Although home to the ruins of an age-old culture, Arizona is one of the youngest states: the nation’s lawmakers held off granting statehood until 1912, making it the last of the contiguous 48 to be admitted to the Union. And that is only one of Arizona’s paradoxes. Though much of it appears barren, the state is rich in wildlife, vegetation, and minerals. Though dry, it was formed by ancient seas, and rushing rivers carved its breathtaking canyons. Though harsh and arid, it harbors a fragile beauty, with solitary juniper trees springing from its cracked soil and fledglings nesting among its cacti.