How Tall Is Arizona? Total Distance North to South

Written by Samantha Stanich
Updated: August 10, 2023
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Scottsdale Arizona desert landscape,USA

Arizona’s highest point is Humphreys Peak. It stands at 12,633 feet above sea level.

©BCFC/Shutterstock.com

Arizona is home to one of the most iconic landmarks of the United States, the Grand Canyon. It is also home to the hottest city in the nation, Phoenix. You can visit multiple states by car when beginning your trip in The Grand Canyon State. If you are interested in a western road trip, you may be asking yourself how long it will take. Arizona may not look impressive on the map, but it is one of the largest states in the U.S. It ranks 6th in terms of total area, and it is home to one of the largest national parks in the country, spanning the northwest corner of the state. But just how tall is Arizona?

North-to-South Distance

At its tallest, or longest point, Arizona measures 390 miles (628 km) from north to south. New Mexico is around the same size as Arizona when it comes to area. Arizona is 113,998 square miles, while New Mexico is approximately 121,697 square miles. However, even though New Mexico is 7% larger than the Grand Canyon State, its height is only 370 miles. Also, the southwestern state doesn’t come close to the north-to-south length of its neighbor, California, at over 1,000 miles at its tallest point.

How Arizona Compares to Other States

StateSquare MilesSquare Kilometers
Alaska665,384 sq. mi1,723,337 km2
Texas268,596 sq. mi695,662 km2
California163,695 sq. mi423,967 km2
Montana147,040 sq. mi380,831 km2
New Mexico121,590 sq. mi314,917 km2
Arizona113,990 sq. mi295,234 km2

The Grand Canyon

Panorama of  Grand Canyon National Park at Powell Point at sunset, Arizona, USA

At 1.2 million acres, Grand Canyon is the 11th largest national park in the United States

©Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock.com

Arizona is home to one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. It sits in the northern part of the state and is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide as well as 1,904 square miles in total. This is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island! The Grand Canyon is carved by the Colorado River and attains a depth of over a mile!

The geological phenomenon is also known as the Great Unconformity. This is where 250-million-year-old rock strata lie back-to-back with 1.2-billion-year-old rocks. We aren’t even sure what happened during the hundreds of millions of years between the rock formations!

The Grand Canyon touches three of the Four Corner states: Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. It also touches Nevada. Arizona is one of the most accessible and popular states to see the natural wonder at the South Rim, with Nevada coming in second with the canyon’s West Rim.

The Four Corners

Four Corners

The Four Corners Monument is the only place where four states meet in the United States.

©Oscity/Shutterstock.com

Arizona is part of the Southwestern region named the Four Corners. The region consists of the southwestern corner of Colorado, the southeastern corner of Utah, the northeastern corner of Arizona, and the northwestern corner of New Mexico. Most of this region belongs to Native American nations, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation. Other native nations include Hopi, Ute, and Zuni tribal reserves. It is also part of a larger region known as the Colorado Plateau. Its climate is mostly arid with rural and rugged land.

Comparisons Of the States Of the Four Corners

ArizonaUtahNew MexicoColorado
113,998 square miles84,899 square miles121,697 square miles104,185 square miles
390 miles north-to-south350 miles north-to-south370 miles north-to-south280 miles north-to-south

East-to-West Distance

Blue and Gold Sunrise - Desert flora in full bloom provide a frame for a colorful Scottsdale, Arizona sunrise, rich with golds and blues.

The state has an average elevation of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m).

©Tim Murphy/Shutterstock.com

Arizona spans about 335 miles (539 km) at its widest point. That width is taken from the western part of the state, near the border with Mexico. The area from the west of Somerton to the eastern border with New Mexico, southeast of Franklin on U.S. Route 70, measures the 335 miles. Although Arizona is the sixth-largest state in the country, it is not among the widest when measuring from east to west.

The Capital of Arizona: Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona at Night

The capital’s extreme temperature is also due to its proximity to the equator.

©Brandon Burris/Shutterstock.com

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the fifth most populated city in the country. It spans 517.5 square miles in the south-central portion of the state. It lies in Maricopa County, Arizona, and became an incorporated city in 1881. Interestingly, the city’s population density is on the lower end for a major metropolitan area. There are only 3,100 people per square mile which is far less than a city like Philadelphia, the next-largest city in the country, which has 11,936 people per square mile and a population of 1.6 million people.

The capital is also the hottest city in the United States. The normal mid-summer high for the city is 106.1 degrees Fahrenheit and its normal year-round temperature is 86.6 degrees. Also, for around 169 days a year, Phoenix’s temperature reaches over 90 degrees. Mountains surround the valley, block off rain and clouds, and in turn, cause heat to build up under high air pressure, creating high temperatures.

Phoenix On a Map

Top 5 Largest Cities In the United States

CityStatePopulation (2022)
New York CityNew York8,335,897
Los AngelesCalifornia3,822,238
ChicagoIllinois2,665,039
HoustonTexas2,302,878
PhoenixArizona1,644,409

Lake Havasu

A beautiful view of Lake Havasu

The hottest temperature in Arizona was recorded at Lake Havasu at 128 degrees on June 29, 1994.

©Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock.com

The artificial lake sits on the western side of Arizona along the California border. Lake Havasu is formed by Parker Dam to the south and the Davis Dam to the north. It consists of 60 miles of lake and river waterways and offers 400 miles of beautiful shore for visitors to enjoy the pristine waters! The lake has a capacity of 619,400-acre-feet of water.

Also, even though its waters are in the middle of a hot desert, Lake Havasu is well known for its world-class fishing. It attracts over 750,000 visitors every year to enjoy recreational fishing and boating. Most anglers fish for bass since the lake is stocked with multiple species including largemouth, smallmouth, and striped. There are also numerous fishing tournaments held on lake where bass is the main catch. Fishermen also catch channel and flathead catfish, crappie, razorback sucker, red-ear sunfish, and sunfish.

Lake Havasu On a Map

Arizona Drive Times

Closeup map of city Phoenix for travel destination driving destination

Arizona offers three major routes to cross the state.

©Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock.com

Of the three main routes across Arizona, the longest runs north to south between Utah and Mexico, U.S. Route 191. It takes just over seven hours without any traffic or roadblocks. The north-to-south U.S. Highway is in eastern Arizona and runs for 516.50 miles beginning at state Route 80 near Douglas and crossing the Utah state line near Mexican Water in the Navajo Nation.

Route 66 in Arizona

A scenic view of a historic Route 66 sign with a sky blue background

The road first stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles.

©Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com

Arizona boasts the longest original stretch of Route 66. It was once known as “Main Street America.” The route stretched over 2,400 miles and was one of the original highways in the United States Numbered Highway System, established in 1926. The highway was replaced by Interstate 40. Most travelers zip right by the attractions and historical sites that sit off the beaten path of Route 66.

The longest stretch starts at Exit 139 off Interstate 40 at Seligman. It turns northwest to the Grand Canyon Caverns and progresses near the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. It then turns southwest to Kingman and through the ghost town of Oatman as it races toward California on the west bank of the Colorado River.

Borders of Arizona

Global Studies - Western United States Focus on California and Nevada

The state also borders the country of Mexico.

©235126/Shutterstock.com

Four states border the Southwestern state. Nevada borders it in the northwest, and Utah sits next to Arizona in the north. The Grand Canyon State is bordered by New Mexico to the east, and California to the west. Though five is a lot of states to border, Missouri and Tennessee have the most shared borders, with each bordering eight other states. Tennessee shares borders with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia. Missouri borders Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Arizona also touches the country of Mexico to the south. There are a total of six ports of entry (POE) along its border with Mexico. The closest Mexican city to the state is a small city in Puerto Peñasco Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora. It is only 62 miles from the border of Arizona with a population of 62,689 inhabitants.

Conclusion

Antelope Canyon lights and rocks arizona usa

The state is home to many wonders including

Antelope

Canyon.

©Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

Though Arizona holds many historical sites and one-of-a-kind wonders, it was actually the 48th and last contiguous state in the Union. Today, the Grand Canyon State is also known for its massive production of copper and is an excellent tourist destination. It attracts millions of tourists with its lovely weather, wonderful natural beauty, and famous landmarks.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock.com


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