Southwestern United States

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Southwestern United States_table_infobox_0

Southwestern United StatesSouthwestern United States_header_cell_0_0_0
CountrySouthwestern United States_header_cell_0_1_0 United StatesSouthwestern United States_cell_0_1_1
StatesSouthwestern United States_header_cell_0_2_0 Core:

Arizona New Mexico Others, depending on boundaries used: California Colorado Nevada Utah Oklahoma (mainly western) Texas (mainly western)Southwestern United States_cell_0_2_1

The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest, Desert Southwest, or simply the Southwest, is the informal name for a region of the western United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_0

Definitions of the region's boundaries vary a great deal and have never been standardized, though many boundaries have been proposed. Southwestern United States_sentence_1

For example, one definition includes the stretch from the Mojave Desert in California (117° west longitude) to Carlsbad, New Mexico (104° west longitude), and from the Mexico–United States border to the southern areas of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada (39° north latitude). Southwestern United States_sentence_2

The largest metropolitan areas are centered around Phoenix (with an estimated population of more than 4.7 million as of 2017), Las Vegas (more than 2.2 million), Tucson (more than 1 million), Albuquerque (more than 900,000), and El Paso (more than 840,000). Southwestern United States_sentence_3

Those five metropolitan areas have an estimated total population of more than 9.6 million as of 2017, with nearly 60 percent of them living in the two Arizona cities—Phoenix and Tucson. Southwestern United States_sentence_4

Most of the area was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the Spanish Empire before becoming part of Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_5

European settlement was almost non-existent outside New Mexico in 1848, when it became part of the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, while southern areas of Arizona and southwestern New Mexico were added in the later Gadsden Purchase. Southwestern United States_sentence_6

Regional geography Southwestern United States_section_0

The geography of the region is mainly made up by four features: the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts, and the Colorado Plateau; although there are other geographical features as well, such as a portion of the Great Basin Desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_7

The deserts dominate the southern and western reaches of the area, while the plateau (which is largely made up of high desert) is the main feature north of the Mogollon Rim. Southwestern United States_sentence_8

The two major rivers of the region are the Colorado River, running in the northern and western areas, and the Rio Grande, running in the east, north to south. Southwestern United States_sentence_9

Formed approximately 8000 years ago, the Chihuahuan Desert is a relatively dry desert, although it is slightly wetter than the Sonoran Desert to the west. Southwestern United States_sentence_10

The Chihuahuan Desert spreads across the southeastern portion of the region, covering from southeastern Arizona, across southern New Mexico, and the portion of Texas included in the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_11

While it is the second largest desert in the United States, only a third of the desert is within the United States, with the rest in Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_12

El Paso and Albuquerque are the major US cities in this desert, with other smaller cities being Las Cruces and Roswell in New Mexico and Willcox in Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_13

The elevation in the Chihuahuan varies from about 1,750 to 6,000 feet, as there are several larger mountain ranges, such as the Organ Mountains, the Guadalupe Mountains, and the Chiracahua Mountains, plus many smaller mountain ranges contained in the area, namely the San Andres and Doña Anas in New Mexico, the Franklin Mountains and the Davis Mountains. Southwestern United States_sentence_14

The Chihuahuan is a "rain shadow" desert, formed between two mountain ranges (the Sierra Madre Occidental on the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental on the east) which block oceanic precipitation from reaching the area. Southwestern United States_sentence_15

The Chihuahuan Desert is considered the "most biologically diverse desert in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most diverse in the world", and includes more species of cacti than any other desert in the world. Southwestern United States_sentence_16

The most prolific plants in this region are agave, yucca and creosote bushes, in addition to the ubiquitous presence of various cacti species. Southwestern United States_sentence_17

When people think of the desert southwest, the landscape of the Sonoran Desert is what mostly comes to mind. Southwestern United States_sentence_18

The Sonoran Desert makes up the southwestern portion of the Southwest; most of the desert lies in Mexico, but its United States component lies on the southeastern border of California, and the western 2/3 of southern Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_19

Rainfall averages between 4–12 inches per year, and the desert's most widely known inhabitant is the saguaro cactus, which is unique to the desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_20

It is bounded on the northwest by the Mojave Desert, to the north by the Colorado Plateau and to the east by the Arizona Mountains forests and the Chihuahuan Desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_21

Aside from the trademark saguaro, the desert has the most diverse plant life of any desert in the world, and includes many other species of cacti, including the organ-pipe, senita, prickly pear, barrel, fishhook, hedgehog, cholla, silver dollar, and jojoba. Southwestern United States_sentence_22

The portion of the Sonora Desert which lies in the Southwestern United States is the most populated area within the region. Southwestern United States_sentence_23

Six of the top ten major population centers of the region are found within its borders: Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, and Scottsdale, all in Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_24

Also within its borders are Yuma and Prescott Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_25

The most northwest portion of the American Southwest is covered by the Mojave Desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_26

Bordered on the south by the Sonoran Desert and the east by the Colorado Plateau, its range within the region makes up the southeast tip of Nevada, and the northwestern corner of Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_27

In terms of topography, the Mojave is very similar to the Great Basin Desert, which lies just to its north. Southwestern United States_sentence_28

Within the region, Las Vegas is the most populous city; other significant areas of human habitation include Laughlin and Pahrump in Nevada, and Lake Havasu City, Kingman, and Bullhead City in Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_29

The Mojave is the smallest, driest and hottest desert within the United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_30

The Mojave gets less than six inches of rain annually, and its elevation ranges from 3000 to 6000 feet above sea level. Southwestern United States_sentence_31

The most prolific vegetation is the tall Joshua tree, which grow as tall as 40 feet, and are thought to live almost 1000 years. Southwestern United States_sentence_32

Other major vegetation includes the Parry saltbush and the Mojave sage, both only found in the Mojave, as well as the creosote bush. Southwestern United States_sentence_33

The Colorado Plateau varies from the large stands of forests in the west, including the largest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world, to the Mesas to the east. Southwestern United States_sentence_34

Although not called a desert, the Colorado Plateau is mostly made up of high desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_35

Within the Southwest U.S. region, the Colorado is bordered to the south by the Mogollon Rim and the Sonoran Desert, to the west by the Mojave Desert, and to the east by the Rocky Mountains and the Llano Estacado. Southwestern United States_sentence_36

The Plateau is characterized by a series of plateaus and mesas, interspersed with canyons. Southwestern United States_sentence_37

The most dramatic example is the Grand Canyon. Southwestern United States_sentence_38

But that is one of many dramatic vistas included within the Plateau, which includes spectacular lava formations, "painted" deserts, sand dunes, and badlands. Southwestern United States_sentence_39

One of the most distinctive features of the Plateau is its longevity, having come into existence at least 500 million years ago. Southwestern United States_sentence_40

The Plateau can be divided into six sections, three of which fall into the Southwest region. Southwestern United States_sentence_41

Beginning with the Navajo section forming the northern boundary of the Southwestern United States, which has shallower canyons than those in the Canyonlands section just to its north; the Navajo section is bordered to the south by the Grand Canyon section, which of course is dominated by the Grand Canyon; and the southeasternmost portion of the Plateau is the Datil section, consisting of valleys, mesas, and volcanic formations. Southwestern United States_sentence_42

Albuquerque is the most populous city often considered at the edge of this portion contained in the Southwest region, but Santa Fe, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona, are also significant population centers. Southwestern United States_sentence_43

Geographer D. Southwestern United States_sentence_44 W. Meinig defines the Southwest in a very similar fashion to Reed: the portion of New Mexico west of the Llano Estacado and the portion of Arizona east of the Mojave-Sonoran Desert and south of the "canyon lands" and also including the El Paso district of western Texas and the southernmost part of Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_45

Meinig breaks the Southwest down into four distinct subregions. Southwestern United States_sentence_46

He calls the first subregion "Northern New Mexico", and describes it as focused on Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Southwestern United States_sentence_47

It extends from the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado to south of Socorro and including the Manzano Mountains, with an east–west breadth in the north stretching from the upper Canadian River to the upper San Juan River. Southwestern United States_sentence_48

The area around Albuquerque is sometimes called Central New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_49

"Central Arizona" is a vast metropolitan area spread across one contiguous sprawling oasis, essentially equivalent to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Southwestern United States_sentence_50

The city of Phoenix is the largest urban center, and located in the approximate center of the area that includes Tempe, Mesa, and many others. Southwestern United States_sentence_51

Meinig calls the third subregion "El Paso, Tucson, and the Southern Borderlands". Southwestern United States_sentence_52

While El Paso and Tucson are distinctly different cities, they serve as anchor points to the hinterland between them. Southwestern United States_sentence_53

Tucson occupies a large oasis at the western end of the El Paso-Tucson corridor. Southwestern United States_sentence_54

The region between the two cities is a major transportation trunk with settlements servicing both highway and railway needs. Southwestern United States_sentence_55

There are also large mining operations, ranches, and agricultural oases. Southwestern United States_sentence_56

Both El Paso and Tucson have large military installations nearby; Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range north of El Paso in New Mexico, and, near Tucson, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Southwestern United States_sentence_57

About 70 miles (110 km) to the southeast are the research facilities at Fort Huachuca. Southwestern United States_sentence_58

These military installations form a kind of hinterland around the El Paso-Tucson region, and are served by scientific and residential communities such as Sierra Vista, Las Cruces, and Alamogordo. Southwestern United States_sentence_59

El Paso's influence extends north into the Mesilla Valley, and southeast along the Rio Grande into the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_60

The fourth subregion Meinig calls the "Northern Corridor and Navajolands". Southwestern United States_sentence_61

A major highway and railway trunk which connects Albuquerque and Flagstaff. Southwestern United States_sentence_62

Just north of the transportation trunk are large blocks of American Indian land. Southwestern United States_sentence_63

Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas dominate the westernmost metropolitan areas in the Southwest, while Albuquerque, and El Paso dominate the easternmost metropolitan areas. Southwestern United States_sentence_64

History Southwestern United States_section_1

Main articles: History of New Mexico, History of Arizona, History of Utah, History of Nevada, History of Colorado, History of Texas, Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, and Oasisamerica Southwestern United States_sentence_65

Pre-European contact Southwestern United States_section_2

Human history in the Southwest begins with the arrival of the Clovis culture, a Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer culture which arrived sometime around 9000 BC. Southwestern United States_sentence_66

This culture remained in the area for several millennia. Southwestern United States_sentence_67

At some point they were replaced by three great Pre-Columbian Indian cultures: the Ancestral Pueblo people, the Hohokam, and the Mogollon, all of which existed among other surrounding cultures including the Fremont and Patayan. Southwestern United States_sentence_68

Maize began to be cultivated in the region sometime during the early first millennium BC, but it took several hundred years for the native cultures to be dependent on it as a food source. Southwestern United States_sentence_69

As their dependence on maize grew, Pre-Columbian Indians began developing irrigation systems around 1500. Southwestern United States_sentence_70

According to archeological finds, the Ancestral Pueblo people, also known as the Anasazi (although that term is becoming more and more disused), began settling in the area in approximately 1500 BC. Southwestern United States_sentence_71

Eventually, they would spread throughout the entire northern section of the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_72

This culture would go through several different eras lasting from approximately 1500 BC through the middle of the 15th century AD: the Basketmaker I, II, and III phases followed by the Pueblo I, II, III, and IV. Southwestern United States_sentence_73

As the Puebloans transitioned from a nomadic lifestyle to one based on agriculture, their first domiciles were pithouses. Southwestern United States_sentence_74

The Mogollon culture developed later than the Puebloan, arising in the eastern area of the region at around 300 BC. Southwestern United States_sentence_75

Their range would eventually extend deep into what would become Mexico, and dominate the southeastern portion of the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_76

Their settlements would evolve over time from pit-dwellings through pueblos and finally also incorporating cliff-dwellings. Southwestern United States_sentence_77

The Hohokam were the last of these ancestral cultures to develop, somewhere around AD 1, but they would grow to be the most populous of the three by AD 1300, despite being the smallest of the three in terms of area, covering most of the southwest portion. Southwestern United States_sentence_78

Beginning in approximately AD 600, the Hohokam began to develop an extensive series of irrigation canals; of the three major cultures in the Southwest, only the Hohokam developed irrigation as a means of watering their agriculture. Southwestern United States_sentence_79

Not long after the Hohokam reached the height of their culture, all three major cultures in the Southwest began to decline, for unknown reasons, although severe drought and encroachment from other peoples has been postulated. Southwestern United States_sentence_80

By the end of the 15th century, all three cultures had disappeared. Southwestern United States_sentence_81

The modern Indian tribes of the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna trace their ancestry back to the ancestral Puebloans, while the Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'odham claim descent from Hohokam. Southwestern United States_sentence_82

The area previously occupied by the Mogollon was taken over by an unrelated tribe, the Apache. Southwestern United States_sentence_83

While it is unclear whether any of the modern Indian tribes are descended from the Mogollon, some archeologists and historians believe that they mixed with Ancestral Puebloans and became part of the Hopi and Zuni. Southwestern United States_sentence_84

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Southwestern United States was inhabited by a very large population of American Indian tribes. Southwestern United States_sentence_85

The area once occupied by the ancestral Puebloans became inhabited by several American Indian tribes, the most populous of which were the Navajo, Ute, Southern Paiute, and Hopi. Southwestern United States_sentence_86

The Navajo, along with the Hopi, were the earliest of the modern Indian tribes to develop in the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_87

Around AD 1100 their culture began to develop in the Four Corners area of the region. Southwestern United States_sentence_88

The Ute were found over most of modern-day Utah and Colorado, as well as northern New Mexico and Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_89

The Paiutes roamed an area which covered over 45,000 square miles of southern Nevada and California, south-central Utah, and northern Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_90

The Hopi settled the lands of the central and western portions of northern Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_91

Their village of Oraibi, settled in approximately AD 1100, is one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in the United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_92

The Mogollon area became occupied by the Apaches and the Zuni. Southwestern United States_sentence_93

The Apache migrated into the American Southwest from the northern areas of North America at some point between 1200 and 1500. Southwestern United States_sentence_94

They settled throughout New Mexico, eastern Arizona, northern Mexico, parts of western Texas, and southern Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_95

The Zuni count their direct ancestry through the ancestral Puebloans. Southwestern United States_sentence_96

The modern day Zuni established a culture along the Zuni River in far-eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_97

Both major tribes of the O'odham tribe settled in the southern and central Arizona, in the lands once controlled by their ancestors, the Hohokam. Southwestern United States_sentence_98

Arrival of Europeans Southwestern United States_section_3

The first European intrusion into the region came from the south. Southwestern United States_sentence_99

In 1539, a Jesuit Franciscan named Marcos de Niza led an expedition from Mexico City which passed through eastern Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_100

The following year Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, based on reports from survivors of the Narváez expedition (1528–36) who had crossed eastern Texas on their way to Mexico City, led an expedition to discover the Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola. Southwestern United States_sentence_101

The 1582-3 expedition of Antonio de Espejo explored New Mexico and eastern Arizona; and this led to Juan de Oñate's establishment of the Spanish province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México in 1598, with a capital founded near Ohkay Oweenge Pueblo, which he called San Juan de los Caballeros. Southwestern United States_sentence_102

Oñate's party also attempted to establish a settlement in Arizona in 1599, but were turned back by inclement weather. Southwestern United States_sentence_103

In 1610, Santa Fe was founded, making it the oldest capital in United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_104

In 1664 Juan Archuleta led an expedition into what is now Colorado, becoming the first European to enter. Southwestern United States_sentence_105

A second Spanish expedition was led into Colorado by Juan Ulibarrí in 1706, during which he claimed the Colorado territory for Spain. Southwestern United States_sentence_106

From 1687 to 1691 the Jesuit priest, Eusebio Kino established several missions in the Santa Cruz River valley; and Kino further explored southern and central Arizona in 1694, during which he discovered the ruins of Casa Grande. Southwestern United States_sentence_107

Beginning in 1732, Spanish settlers began to enter the region, and the Spanish started bestowing land grants in Mexico and the Southwest US. Southwestern United States_sentence_108

In 1751, the O'odham rebelled against the Spanish incursions, but the revolt was unsuccessful. Southwestern United States_sentence_109

In fact, it had the exact opposite effect, for the result of the rebellion was the establishment of the presidio at Tubac, the first permanent European settlement in Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_110

In 1768, the Spanish created the Provincia de las Californias, which included California and the Southwest US. Southwestern United States_sentence_111

Over approximately the next 50 years, the Spanish continued to explore the Southwest, and in 1776 the City of Tucson was founded when the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson was created, relocating the presidio from Tubac. Southwestern United States_sentence_112

In 1776, two Franciscan priests, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, led an expedition from Santa Fe heading to California. Southwestern United States_sentence_113

After passing through Colorado, they became the first Europeans to travel into what is now Utah. Southwestern United States_sentence_114

Their journey was halted by bad weather in October, and they turned back, heading south into Arizona before turning east back to Santa Fe. Southwestern United States_sentence_115

In 1804 Spain divided the Provincia de las Californias, creating the province Alta California, which consisted primarily of what would become California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_116

In 1821 Mexico achieved its independence from Spain and shortly after, in 1824, developed its constitution, which established the Alta California territory, which was the same geographic area as the earlier Spanish province. Southwestern United States_sentence_117

In 1825, Arizona was visited by its first non-Spanish Europeans, English trappers. Southwestern United States_sentence_118

In 1836, the Republic of Texas, which contained the easternmost of the Southwest United States, won its independence from Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_119

In 1845 the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, and immediately became a state, bypassing the usual territory phase. Southwestern United States_sentence_120

The new state still contained portions of what would eventually become parts of other states. Southwestern United States_sentence_121

In 1846, the Southwest became embroiled in the Mexican–American War, partly as a result of the United States' annexation of Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_122

On August 18, 1846, an American force captured Santa Fe, New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_123

On December 16 of the same year, American forces captured Tucson, Arizona, marking the end of hostilities in the Southwest United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_124

When the war ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, the United States gained control of all of present-day California, Nevada and Utah, as well as the majority of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico and Colorado (the rest of present-day Colorado, and most of New Mexico had been gained by the United States in their annexation of the Republic of Texas). Southwestern United States_sentence_125

The final portion of the Southwestern United States came about through the acquisition of the southernmost parts of Arizona and New Mexico through the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Southwestern United States_sentence_126

In 1851, San Luis became the first European settlement in what is now Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_127

Becoming states Southwestern United States_section_4

Of the states of which at least a portion make up the Southwest, Texas was the first to achieve statehood. Southwestern United States_sentence_128

On December 29, 1845 the Republic of Texas was annexed, bypassing the status of becoming a territory, and immediately became a state. Southwestern United States_sentence_129

Initially, its borders included parts of what would become several other states: almost half of New Mexico, a third of Colorado, and small portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Southwestern United States_sentence_130

Texas current borders were set in the Compromise of 1850, where Texas ceded land to the federal government in exchange for $10 million, which would go to paying off the debt Texas had accumulated in its war with Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_131

Following the Mexican Cession, the lands of what had been the Mexican territory of Alta California were in flux: portions of what is now New Mexico were claimed, but never controlled, by Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_132

With the Compromise of 1850, the states of Texas and California were created (Texas as a slave state, and California as a free state), as well as the Utah Territory and New Mexico Territory. Southwestern United States_sentence_133

The New Mexico Territory consisted of most of Arizona and New Mexico (excluding a strip along their southern borders), a small section of southern Colorado, and the very southern tip of Nevada; while the Utah Territory consisted of Utah, most of Nevada, and portions of Wyoming and Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_134

The New Mexico Territory was expanded along its southern extent, to its current border, with the signing of the Gadsden Purchase Treaty on December 30, 1853, which was ratified by the U.S. Congress, with some slight alterations, in April 1854. Southwestern United States_sentence_135

The Colorado Territory was organized on February 28, 1861, created out of lands then currently in the Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico territories. Southwestern United States_sentence_136

The Nevada Territory was also organized in 1861, on March 2, with land taken from the existing Utah Territory. Southwestern United States_sentence_137

Initially, only the western 2/3 of what is currently the State of Nevada was included in the territory, with its boundary to the east being the 116th meridian, and to the south the 37th parallel. Southwestern United States_sentence_138

In 1862 Nevada's eastern border shifted to the 115th meridian, and finally to its current position at the 114th meridian in 1866. Southwestern United States_sentence_139

The boundary modification in 1866 also included adding the southern triangular tip of the present-day state, taken from the Arizona Territory. Southwestern United States_sentence_140

From July 24–27, 1861 a Confederate force under the command of Lt. Southwestern United States_sentence_141

Colonel John Robert Baylor forced the surrender of the small Union garrison stationed at Fort Fillmore, near Mesilla, New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_142

On August 1, 1861, Baylor declared the creation of the Arizona Territory, and claimed it for the confederacy, with Mesilla as its capital. Southwestern United States_sentence_143

The territory, which had been formed by the portion of the existing New Mexico Territory below the 34th parallel, became official on February 14, 1862. Southwestern United States_sentence_144

Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864, becoming the 36th state. Southwestern United States_sentence_145

This was followed by the admittance to the Union of Colorado, which became the 38th state on August 1, 1876. Southwestern United States_sentence_146

Confederate Arizona was short-lived, however. Southwestern United States_sentence_147

By May 1862 confederate forces had been driven out of the region by union troops. Southwestern United States_sentence_148

That same month a bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress, and on February 24, 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Arizona Organic Act, which officially created the U.S. Territory of Arizona, splitting the New Mexico Territory at the 107th meridian. Southwestern United States_sentence_149

Utah, as shown above, evolved out of the Utah Territory, as pieces of the original territory created in 1850 were carved out: parts were ceded to Nevada, Wyoming, and Colorado in 1861; another section to Nevada in 1862; and the final section to Nevada in 1866. Southwestern United States_sentence_150

In 1890, the LDS church issued the 1890 Manifesto, which officially banned polygamy for members of the church. Southwestern United States_sentence_151

It was the last roadblock for Utah entering the Union, and on January 4, 1896 Utah was officially granted statehood, becoming the 45th state. Southwestern United States_sentence_152

In 1869, John Wesley Powell led a 3-month expedition which explored the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Southwestern United States_sentence_153

In 1875, he would publish a book describing his explorations, Report of the Exploration of the Columbia River of the West and Its Tributaries, which was later republished as The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons. Southwestern United States_sentence_154

In 1877 silver was discovered in southeastern Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_155

The notorious mining town of Tombstone, Arizona was born to service the miners. Southwestern United States_sentence_156

The town would become immortalized as the scene of what is considered the greatest gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Southwestern United States_sentence_157

Copper was also discovered in 1877, near Bisbee and Jerome in Arizona, which became an important component of the economy of the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_158

Production began in 1880, and was made more profitable by the expansion of the railroad throughout the territory during the 1880s. Southwestern United States_sentence_159

The early 1880s also saw the completion of the second transcontinental railroad, which ran through the heart of the Southwest, called the "Sante Fe Route". Southwestern United States_sentence_160

It ran from Chicago, down through Topeka, then further south to Albuquerque, before heading almost due west through northern Arizona to Los Angeles. Southwestern United States_sentence_161

The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 led to the decline of the silver mining industry in the region. Southwestern United States_sentence_162

In 1901, the Santa Fe Railroad reached the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, opening the way for a tourism boom, a trend led by restaurant and hotel entrepreneur Fred Harvey. Southwestern United States_sentence_163

The last two territories within the Southwest to achieve statehood were New Mexico and Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_164

By 1863, with the splitting off of the Arizona Territory, New Mexico reached its modern borders. Southwestern United States_sentence_165

They became states within forty days of one another. Southwestern United States_sentence_166

On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union. Southwestern United States_sentence_167

Arizona would shortly follow, becoming the last of the 48 contiguous United States on February 14, 1912. Southwestern United States_sentence_168

Since statehood Southwestern United States_section_5

The 1930s saw the beginning of the ski industry in Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_169

Resorts were established in areas such as Estes Park, Gunnison, and on Loveland Pass. Southwestern United States_sentence_170

At the end of the decade, in 1939, with the establishment of Alta Ski Area, Utah's skiing began to be developed. Southwestern United States_sentence_171

Due to the ski conditions in the state, during WWII, the 10th Mountain Division established Camp Hale in Colorado to train elite ski troops. Southwestern United States_sentence_172

Origins of the term and historical/cultural variations Southwestern United States_section_6

While this article deals with the core definition for the American Southwest, there are many others. Southwestern United States_sentence_173

The various definitions can be broken down into four main categories: Historical/Archeological; Geological/Topographical; Ecological; and Cultural. Southwestern United States_sentence_174

In the 1930s and 1940s, many definitions of the Southwest included all or part of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah. Southwestern United States_sentence_175

As time has gone on, the definition of the Southwest as become more solidified and more compact. Southwestern United States_sentence_176

For example, in 1948 the National Geographic Society defined the American Southwest as all of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and the southernmost sections of Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming, as well as parts of southwest Nebraska, western Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_177

By 1977, the Society's definition had narrowed to only the four states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico; and by 1982 the portion of the Southwest in the United States, as defined by the Society, had shrunk to Arizona and New Mexico, with the southernmost strip of Utah and Colorado, as well as the Mojave and Colorado deserts in California. Southwestern United States_sentence_178

Other individuals who focus on Southwest studies who favored a more limited extent of the area to center on Arizona and New Mexico, with small parts of surrounding areas, include Erna Fergusson, Charles Lummis (who claimed to have coined the term, the Southwest), and cultural geographer Raymond Gastil, and ethnologist Miguel León-Portilla. Southwestern United States_sentence_179

Historical/archeological Southwestern United States_section_7

As the US expanded westward, the country's western border also shifted westward, and consequently, so did the location of the Southwestern and Northwestern United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_180

In the early years of the United States, newly colonized lands lying immediately west of the Appalachian Mountains were detached from North Carolina and given the name Southwest Territory. Southwestern United States_sentence_181

During the decades that followed, the region known as "the Southwestern United States" covered much of the Deep South east of the Mississippi River. Southwestern United States_sentence_182

However, as territories and eventual states to the west were added after the Mexican–American War, the geographical "Southwest" expanded, and the relationship of these new acquisitions to the South itself became "increasingly unclear." Southwestern United States_sentence_183

However, archeologist, Erik Reed, gives a description which is the most widely accepted as defining the American Southwest, which runs from Durango, Colorado in the north, to Durango, Mexico, in the south, and from Las Vegas, Nevada in the west to Las Vegas, New Mexico in the East. Southwestern United States_sentence_184

Reed's definition is roughly equivalent to the western half of the Learning Center of the American Southwest's definition, leaving out any portion of Kansas and Oklahoma, and much of Texas, as well as the eastern half of New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_185

Since this article is about the Southwestern United States, the areas of Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico will be excluded. Southwestern United States_sentence_186

The portion left includes Arizona and western New Mexico, the very southernmost part of Utah, southwestern Colorado, the very tip of west Texas, and triangle formed by the southern tip of Nevada. Southwestern United States_sentence_187

This will be the defined scope which is used in this article, unless otherwise specified in a particular area. Southwestern United States_sentence_188

Geological/topographical Southwestern United States_section_8

From this perspective, almost all of the region's physiographical traits, geological formations, and weather are contained within a box between 26° and 38° northern latitude, and 98° 30' and 124° western longitude. Southwestern United States_sentence_189

Ecological Southwestern United States_section_9

When looking at the fauna of the region, there is a broader definition of the American Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_190

The Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research defines the Southwest as being only the states of Arizona, New Mexico, with parts of California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah; although they include all of those six states in their map of the region, solely for ease of defining the border. Southwestern United States_sentence_191

Cultural Southwestern United States_section_10

Parts of the other states make up the various areas which can be included in the Southwest, depending on the source. Southwestern United States_sentence_192

The Learning Center of the American Southwest (LCAS) does not rely on current state boundaries, and defines the American Southwest as parts of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Southwestern United States_sentence_193

Lawrence Clark Powell, a major bibliographer whose emphasis is on the Southwest, defined the American Southwest in a 1958 Arizona Highways article as, "the lands lying west of the Pecos, north of the [Mexican] Border, south of the Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon, and east of the mountains which wall off Southern California and make it a land in itself." Southwestern United States_sentence_194

Texas has long been the focal point of this dichotomy, and is often considered, as such, the core area of "the South's Southwest." Southwestern United States_sentence_195

While the Trans-Pecos area is generally acknowledged as part of the desert Southwest, most of Texas and large parts of Oklahoma are often placed into a sub-region of the South, which some consider southwestern in the general framework of the original application, meaning the "Western South". Southwestern United States_sentence_196

This is an area containing the basic elements of Southern history, culture, politics, religion, and linguistic and settlement patterns, yet blended with traits of the frontier West. Southwestern United States_sentence_197

While this particular Southwest is notably different in many ways from the classic "Old South" or Southeast, these features are strong enough to give it a separate southwestern identity quite different in nature from that of the interior southwestern states to the west. Southwestern United States_sentence_198

One of these distinguishing characteristics in Texas—in addition having been a Confederate state during the Civil War—is that Indigenous and Spanish American culture never played a central role in the development of this area in relative comparison to the others, as the vast majority of settlers were Anglo and blacks from the South. Southwestern United States_sentence_199

Although the present day state of Oklahoma was Indian Territory until the early 20th century, many of these American Indians were from the southeastern United States and became culturally assimilated early on. Southwestern United States_sentence_200

The majority of members of these tribes also allied themselves with the Confederacy during the Civil War. Southwestern United States_sentence_201

Combined with that, once the territory was open for settlement, southeastern pioneers made up a disproportionate number of these newcomers. Southwestern United States_sentence_202

All this contributed to the new state having a character that differed from other parts of the Southwest with large American Indian populations. Southwestern United States_sentence_203

The fact that a majority of residents of Texas and Oklahoma—unlike those in other "southwestern" states—self-identify as living in the South and consider themselves southerners rather than the West and westerners—also lends to treating these two states as a somewhat distinct and separate entity in terms of regional classification. Southwestern United States_sentence_204

Vegetation and terrain Southwestern United States_section_11

Vegetation of the southwest generally includes various types of yucca, along with saguaro cactus, barrel cactus, prickly pear cactus, desert spoon, creosote bush, sagebrush, and greasewood. Southwestern United States_sentence_205

Although cacti is thought to only grow in Arizona and New Mexico, many native cacti grow throughout Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and west Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_206

Steppe is also located all over the high plains areas in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_207

The mountains of the southwestern states have large tracts of alpine trees. Southwestern United States_sentence_208

Landscape features of the core southwestern areas include mountains, canyons, mesas, buttes, high broad basins, plateaus, desert lands, and some plains, characteristic of the Basin and Range Province. Southwestern United States_sentence_209

The entire southwestern region features semi-arid to arid terrain. Southwestern United States_sentence_210

The far eastern part of southwestern Texas, for example the Texas Hill Country, consists of dry, tall, and rugged rocky hills of limestone and granite. Southwestern United States_sentence_211

South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley is mostly flat with many places consisting of scrub and bare topsoil, much like the deserts further west. Southwestern United States_sentence_212

Wildlife Southwestern United States_section_12

The region has an extremely diverse bird population, with hundreds of species being found in the American Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_213

In the Chiricahua Mountains alone, in southeastern Arizona, there can be found more than 400 species. Southwestern United States_sentence_214

Species include Canadian (Branta canadensis) and snow geese, sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis), and the roadrunner, the state bird of New Mexico and most famous bird in the region, is found in all states of the Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_215

Birds of prey include the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), Harris's hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the gray hawk (Buteo plagiatus), the barn owl (Tyto alba), the western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii), the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), the elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi), and the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) Southwestern United States_sentence_216

Other bird species include the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), the black vulture (Coragyps atratus), the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), the blue grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), the lesser goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), the broad-billed hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris), the black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), Costa's hummingbird (Calypte costae), Gambel's quail (Callipepla gambelii), the common raven (Corvus corax), the Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis), the gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides), the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), and the rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus). Southwestern United States_sentence_217

Four types of doves call the Southwest home: the white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica), the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), the common ground dove (Columbina passerina), and the Inca dove (Columbina inca). Southwestern United States_sentence_218

Mammal species include the bobcat, coyote, black bear, black-tailed jackrabbit, desert cottontail, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, gray fox, mountain lion, river otter, long-tailed weasel, western spotted skunk, pronghorn, raccoon, and Ord's kangaroo rat, all of which can be found in parts of every southwestern state. Southwestern United States_sentence_219

Elk are found in parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Southwestern United States_sentence_220

White-nosed coati, coati, and collared peccary—or javelina—in the Southwest are normally found in southern areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas near the Mexican border. Southwestern United States_sentence_221

Jaguars can be found in the bootheel region of Southwestern New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_222

The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) was reintroduced to Arizona and New Mexico in 1998. Southwestern United States_sentence_223

A U.S. Southwestern United States_sentence_224

Fish and Wildlife Service study reported a minimum population of 109 Mexican wolves in southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona at the end of 2014. Southwestern United States_sentence_225

There is a large contingent of snakes native to the region. Southwestern United States_sentence_226

Among them include the rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata); several sub-species of the glossy snake (Arizona elegans); the Trans-Pecos ratsnake (Bogertophis subocularis); several sub-species of shovel-nosed snakes; several sub-species of kingsnake, including the desert kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida) and the Arizona mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana); the Arizona coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus); the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox); the Trans-Pecos copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster); the Sonoran sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombus); the Arizona black rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus cerberus); the western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis); the Grand Canyon rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus abyssus), found only in Arizona; several sub-species of the ridge-nosed rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi), the most recent rattlesnake species to be discovered in the United States, including the New Mexico ridge-nosed rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi obscurus), and the Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake, the state reptile of Arizona; and the desert massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii). Southwestern United States_sentence_227

Other reptiles in the region include lizards and turtles. Southwestern United States_sentence_228

Lizards are highly represented in the region, the most distinctive denizen being the Gila monster, native only to the American Southwest and the state of Sonora in Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_229

Other lizards include: Sonoran collared lizard (Crotaphytus nebrius); several types of geckos, including western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus), the common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), and the Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), the last two species being non-native to the region but have been introduced; the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis); the chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater); the greater earless lizard (Cophosaurus texanus scitulus); several sub-species of horned lizards (Phrynosoma); numerous species of spiny lizards (Sceloporus); Gilbert's skink (Plestiodon gilberti); the western skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus); Trans-Pecos striped whiptail (Aspidoscelis inornata heptagrammus); and the Arizona night lizard (Xantusia arizonae). Southwestern United States_sentence_230

Turtles are less numerous than their other reptilian counterparts, but several are found in the region, including: the western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii); the Rio Grande cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi); the desert box turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola); the Big Bend slider (Trachemys gaigeae gaigeae); the Sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense); and the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Southwestern United States_sentence_231

Amphibians include numerous toads and frogs in the American Southwest. Southwestern United States_sentence_232

Toads which can be found in the region include the Great Plains toad (Anaxyrus cognatus); the green toad (Anaxyrus debilis); the Arizona toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); the New Mexico spadefoot (Spea multiplicata stagnalis); and the Colorado River toad (Incilius alvarius), also known as the Sonoran Desert toad. Southwestern United States_sentence_233

Frog representation includes: western barking frog (Craugastor augusti); the canyon tree frog (Hyla arenicolor); the Arizona treefrog (Hyla wrightorum); the western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata); Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis); and the relict leopard frog (Lithobates onca). Southwestern United States_sentence_234

There are quite a few salamanders throughout the region, including: the Arizona tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium nebulosum) and the painted ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii picta). Southwestern United States_sentence_235

Despite the Southwest being mostly arid, various fishes are found where water is available, including various species unique to the region. Southwestern United States_sentence_236

Apache trout and Gila trout are two salmonids endemic to the area, with the former found only in Arizona and the latter only in Arizona and New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_237

Desert pupfishes are several closely related species of fish in the genus Cyprinodon, many of which are found in isolated springfed ponds hundreds of miles from each other, ranging from far West Texas to Death Valley in California. Southwestern United States_sentence_238

These pupfishes often thrive in water considerably higher in temperature and dissolved solids than most fish can tolerate. Southwestern United States_sentence_239

Many of these desert fish species are endangered due to their limited and tenuous habitat, as well as loss of habitat due to human consumption of groundwater and diversion of surface water, as well as introduction of species such as sportfish for recreation. Southwestern United States_sentence_240

Climate Southwestern United States_section_13

The southwestern United States features a semi-arid to arid climate, depending on the location. Southwestern United States_sentence_241

Much of the Southwest is an arid desert climate, but higher elevations in the mountains in each state, with the exception of West Texas, feature alpine climates with very large amounts of snow. Southwestern United States_sentence_242

The metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and El Paso hardly ever receive any snow at all, as they are strictly desert lands with mountains. Southwestern United States_sentence_243

Albuquerque receives less snow than other cities, but still receives significant snowfalls occasionally in the winter time. Southwestern United States_sentence_244

Although it snows in this region, the snow in this part of the United States melts rapidly, often before nightfall. Southwestern United States_sentence_245

This is due mainly to the higher altitude and abundant sunshine in these states. Southwestern United States_sentence_246

Nevada and Arizona are both generally arid with desert lands and mountains, and receive large amounts of snow in the higher elevations in and near the mountains. Southwestern United States_sentence_247

New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado are generally arid, with desert lands and mountains as well. Southwestern United States_sentence_248

They all receive decent amounts of snow and large amounts of snow in the high elevations in the mountains, although some areas in far southwestern and southern New Mexico do not receive much snow at all at lower elevations. Southwestern United States_sentence_249

West Texas is generally arid as well but does not receive the same amount of snow that the other southwestern states receive at their high elevations. Southwestern United States_sentence_250

The terrain of western Texas in the Southwest is the flat, rolling land of the plains, which eventually turns into a desert with some hills. Southwestern United States_sentence_251

There are significant mountains as well in west Texas upon reaching the Trans-Pecos area. Southwestern United States_sentence_252

The term "High Desert" is also synonymous with this region. Southwestern United States_sentence_253

The High Desert is generally defined as the Mojave Desert, which extends from inland southern California into southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah. Southwestern United States_sentence_254

The High Desert also extends into other parts of the Northwest, such as the Red Desert in southwestern Wyoming. Southwestern United States_sentence_255

The High Desert is very different from the general desert lands found in Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_256

This area of the desert land generally sits at a very high elevation, much higher than the normal desert land, and can receive very cold temperatures at night in the winter (with the exception of California, southern Nevada and southwestern Utah), sometimes near zero degrees on very cold nights. Southwestern United States_sentence_257

The High Desert also receives a decent amount of snowfall in the winter (with the exception of California, southern Nevada and southwestern Utah) but melts very quickly. Southwestern United States_sentence_258

Other areas of the Southwest may also be referred to as the "High Desert" such as the Colorado Plateau. Southwestern United States_sentence_259

The desert lands found in Eastern Utah, Northern Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico are usually referred to as the high desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_260

Colorado has scattered desert lands found in southern, southwestern, western, and the northwestern parts of the state. Southwestern United States_sentence_261

These scattered desert lands are located in and around areas such as, the Roan Plateau, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado National Monument, Royal Gorge, Cortez, Dove Creek, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Four Corners Monument, Montrose, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Pueblo, San Luis Valley, Great Sand Dunes and Joshua Tree National Park. Southwestern United States_sentence_262

Besides the Chihuahuan Desert, lands in southwestern and southern New Mexico, they also have scattered desert lands in the northwestern and northern portions of their state, which is referred to as the high desert. Southwestern United States_sentence_263

During El Niño, winters and springs are generally colder and wetter across southern portions of the region, while the northern portion stays warmer and drier due to a southern jet stream. Southwestern United States_sentence_264

Under La Niña, the opposite happens, meaning the cool and wet weather tends to stay farther north. Southwestern United States_sentence_265

The Southwest also experiences multi-year and multi-decade episodes of severe drought, including the ongoing major event which emerged starting year 2000. Southwestern United States_sentence_266

National parks, monuments and forests Southwestern United States_section_14

The southwestern United States contains many well-known national parks including Grand Canyon in Arizona, Death Valley in California, Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, Arches in Utah, Big Bend in Texas, Great Basin in Nevada, and White Sands in New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_267

Arizona parks and monuments include Grand Canyon, Monument Valley (a Navajo Nation park), Petrified Forest, and Saguaro national parks; the national monuments of Agua Fria, Canyon de Chelly, Casa Grande Ruins, Chiricahua, Ironwood Forest, Montezuma Castle, Navajo, Organ Pipe Cactus, Pipe Spring, Sonoran Desert, Sunset Crater, Tonto, Tuzigoot, Vermilion Cliffs, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki. Southwestern United States_sentence_268

Other federal areas include the Apache–Sitgreaves National Forests and Tumacacori National Historical Park. Southwestern United States_sentence_269

Southern California parks and monuments include Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks; the national monuments of Castle Mountains, Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and San Gabriel Mountains; and Mojave National Preserve. Southwestern United States_sentence_270

Colorado parks and monuments include Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Mesa Verde national parks; the national monuments of Browns Canyon, Canyons of the Ancients, Colorado, Hovenweep, and Yucca House. Southwestern United States_sentence_271

Other federal areas include Curecanti National Recreation Area and Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site; as well as the national forests of San Isabel, San Juan, and Uncompahgre. Southwestern United States_sentence_272

Nevada has one national park at Great Basin, and the national monuments of Basin and Range, Gold Butte, and Tule Springs Fossil Beds. Southwestern United States_sentence_273

Other federal areas include Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Southwestern United States_sentence_274

New Mexico has two national parks, at Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands. Southwestern United States_sentence_275

National monuments include Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, El Malpais, El Morro, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks, Petroglyph, Rio Grande del Norte, and Salinas Pueblo Missions. Southwestern United States_sentence_276

Other federal park areas include Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Pecos National Historical Park, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, and the national forests of Apache, Carson, Gila, Lincoln, and Santa Fe. Southwestern United States_sentence_277

West Texas has two national parks, at Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains. Southwestern United States_sentence_278

Other federal park areas include Chamizal National Memorial and Fort Davis National Historic Site. Southwestern United States_sentence_279

Utah national parks include Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. Southwestern United States_sentence_280

National monuments include Bears Ears, Cedar Breaks, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep (also in Colorado), Natural Bridges, and Rainbow Bridge. Southwestern United States_sentence_281

Other federal areas include Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Dixie National Forest, and Manti–La Sal National Forest. Southwestern United States_sentence_282

Ethnicity Southwestern United States_section_15

Cities and urban areas Southwestern United States_section_16

The area also contains many of the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas, despite relatively low population density in rural areas. Southwestern United States_sentence_283

Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the country, and Albuquerque and Las Vegas were some of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Southwestern United States_sentence_284

Also, the region as a whole has witnessed some of the highest population growth in the United States, and according to the US Census Bureau, in 2008–2009, Utah was the fastest growing state in America. Southwestern United States_sentence_285

As of the 2010 Census, Nevada was the fastest growing state in the United States, with an increase of 35.1% in the last ten years. Southwestern United States_sentence_286

Additionally, Arizona (24.6%), Utah (23.8%), Texas (20.6%), and Colorado (16.9%) were all in the top ten fastest growing states as well. Southwestern United States_sentence_287

Southwestern United States_unordered_list_0

  • Southwestern United States_item_0_0
  • Southwestern United States_item_0_1
  • Southwestern United States_item_0_2
  • Southwestern United States_item_0_3
  • Southwestern United States_item_0_4

Largest cities and metropolitan areas (2010 census) Southwestern United States_section_17

Southwestern United States_table_general_1

RankSouthwestern United States_header_cell_1_0_0 CitySouthwestern United States_header_cell_1_0_1 StateSouthwestern United States_header_cell_1_0_2 PopulationSouthwestern United States_header_cell_1_0_3 Metro PopulationSouthwestern United States_header_cell_1_0_4
1Southwestern United States_cell_1_1_0 PhoenixSouthwestern United States_cell_1_1_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_1_2 1,445,632Southwestern United States_cell_1_1_3 4,192,887Southwestern United States_cell_1_1_4
2Southwestern United States_cell_1_2_0 El PasoSouthwestern United States_cell_1_2_1 TexasSouthwestern United States_cell_1_2_2 649,133Southwestern United States_cell_1_2_3 804,123Southwestern United States_cell_1_2_4
3Southwestern United States_cell_1_3_0 Las VegasSouthwestern United States_cell_1_3_1 NevadaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_3_2 583,736Southwestern United States_cell_1_3_3 1,951,269Southwestern United States_cell_1_3_4
4Southwestern United States_cell_1_4_0 AlbuquerqueSouthwestern United States_cell_1_4_1 New MexicoSouthwestern United States_cell_1_4_2 558,000Southwestern United States_cell_1_4_3 887,077Southwestern United States_cell_1_4_4
5Southwestern United States_cell_1_5_0 TucsonSouthwestern United States_cell_1_5_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_5_2 520,116Southwestern United States_cell_1_5_3 980,263Southwestern United States_cell_1_5_4
6Southwestern United States_cell_1_6_0 MesaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_6_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_6_2 439,041Southwestern United States_cell_1_6_3 4,192,887Southwestern United States_cell_1_6_4
7Southwestern United States_cell_1_7_0 HendersonSouthwestern United States_cell_1_7_1 NevadaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_7_2 257,729Southwestern United States_cell_1_7_3 1,951,269Southwestern United States_cell_1_7_4
8Southwestern United States_cell_1_8_0 ChandlerSouthwestern United States_cell_1_8_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_8_2 236,123Southwestern United States_cell_1_8_3 4,192,887Southwestern United States_cell_1_8_4
9Southwestern United States_cell_1_9_0 GlendaleSouthwestern United States_cell_1_9_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_9_2 226,721Southwestern United States_cell_1_9_3 4,192,887Southwestern United States_cell_1_9_4
10Southwestern United States_cell_1_10_0 ScottsdaleSouthwestern United States_cell_1_10_1 ArizonaSouthwestern United States_cell_1_10_2 217,385Southwestern United States_cell_1_10_3 4,192,887Southwestern United States_cell_1_10_4

Sports Southwestern United States_section_18

Professional Southwestern United States_section_19

Of the four major professional sports, Phoenix and Las Vegas are the only metropolitan areas in the Southwest that have representatives. Southwestern United States_sentence_288

While Las Vegas is home to the Las Vegas Raiders NFL football team and the Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team, Phoenix is one of only 13 U.S. cities to have representatives in all four: Arizona Diamondbacks in Major League Baseball, Arizona Cardinals in the National Football League, the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Coyotes in the National Hockey League. Southwestern United States_sentence_289

The Greater Phoenix area is home to the Cactus League, one of two spring training leagues for Major League Baseball; fifteen of MLB's thirty teams are now included in the Cactus League. Southwestern United States_sentence_290

The region has also been the scene of several NFL super bowls. Southwestern United States_sentence_291

Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe held Super Bowl XXX in 1996, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Southwestern United States_sentence_292

The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008, in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, as well as Super Bowl XLIX, which resulted in the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28–24. Southwestern United States_sentence_293

The U.S. Airways Center hosted both the 1995 and the 2009 NBA All-Star Games. Southwestern United States_sentence_294

In 1997, the Phoenix Mercury were one of the original eight teams to launch the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Southwestern United States_sentence_295

Indoor American football is represented by the Arizona Rattlers located in Phoenix. Southwestern United States_sentence_296

The region is also host to several major professional golf events: the LPGA's Founder's Cup; the Phoenix Open and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (in Las Vegas) of the PGA; and the Tucson Conquistadores Classic (in Tucson), and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (in Scottsdale) on the Champions Tour of the PGA. Southwestern United States_sentence_297

NASCAR has two venues within the region: The Phoenix International Raceway, was built in 1964 with a one-mile oval, with a one-of-a-kind design, as well as a 2.5-mile road course, and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a 1,200-acre (490 ha) complex of multiple tracks for motorsports racing. Southwestern United States_sentence_298

There are several nationally recognized running events in the region, including The Phoenix Marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series in both Phoenix and Las Vegas. Southwestern United States_sentence_299

Las Vegas is also the end point for the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, a 120-mile-long foot race by law enforcement teams from around the world, which is the largest law enforcement athletic event in the world. Southwestern United States_sentence_300

Las Vegas is the premier boxing venue in the country, and is also known for mixed martial arts events. Southwestern United States_sentence_301

The Southwest is also home to some of the most prominent rodeos in North America. Southwestern United States_sentence_302

The Professional Bull Riders association has its headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado. Southwestern United States_sentence_303

The PBR World Finals are held annually in Las Vegas, which also hosts the National Finals Rodeo, which is the nation's premier rodeo event. Southwestern United States_sentence_304

Other major rodeo events include the week-long Fiesta de los Vaqueros in Tucson, the World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Arizona, the Southwestern International PRCA Rodeo in El Paso, Texas, and the Rodeo de Santa Fe, one of the nation's premier rodeos. Southwestern United States_sentence_305

Since the 1950s, Las Vegas has been host to many of professional boxing's largest events, beginning with the Heavyweight non-title bout in 1955 between world light heavyweight champion Archie Moore and perennial contender Niño Valdés. Southwestern United States_sentence_306

Muhammad Ali fought his last world title bout in Las Vegas against Larry Holmes in 1980, and Floyd Mayweather fought many of his major fights there. Southwestern United States_sentence_307

College Southwestern United States_section_20

The Southwest is home to a rich tradition of college sports. Southwestern United States_sentence_308

The Pac-12 Conference has two teams in the region, the Arizona State Sun Devils and the University of Arizona Wildcats. Southwestern United States_sentence_309

The Mountain West Conference also has two teams, the UNLV Rebels and the University of New Mexico Lobos. Southwestern United States_sentence_310

Conference USA is represented by the University of Texas at El Paso Miners. Southwestern United States_sentence_311

The Big Sky Conference has two teams: the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds in Cedar City, Utah. Southwestern United States_sentence_312

The Western Athletic Conference also has two representatives, the New Mexico State University Aggies in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the Grand Canyon University Antelopes in Phoenix. Southwestern United States_sentence_313

Las Vegas is becoming the nexus for NCAA league basketball tournaments. Southwestern United States_sentence_314

The Mountain West Conference, the Western Athletic Conference, the West Coast Conference, and the Pac-12 Conference all hold their conference basketball tournaments in Las Vegas. Southwestern United States_sentence_315

The Southwest is the site of six college football bowl games: the TicketCity Cactus Bowl, formerly known as the Insight Bowl, in Tempe; the Arizona Bowl in Tucson; the Fiesta Bowl, played at the University of Phoenix Stadium; the Las Vegas Bowl; the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque; and the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_316

The erstwhile [20th century] Southwest Conference might seem to have been named after this region, but it had no teams from Arizona nor New Mexico. Southwestern United States_sentence_317

All but one of its teams were from schools in Texas. Southwestern United States_sentence_318

Politics Southwestern United States_section_21

See also Southwestern United States_section_22

Southwestern United States_unordered_list_1

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