Arizona in the southwest of the United States is famous for the enormous Grand Canyon, their large deserts and their very cool rock formations.
Although it has only been a state since 1912, Arizona makes up for its youth with amazing formations and landmarks that draw millions of visitors every year. Whether you're interested in the Grand Canyon, the history and culture of Arizona or the many different people that have lived there over the years, our list of interesting facts about Arizona for kids is bound to keep you entertained and will have you ready to answer your next Arizona trivia question with confidence.
Arizona Facts And History
Arizona has quite a wild history, with Navajo spies, the London Bridge being moved all the way to Arizona and many other interesting details about Arizona that any history nut will love amongst these Arizona facts for kids.
1. No one knows exactly why Arizona is named Arizona. Historians aren't quite sure if it comes from the Spanish word 'Arizonac', meaning "place of little spring", or if it comes from the Basque word, 'haritz ona', meaning "the good oak tree", that turned into Arizona over time.
2. The Spanish were the first Europeans settlers to arrive in Arizona. Marcos de Niza arrived with his missionary group in 1539 and made it all the way from Arizona to New Mexico.
3. Arizona is home to 22 Native American tribes that span back as far as 12,000 years ago!
4. Arizona was once a Mexican state.
5. Arizona became the 48th state of the United States of America in 1912.
6. Arizona became a U.S. state on 14 February, another great thing to celebrate on Valentine's Day!
7. One night in 1997, hundreds of residents across Phoenix reported seeing UFOs flying through the sky. Pretty freaky stuff!
8. When the original London Bridge built in 1831 started sinking into the Thames River as it couldn't support modern traffic, it was taken apart and moved brick by brick to be rebuilt in Lake Havasu City in Arizona in the '60s.
9. Many Navajo people became secret agents during World War II! They were great at their jobs because our enemies couldn't translate their language.
10. Arizona was the first state ever to have a drive-through McDonalds, which opened in 1975.
11. The right to remain silent began in Arizona in 1966.
Facts About Arizona's Geography
Arizona is known for its amazing landscapes and national parks, but these cool facts about Arizona state and its geography are sure to surprise you!
12. The capital city of Arizona is Phoenix.
13. Arizona has a population of over seven million!
14. There are only 15 counties in Arizona. These are Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, and Yuma."
15. The highest point in the state is Mount Humphreys sitting at 12,633 ft.
16. Arizona's lowest point is the Colorado River which sits at 70 ft.
17. Arizona has more monuments than any other state, with 18 awesome monuments.
18. Arizona is the sixth largest state in the United States and it is almost the same size as Italy!
19. Arizona has an 800 mile long track called the Arizona Trail which is amazing for mountain bikers, hikers, horseriders and skiers.
20. Arizona is home to the famous Grand Canyon National Park. This National Park is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and the only one located within the US.
21. Arizona has a meteor crater that is one of the best kept in the entire world. The Barringer Meteor Crater is a crazy one mile wide and 570 ft deep and is estimated to have hit Earth 50,000 years ago.
22. The deepest canyon in the world isn't the Grand Canyon! That title actually goes to the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet.
23. Arizona is so big it could fit Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont inside of it!
24. Arizona is the most mountainous state of all the mountain states, with over 3900 peaks and summits across the state and even 26 peaks that are over 10,000 ft high.
25. A big part of the famous Route 66 runs through Arizona.
26. When driving through Arizona, it can take just half an hour to get from Canada to Mexico.
Facts About Arizona's Culture
Arizona is home to a wonderful mix of Mexican, western and Native American Culture, and you'll love these important facts about Arizona and its history.
27. Arizona's official slogan is 'The Grand Canyon State.'
28. Arizona is nicknamed the Copper State as it leads the country in copper production.
29. Copper is also the state's official metal.
30. By law, you cannot refuse anyone a glass of water in Arizona.
31. The motto of Arizona in Latin is "Ditat Deus" which means "God Enriches".
32. Turquoise can be found in Arizona and it is even the state's official gem.
33. Arizona's official state colours are blue and gold.
34. Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona has the biggest collection of observatories on the whole planet!
35. Famous celebrities from Arizona include Emma Stone and Joe Jonas. Joe Jonas was the only Jonas Brother born in Arizona!
36. The town of Tombstone in Arizona is famous for its reenactment of the legendary 1881 Gunfire battle in Tombstone between the Clanton-McLauren gang and the Earps and Holliday. The battle only lasted thirty seconds, but it has become a big part of many films!
37. The official state neckwear of Arizona is the bolo tie!
38. There is more Native American land in Arizona than any other U.S. state. 83% of Arizona is made up of reservations, forests and public lands.
39. The Native American language Navajo is the third most spoken language in Arizona, after English and Spanish.
40. The food in Arizona is a mix of Western and Mexican cuisine. Yum!
41. Arizona's unofficial state food is the chimichanga, which is a deep fried burrito. While most people think chimichangas were invented in Mexico, they were actually an Arizonan creation.
42. You can find the world's oldest rodeos in Arizona, including the Prescott Rodeo which has been running for 134 years, starting all the way back in 1888!
43. Arizona had the world's largest Kokopelli, with a 32 ft statue of the god of wealth and fertility.
Facts About Arizona's Animals And Nature
Arizona's animals and natural landmarks add to the list of the many cool things about Arizona, with freaky critters creeping through the desert and the many cool and rare plants growing around the state.
44. Arizona's state flower is the white blossom that grows on the saguaro cactus. The saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the whole of the United States and their flowers bloom during May and July from the ends of the cactus's long arms. Each arm on these cactuses takes 50 to 100 years to grow!
45. The Sonoran Desert in Arizona is the only place in the world where the saguaro cactus grows.
46. In Arizona it is a class-4 felony to cut down a cactus. You can even go to prison for a year if you are caught cutting down the endangered Saguaro cactus.
47. The state tree of Arizona is the Palo Verde, which is Spanish for "green stick". There are two types of these trees in the Sonoran Desert, called blue palo verde and yellow palo verde.
48. The rocks in the Grand Canyon are so old that you won't find any dinosaur fossils down there! The only fossils that are in the Grand Canyon are things like corals and sponges, but dinosaurs lived there long after those rocks formed.
49. Arizona's state animal is the super cute ringtail cat, which is a part of the racoon family. These little mammals can squeeze into holes the size of golfballs!
50. Arizona is more of a sunshine state than Florida, with roughly 70% sunny days a year. The sun is also the biggest in Arizona because it is so close to the equator and it has a high elevation.
51. The Apache trout is Arizona's state fish, which is a type of freshwater salmon.
52. Arizona's state bird is the black, white and brown cactus wren.
53. Arizona's state reptile is the ridged-nosed rattlesnake. There are 13 different types of rattlesnakes living in Arizona, so watch out for them if you're ever in the copper state.
54. The state butterfly of Arizona is the two-tailed swallowtail.
55. Some of the slightly scary animals living in Arizona include bark scorpions, Gila monsters and coyotes.
56. There is even a jaguar living in Arizona and it is the only wild jaguar living in the United States! This jaguar was named El Jefe, meaning "the boss".
57. The biggest natural threats to Arizona are dust storms, flash floods and monsoons.
58. The only venomous lizard in the whole of the United States lives in Arizona. Gila monsters have a very cool black and orange pattern on their backs, but they've also got a pretty nasty bite. Don't worry though, they tend to stay away from humans.
59. Arizona is famous for the Grand Canyon, but there are many other cool things you can find in the state. There are six state forests, and 28 state parks and three national parks.
60. Some of the coolest places in the state are Montezuma Castle, Organ Pipe Cactus, the Wonderland of Rocks, Ironwood Forest, Antelope Canyon and many more that are all as cool and magical as they sound.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our Arizona fun facts then why not take a look at these interesting facts about Panama, or these fun facts about Michigan?
Hannah is a lover of all things fitness, she is a qualified personal trainer and is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation and is passionate about helping people find their best selves. Hannah has travelled extensively and has spent the last four years working and living in many different countries across Asia and the Americas and loves writing about her travels. At any moment you might catch her running for a plane or a PB!