You Tell Us: What Should People Know About Arizona?

"Everything melts" in Arizona, a Redditor claims. That is not true. Lizards don't melt. | Jeannette Seitz

Any state has a different reputation for those outside it than it does for those who live there. Arizona is no exception.

A recent discussion on /r/arizona, the Grand Canyon State-centered section of the website Reddit, began with the following question: "What are 3 important things to know about Arizona?" What follow are some of the popular responses, along with our takes on them.

  • Only about 15 percent of the state is privately owned; the rest is public lands of some sort. (This is mostly true — it's actually 18 percent of the state that is privately owned. The rest is national forests, parks, monuments, recreation areas, wildlife refuges and conservation areas; trust land, owned by the state and leased or sold to help fund public education; military installations; and land owned by Arizona's Indian tribes.)
  • It gets pretty hot during the day. It gets even hotter during the summer. Everything melts. (True, though a bit of an exaggeration. Saguaros don't melt. Neither do Gila monsters. There probably are some other things that don't melt, also.)
  • Harming a cactus = murdering a man. (Many native plants, including saguaros and other cactuses, are protected by state law, but the penalty for harming them isn't as severe as some people think. That still doesn't mean you should do it, though.)
  • Hydrate; park in the shade; wear sunblock. (All good advice, particularly if you're going on a hike in the summer.)

So, that's what Redditors think about Arizona. What about you? What should people know before they visit or move to our state? Let us know in the comments.


We are not 100+ degrees year round. We even have frost warnings

What are ways to keep scorpions and rattlesnakes away from the yard and 2 dog?

Hydrate with water. Sugary sports drinks and soda will not work.

Remember that living in the desert areas will be dusty; observe all precautions regarding driving in a dust storm.

People need to know that we have wonderful mountains and we can get lots of snow. We do not all live in the hot desert.

Too many visitors don't understand that they can die from stupid mistakes. We nearly lost a family from Pennsylvania who did not know the road to the North Rim is closed in winter, tried to go on forest roads by using GPS, got lost, and could have easily died. Bottom line: trust common sense, not GPS. And trust flash flood warnings, too.

Arizona has very diverse natural environments. Depending on where you are, you can be surrounded by cool temps and lots of greenery or hot temps and dusty trails. You will notice, however, that even on those dusty trails a lot of colorful flora and fauna is there to greet you.

Northwest Tucson, is often about 3 to 5 degrees hotter/warmer than the rest of Tucson, like at the airport the official Tucson temps are often cooler than the airport, thus we often hit 100 for the first time sometimes as much as weeks before it's official.

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