Arizona Fun Facts & Trivia

Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy Wikimedia.

Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of Wikimedia.

Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912, the last of the contiguous states to be admitted into the Union.

The amount of copper on the roof of the Capitol building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies.

The Arizona trout is found only in Arizona.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp was neither the town marshal nor the sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona, at the time of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. His brother Virgil was the town marshal, who had temporarily deputized Wyatt, Morgan, and Doc Holliday before the gunfight.

Arizona leads the nation in copper production.

A class 2 misdemeanor occurs if one places a mark upon a flag that is “likely to provoke physical retaliation.”

The bola tie is the official state neckwear.

Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time on a year-round basis. The one exception is the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state, which observes the daylight savings time change.

It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water in Arizona.

The Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States have all flown over the land area that has become Arizona.

When being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that the other person possesses.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The state’s most popular natural wonders include the Grand Canyon, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon Caves, Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, Salt River Canyon, Superstition Mountains, Picacho Peak State Park, Saguaro National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, and the Colorado River.

No one is permitted to ride their horse up the stairs of the county courthouse in Prescott, Arizona.

Once a rowdy copper mining town, Jerome’s population dwindled to as few as 50 people after the mines closed in 1953.

It is illegal to smoke cigarettes within 15 feet of a public place in Mesa unless you have a Class 12 liquor license.

In 1926, the Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern states.

The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Prescott.

Located in Fountain Hills is a fountain believed to be the tallest in the world.

Four Corners is noted as the spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time.

 

Lavender Pit in Bisbee, Arizona by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Lavender Pit in Bisbee, Arizona by Kathy Alexander.

Bisbee, located in Tombstone Canyon, is known as the Queen of the Copper Mines. During its mining heydays, the town was the largest city between Saint Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, California.

The age of a saguaro cactus is determined by its height.

Among all the states, Arizona has the largest percentage of its land set aside and designated as Indian lands.

Oraibi is the oldest Indian settlement in the United States. The Hopi Indians founded it.

Grand Canyon’s Flaming Gorge got its name for its blazing red and orange colored, twelve-hundred-foot-high walls.

There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest in Arizona, and one-fourth of the state is forested. The largest forest is comprised of Ponderosa Pine.

Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.

London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona by Kathy Alexander.

London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona by Kathy Alexander.

The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City. When the bridge, built in the 1830s, began to sink into the Thames River in the 1960s, it was replaced by a more modern concrete bridge. Then, England put the stones up for sale in 1967. A  man named Robert P. McCulloch Sr. purchased the bridge on April 17, 1968, for $2,460,000.   The 10,246 blocks were shipped to Arizona and reassembled over a lagoon at the edge of Lake Havasu at the cost of $3 Million. The Bridge opened in 1971.

It snowed 400.9 inches during the winter of 1972-1973 at Sunrise Mountain.

The famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral did NOT occur at the O.K. Corral. When the Earps and the Clantons shot it out in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881, their famous battle took place in a vacant lot between Fly’s Photograph Gallery and the Harwood house on Tombstone’s Fremont Street. The O.K. Corral was located nearby, however, and somehow its name became attached to the famous shoot-out.

The largest freshwater striped bass caught in Arizona was at Bullhead City. It weighed 59 lbs. 12 oz.

Mattie Earp

Mattie Earp

Mattie Earp, Wyatt Earp’s second wife, who was with him in Tombstone during the O.K. Corral gunfight, committed suicide with an overdose of laudanum on July 3, 1888, in Pinal, Arizona. She was despondent because Earp had left her for another woman.

Grand Canyon’s Disaster Falls was named to commemorate the site of a previous explorer’s wreck.

The world’s largest solar telescope is located at Kitts Peak National Observatory in the city of Sells.

At one time, camels were used to transport goods across Arizona.

One must be 18 years old to buy spray paint in Tempe, Arizona.

Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp to supply Camp McDowell.

It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine.

Tombstone, Ruby, Gillette, and Gunsight are among the ghost towns scattered throughout the state.

The Grand Canyon is 227 miles long, one mile deep, and has an average width of ten miles.

Petrified Logs at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona by Kathy Alexander.

Petrified Logs at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona by Kathy Alexander.

Petrified wood is the official state fossil. Most petrified wood comes from the Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona.

Navajo Community College in Tsaile was the first college on an Indian reservation.

There are a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.

Arizona is roughly the size of Italy.

Arizona has more parks and national monuments than any other state, more mountains than Switzerland, and more golf courses than Scotland.

The famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral only lasted about thirty seconds.

The hottest recorded day in Phoenix was June 26, 1990, when the temperature hit 122 degrees.

Saguaro Cactus

Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro Cactus blossom is the official state flower of Arizona. The white, funnel-shaped, night-blooming flowers grow on the trunk and branches of the saguaro cactus during May and June. The red fruits of this largest American cactus are edible.

It is illegal in Tucson for women to wear pants.

In World War II, many Navajo enlisted as secret agents. Our enemies could never understand the Navajo language to learn our military secrets.

If you bother the cottontails or bullfrogs in Hayden, Arizona, you will be fined.

The sun shines in southern Arizona 85% of the time, considerably more sunshine than in Florida or Hawaii.

In 1876 the Chiricahua Apache chief Geronimo began ten years of raids against white settlements when the U.S. government attempted to move his tribe from their traditional home in Arizona to a reservation in New Mexico.

The Navajo Reservation, the nation’s largest reservation, lies primarily in Arizona and extends into Utah and New Mexico.

A saguaro cactus will take between 50 and 100 years to grow an arm. The saguaro cactus flower is the official state flower of Arizona.

Window Rock, Arizona.

Window Rock, Arizona.

The capital of the Navajo Reservation is Window Rock.

An ordinance prohibits the wearing of suspenders in Nogales, Arizona.

In Tombstone, it is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

In Glendale, Arizona cars may not be driven in reverse.

Arizona Highways has an approximately 85% circulation rate outside of Arizona.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Legend has it that the barrel cactus is a good water source in the desert. Well, you can try it, but you won’t like it. The pulp can be crushed to create a liquid, but the juice would peel the hide off a Gila Monster.

Arizona once had a navy consisting of two boats on the Colorado River. They were used to prevent California from encroaching on Arizona territory.

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2021.

Also See: 

Arizona – The Grand Canyon State

Arizona Historic Sites

Arizona Photo Galleries

United States Trivia, Fun Facts & Firsts