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Arizona is too big a state not to be broken into regions, but I have consulted three different sources for "official" regions and found three different opinions as to what they should be. In keeping with the "five to seven bullets" principle, I have created a list of regions that doesn't exactly match most sources, but allows one or two of the regions to be further broken into sub-regions that may match the sources a little better. This isn't entirely satisfying; does anybody want to take a crack at doing it better? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 20:35, 23 Dec 2005 (EST)

I think it is good enough for a start. Often the regional breakdown of an area has more to do with local politics than anything that is logical or matches any other way of breaking down an area of land. You could go be counties, power distribution companies or telephone area codes. However you do it it will not match another way of doing it. At least this way the names are fairly obvious and by the compass, so lower level details can be filled in fairly easily. If someone comes up with a better scheme at least they have somthing to work with, not just a huge disorganised, unsorted list. -- Huttite 21:17, 23 Dec 2005 (EST)

I changed East Arizona to Southeast Arizona and focused on that region's most distinguishing characteristic, its sky islands, because I visit there often and want to write an article or two about the region. "Eastern" Arizona just doesn't quite get at this little corner of the Arizona world. Maybe I might have done better to add Southeast Arizona, but probably if someone wants to write about East Arizona, they'll add it back into the mix. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gharper (talkcontribs) 7 August 2006

Problem is, there's stuff in the southeastern part of the state that isn't in the sky islands. Yes, it's generally unglamorous, but the lowlands are where the lodging is, for example. It would be better to treat the sky islands as a sub-region of "Southeastern Arizona" to leave room for the other stuff. (I can also imagine a "Mogollon Rim" sub-region here.) -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:06, 15 September 2006 (EDT)

The map of the regions really isn't all that attractive or detailed. Considering how scampy some of the articles are I would like to merge the Western and Southwestern Arizona articles. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by SmellsDystopian (talkcontribs)

A lack of content is typically not a good reason to change the regional structure - often this means that people just haven't gotten around to contributing yet. That said, there isn't a Southwestern Arizona region article currently - could you clarify what you meant by that? -- Ryan • (talk) • 09:54, 25 December 2010 (EST)

Note on Driving Conditions: This winter I visited Flagstaff and attempted to drive to Phoenix via I-17 during a blizzard. I made it 20 miles and waited over 6 hours until the Arizona Highway Patrol cleared enough road to get everyone back to Flagstaff. I added a note that travelers should be prepared if traveling during bad weather for road closures including interstate highways. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Region names[edit]

As discussed in Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions#Use of "North" considered harmful and more recently in Talk:Ohio#Regions, it is generally discouraged to use region names like "North (Foo)" since people don't generally say they are going to "North". Any objection to renaming the Arizona regions to more natural names, such as renaming North (Arizona) to "Northern Arizona"? -- Ryan 16:19, 15 September 2006 (EDT)

I don't have strong feelings about this. Arizona is a relatively difficult place to fit into a sensible regional structure, because so much of the state could be described best as "None of the Above" -- which isn't terribly helpful. The term "Northern Arizona" isn't widely used (as far as I can tell) in the state and nearby, and it seems unlikely that making this change would make information more readily available to most people. OTOH, it really wouldn't hurt to make it, for the same reasons. Do what you think makes sense; meanwhile, I'll think about whether a more descriptive, widely-used set of Arizona regions might be created. Incidentally, the situation is quite different in New Mexico, where I am; here the region names are generally accepted and used, just as they appear in the state's regional structure. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 16:52, 15 September 2006 (EDT)
If the regions are going to need to be re-organized again in the future then it probably doesn't make sense to go through and change things now, only to have to change them again later. I wouldn't be opposed to someone else doing it, but I'd personally rather not do things twice.
As to the "North (Arizona)" vs. "Northern Arizona" naming, for me the argument for changing would be to use a name that follows the naming conventions. At present anything in parentheses is supposed to be a disambiguator, which in this case would indicate that the name for the region is "North". That doesn't make sense, since when I go to the area around Flagstaff I'm not going to "North", I'm going to "Northern Arizona". -- Ryan 17:15, 15 September 2006 (EDT)
Point taken regarding the disambiguator, although it's done that way for several other states (and I would fiercely oppose messing with the region names for New Mexico, which is one of them). The North region, whatever you call it, is probably the one in the entire state that is reasonably well defined and unlikely to change much, so if you want to rename that one (and make the necessary changes to descendant nodes), go for it. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:40, 15 September 2006 (EDT)


I was trying to move some of the smaller cities off the main page to region pages, but can't figure out where Prescott & Payson should go. From the map I'm looking at, it doesn't seem like Northern Arizona or Greater Phoenix would cover these towns. Any ideas? -- Fastestdogever 15:34, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

I think this goes back to the region discussion above. Payson and Prescott are not really in Northern Arizona and certainly not in Greater Phoenix. The trick seems to be agreeing on a regional structure and, unfortunately, different sources and agencies use different regional breakdowns. You can see how AOT breaks up the state here[1]. Perhaps the section should use something similar, but I would like to hear how others feel about the regions. ArizonaTourism 20:08, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
So maybe just adding a North Central Arizona region would catch everything that is missing? -- Fastestdogever 20:58, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I would agree, that seems to be the missing piece to this region puzzle. -- ArizonaTourism 21:19, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
Prescott, I think, fits reasonably into the incipient Western Arizona region; it is more west of the center of the state than north, and in terms of atmosphere, climate, culture, etc., has more in common with points west than the eastern part (or Phoenix, as you point out). Payson is a harder case, and a good example of why I opposed converting the old Eastern Arizona page into the "Southeastern Arizona and Sky Islands" page (SASI) that exists now. My preferred solution would be to re-create Eastern Arizona as a region, and then have sub-regions of SASI and Mogollon Rim, which would include Payson as well as Show Low, Globe, and so on. See the earlier discussion at the top of the page.
Fact is, there's no regional structure that really works well for a state as large and complex as Arizona. New Mexico, where I've written most of the articles, is much easier due to the significance of the Rio Grande and Sangre de Cristos, and the same kind of geographical focus is one reason to use the Mogollon Rim sub-region (look at how I set up North Central New Mexico). It's not as simple here, but still strikes me as the way to go. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:48, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

So the new breakdown would be:

Look good? -- Fastestdogever 09:38, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

That looks right to me. Subdivision of the Western Arizona region might be called for at some point, but not yet. Troy? Your opinion on this is valuable. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 10:33, 20 April 2007 (EDT)
I think that looks good as well. However, I would say that the Mogollon Rim would probably make more sense in Eastern Arizona. See this map [2] for a visual on location. (The rim follows the edge of that black line up to around the Grand Canyon) (Sorry, I see it is under Eastern...disregard)
The only other question I would ask is where the Prescott, Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona area would find within this structure? We talked a bit about Prescott being in western, but due to its proximity to these other cities, plus the way travelers would access this area (from I-17), I am not sure western would be the best spot for Prescott. So, would those cities go into Northern? Or should they, along with Payson, Pine, Camp Verde and (possibly) Wickenburg go into a North Central section...similar to the South Central structure? -- ArizonaTourism 02:08, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Point well taken. I had put Sedona into Northern Arizona, largely on the grounds of its social affinity with Flagstaff as well as the red-rock scenery. This created a minor "blip" on the geographical description, as Sedona was the only thing in that region extending south of the I-40 corridor, but I think it's probably reasonable. It would also be reasonable to consider Prescott as "just over the line" in the west -- regions do have boundaries, after all, and something will fall near the boundary. However, it may be less so if one considers Cottonwood and Jerome to have more affinities with Sedona than with points west. There's room for discussion on this one.
I'd see Payson as definitely in the Mogollon Rim region, even though putting it there may be incorrect from a rigorously geological perspective. It still serves as the "gateway" to Rim country and has a lot in common with the other Rim communities. Ditto for Camp Verde, which would define the western edge of the region (see previous remark about boundaries). Haven't thought about the others yet. Finally, keep in mind that the South Central region really means Tucson and the stuff around it. There's no comparable focal point for a putative North Central region. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 13:16, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Nine Cities[edit]

For four years now, there have been ten cities listed on this page (before that there were dozens): Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Sedona, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson, Winslow, and Yuma. We are long overdue to remove one. Prescott, Scottsdale, Winslow, and Yuma are the main candidates for excising. Winslow is particularly tempting due to the description attached to it: "Pass through, look at the billboard and listen to the Eagles. That is basically it." The only real attractions in the Winslow area are the Meteor Crater and historic Route 66.

While we're at it, shouldn't the Other Destinations list also be pared down?

-- LtPowers 13:15, 22 October 2011 (EDT)