2015 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

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Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

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Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

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Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

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Nature Archive Photo
© Dave Bly

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Fremont Cottonwood

By Rachel Stieve

Fremont cottonwoods grow tall and wide in riparian areas throughout Arizona. They look majestic in photographs, but they also play an important role in their fragile ecosystem, in which they provide food, water and shelter. The food and shelter contributions are obvious, but the trees also provide water. Indirectly. Because of the shade they supply, evaporation is greatly decreased, which is good for everything that lives in a riparian area.

The big trees, which are named for explorer John C. Fremont, have rough, whitish bark and bright-green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. Their branches are thick and grow close to the ground, and their crowns can be as wide as the trees are high. On average, they measure approximately 70 feet in height, but they get even bigger.

Until recently, the largest Fremont cottonwood was growing in Patagonia, about 75 yards south of Sonoita Creek. With a trunk circumference of 42 feet, the tree grew for more than 150 years at the Circle Z Ranch. At various times since 1970, it ranked as the largest cottonwood in the United States. Unfortunately, it split and toppled late last fall. But another Arizona tree has taken its place as the top cottonwood on the national big-tree registry. It’s located in Skull Valley, 20 miles south of Prescott.

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