Phoenix is the capital of the Southwest of the United States. Known for its year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, it anchors an extensive multi-urban metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun. It's 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 located in south-central Arizona, approximately halfway between Tucson to the southeast and Flagstaff to the north.
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, the 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 valley desert 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 the Gila and Salt rivers and is located at the northern end of the Sonoran Desert, an arid ecological zone whose characteristic plant is the nationally protected saguaro cactus.
East of Phoenix are the rugged Superstition Mountains, a large volcanic caldera complex that formed about 305 million years ago; the mountains reach about 900 meters at their highest point. The Mazatzal Mountains rise to the northeast; the Verde River flows west of the mountains, entering the Salado River east of Phoenix. The wide valley in which the city is located extends west to the Colorado River and south to the mountain ranges north of Tucson, although Phoenix's geographical boundaries are a long way from those natural barriers. The Phoenix metropolitan area, Valley of the Sun, is located at an altitude of 1,100 feet (335 meters) above sea level.The north and east ends of this valley rise to the surrounding volcanic peaks; the rest is flat terrain, dotted with small volcanic mountains of granite and shale.
Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak and South Mountain are the most prominent of these urban peaks, reaching elevations of approximately 2,600 to 2,700 feet (790 to 820 meters). Desert soil is alkaline, and water from local rivers and wells is saline and contains other minerals. Many irrigated areas in the Phoenix area are embedded with dry mineral deposits which build up and reduce soil productivity.The water is strangely abundant given that Phoenix is in one of the driest regions on the continent; it covers an underground sedimentary basin that can contain large amounts of groundwater. However, these reserves have been substantially depleted and Phoenix has become increasingly dependent on Colorado River water through Central Arizona Project (CAP), a 336-mile (541 km) long artificial waterway that extends from Lake Havasu on California border to Tucson.
In addition, water from underground reservoirs is channeled into Valley from peripheral areas. In past virtually all region's water was used for agricultural purposes although an increasing proportion now being used for municipal use.Phoenix has a dry and warm climate that in winter months attracts tens of thousands visitors. The average daily high temperature in winter close to 70°F (21°C), but summer highs tend to rise to more than 100°F (38°C). It's almost always sunny all year round.
Rainfall averages less than 8 inches (200 mm) per year divided almost evenly between winter and summer months. In summer so-called monsoon season much precipitation returns atmosphere almost immediately through evaporation or transpiration. None mountains surrounding Phoenix north and east reach elevation high enough attract lot moisture; city depends almost entirely on groundwater flowing from Salt and Gila rivers as well as supplementary water brought by aqueducts through CAP. Until relatively recently about three-fifths land within city limits was undeveloped.In mid-1970s plan was proposed develop wastelands through “landfill construction” program taking advantage infrastructure already in place.
However city pursued policy annexing surrounding communities expanding outward accommodate growing population. Phoenix capital most populous city Arizona fifth most populous city United States seat Maricopa County end decade adopted Phoenix Concept 2000 plan divided city into urban villages each own village core where greater height density were allowed further shaping culture free market development.The story Phoenix begins Jack Swilling Confederate veteran Civil War who searched nearby mining town Wickenburg newly formed Arizona territory. Arizona Upland subdivision Sonoran Desert (of which Phoenix part) has structurally diverse flora United States. With creation Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC) organization 1972 Phoenix became member international sister cities movement Territorial Legislature passed Phoenix Charter Bill incorporating Phoenix providing mayor-council government Governor John C.Phoenix also often referred golf capital world more than 200 golf courses greater Phoenix area also capital Arizona largest city largest metropolitan area Arizona.