Everything You Need to Know About Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of the Southwest of the United States. It is renowned for its year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, and is the anchor of an extensive multi-urban metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun. It is renowned for its high-end spa resorts, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, and vibrant nightclubs. Other highlights include the Desert Botanical Garden, where cacti and numerous native plants are displayed.Phoenix is the only capital of a state with a population of more than one million inhabitants, with more than 1.6 million people (in 2011).

It is the most populous state capital in the United States, the fifth most populous city in the country and the most populous city in the state of Arizona. The Phoenix metropolitan area (including the neighboring cities of Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe) has a population of nearly 4.5 million and covers 2,000 square miles. With population growth over the past 18 years, the area is projected to grow by nearly 60 percent in the next decade or so, which is incredible considering that the population of the entire state of Arizona is currently just over 7 million.There are only 21 deserts in the world, four in North America, and Arizona is the only state in the United States to have a section of all of them within their borders. Greater Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, with an elevation of 1,117 feet above sea level.

However, it is not your typical dry desert. The Sonoran Desert is actually one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America due to its 3-15 inches of annual rainfall.Just take a look at those spring wildflowers and you'll see how lush this desert can be! The Phoenix metropolitan area has become one of the world's top golf destinations, thanks to its nearly 200 golf courses. But if an 18-hole round isn't your thing, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy when it's not too hot, such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. However, baseball could be considered as Phoenix's bread and butter.Half of all MLB teams (15 in total in the Cactus League) come to Phoenix for spring training, including the Cubs, White Sox, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Oakland A's, Padres, Giants, Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

With its wide tree-lined avenues, Spanish-style architecture and surrounding mountains, Phoenix looks a lot like Los Angeles. Like its California counterpart, Phoenix is a metropolis with not one but many centers - all at considerable distances from each other.From its historic heart to the west of Sky Harbor International Airport, this large metropolitan area - of which Phoenix is only a small part - has grown to encompass a vast expanse of land that extends almost from the Gila River south to the high plateaus and volcanic mountains of the north and east and into the wide desert valley to the west. Growth is a constant in Phoenix's life - with thousands of new residents and millions of visitors arriving there every year.Phoenix is located near the confluence of Gila and Salt rivers and is located at the northern end of Sonoran Desert - an arid ecological zone whose characteristic plant is nationally protected saguaro cactus. East of Phoenix are rugged Superstition Mountains - a large volcanic caldera complex that formed about 305 million years ago; these mountains reach about 900 meters at their highest point.The Mazatzal Mountains rise to northeast; Verde River flows west of mountains entering Salado River east of Phoenix.

The wide valley in which city is located extends west to Colorado River south to mountain ranges north of Tucson - although Phoenix's geographical boundaries are long way from those natural barriers.The Phoenix metropolitan area - Valley of Sun - is located at an altitude 1,100 feet (335 meters) above sea level. North and east ends this valley rise to surrounding volcanic peaks; rest is flat terrain dotted with small volcanic mountains granite and shale.Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak and South Mountain are most prominent these urban peaks reaching elevations approximately 2,600 to 2,700 feet (790 to 820 meters). Desert soil alkaline water from local rivers wells saline contains other minerals. Many irrigated areas Phoenix area embedded with dry mineral deposits which build up reduce soil productivity.Water strangely abundant given city one driest regions continent; valley covers underground sedimentary basin can contain large amounts groundwater.

However these reserves have been substantially depleted Phoenix become increasingly dependent Colorado River water through Central Arizona Project (CAP) - 336-mile (541 km) long artificial waterway extends Lake Havasu California border Tucson.In addition water underground reservoirs channeled into valley peripheral areas. In past virtually region's water used agricultural purposes although increasing proportion now being used municipal use.Phoenix has dry warm climate winter months attracts tens thousands visitors. Average daily high temperature winter close 70°F (21°C) summer highs tend rise more than 100°F (38°C). It's almost always sunny year round.Rainfall averages less than 8 inches (200 mm) per year divided almost evenly between winter summer months.

In summer so-called monsoon season much precipitation returns atmosphere almost immediately through evaporation transpiration.None mountains surrounding Phoenix north east reach elevation high enough attract lot moisture; city depends almost entirely groundwater flowing Salt Gila rivers well....

Amelia Thorns
Amelia Thorns

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