Springing Forward, Falling Back? Not in Arizona

A clock on the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam displays the current Arizona time. During daylight saving time, it matches the clock on the Nevada side. | Alex Proimos (via Wikipedia)

This week, most of America is adjusting to the end of daylight saving time. In most of Arizona, though, the clocks stay right where they are.

In fact, Arizona is one of just two states (Hawaii being the other) that don't observe daylight saving time. The reason, as local TV station 12 News reported last week, is simple: We've got plenty of daylight here as it is.

OK, maybe it's a little more complicated than that: By extending daylight hours in the summer, we would end up running our air conditioners longer, driving up energy costs in a season when most Arizonans already have the A/C cranked.

After daylight saving time became permanent in the U.S. in 1966, Arizona participated for one summer, then nearly unanimously opted out. And today, "spring forward, fall back" is an unfamiliar saying for most Arizonans.

But not all Arizonans: The Navajo Nation, in the northeast corner of Arizona, observes daylight saving time because it extends into the DST-observing states of Utah and New Mexico. The Hopi Tribe, whose land is entirely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, does not observe DST, which can lead to confusion for travelers in that part of the state — particularly in the sister cities of Tuba City, on Navajo land, and Moenkopi, on Hopi land, as an Arizona Highways reader called us to point out last week.

And it's not as if the rest of Arizona isn't affected by DST, either. For us, football now starts at 11 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. on Sundays. When we call friends and family in the Midwest, we have to consider whether the time difference is one or two hours, depending on the time of year. And traveling to neighboring Utah, California, Nevada or New Mexico can get complicated, too.

Someday, maybe, the rest of the country will follow Arizona's lead and drop daylight saving time. It's worked well for us so far.

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