Arizona is most famous for housing the Grand Canyon, a vast chasm which stretches for 277 miles across the desert in this largely barren state. At its largest the Canyon is 18 miles wide and 6000 feet deep and is rightly recognized as one of Mother Nature’s most epic sights. The culture of Arizona reflects the harshness of the inhospitable deserts as well as its past as a lawless frontier state.
Aside from its deserts Arizona boasts world class modern cities such as Phoenix and Tucson and a range of national parks. It also has a diverse indigenous culture with Navajo, Apache and Hopi Native American tribes all at one time calling it home. The history of the state is dominated by the conflict between these indigenous people and the settlers who gradually moved west, supplanting the native communities as they did so.
Known as the Thoreau of the West, Edward Abbey was an environmentalist as well as a highly esteemed American author who lived in Arizona and depicted it in his work. Zane Grey’s novels Riders of the Purple Sage and To The Last Man portrays Arizona’s past as part of the ‘Wild West’.
The shock rock artist Alice Cooper, a long time resident of Arizona, has been producing popular rock albums for more than forty years, whilst Jimmy Eat World are a more recent addition to the canon, who achieved mass acclaim with their album Chase this Light.
The Coen brothers’ black comedy, Raising Arizona, depicts the poverty and crime of the state’s desert communities whilst George P Cosmatos’ Tombstone glorifies the mythical heroes of the American West.