central location, Arizona is considered a western state. Ironically enough, Arizona is one of nine states that make up the Mountain region even though Arizona is predominately desert. This is not to say there aren’t pockets of Arizona with cool weather and precipitation, because there are. However, approximately 25% of Arizona is dry and warm year-round. That percentage equates to about 28,499.5 square miles of desert.
Arizona’s total area is 113,998 square miles. Of this footage, approximately 47,713 square miles is land. Grassland makes up about 37,489 square miles of Arizona, with forest taking up 28,400 square miles.
Arizona does not have access to an ocean, seeing as it is not a coastal state. However, there are a few major rivers that run through the Copper State, as well as many rapids, creeks, and lakes. In fact, 396 square miles of Arizona is water. That might sound like a decent amount, but when compared to the total area, only 0.3% of Arizona is water.
The longest river that passes through Arizona is the Colorado River in the northwest. The Colorado River stretches for 1,450 miles. The Gila River is a close second in terms of length, measuring at 650 miles long. Beginning in New Mexico, the Gila River travels west into Arizona.
Arizona is relatively flat compared to other states in the U.S. The mean point of elevation in Arizona is 4,100 feet above sea level. No part of Arizona dips below sea level. At its lowest point, Arizona is 70 feet above sea level. Humphrey’s Peak in north-central Arizona has an altitude of 12,633 feet above sea level, marking the highest point of elevation in the entire state. As can be expected by its geography, Arizona is known for its expansive desert, the Grand Canyon in particular.