Arizona

Arcosanti is an entire city under construction near the town of Mayer, north of Phoenix. It is a city designed by the architect Paolo Soleri, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. While there is evidence of the influence of Wright's Arizona style in the idealistic...

A major automotive R&D test track, located in Wittmann, north of Phoenix. It was built in 1985 for the Volvo company, which used it until Ford took it over in 2009. It has several different types of track, including a 2.2 mile high speed oval, a 2.1 mile...

A major automotive test facility in the Arizona desert, near the Colorado River. It was built in 1955, on top of a former Air Corps training field, and operated as Ford’s primary desert test center until 2006. It was bought by Chrysler in 2007, for $35...

One of the largest mining operations in the United States, the Mission Complex is a copper and silver mining network, with an underground mine and two open pits: the Mission pit, and the smaller, adjacent San Xavier North pit. The mine is operated by Asarco (...

A major open pit copper and molybdenum mine and old company town in western Arizona. Operations have open and shut over the years, and ownership has changed, though when operational around 500 people are employed at the pit and the processing plants here. It...

A large experimental complex built in the late 1980s to explore the possibility of living outside of the earth--Biosphere 1--should the earth become uninhabitable. It is part research facility, part tourist attraction. The primary structure consists of a...

A coal mine, where the coal is extracted and pulverized and mixed with water to form a slurry, which is then transported through a pipeline for 273 miles to the Mojave Generating Station, a power plant in Laughlin, Nevada. The 18-inch diameter pipe is...

Two coal mines in the nearby hills serve distant power plants. This silo is at the end of a 17-mile-long conveyor connecting to the Kayenta Mine on Black Mesa. From here it is loaded on to electric trains that take it 75 miles on a dedicated track to the...

The point of origin of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) is where the Granite Reef Aqueduct draws water from the Colorado River. CAP is a water supply system for the farms and cities of central Arizona, consisting of a 337-mile aqueduct that brings water from...

The 995-megawatt Cholla Power Plant, located in northeastern Arizona near Holbrook, burns coal from the McKinley Mine in New Mexico. Operated by APS (Arizona Power Service), which also operates the 4,000 MW Palo Verdes nuclear plant, and the 2,000 MW Four...

One of the largest mine tailings piles in the world: 7.4 billion cubic feet, the New Cornelia Tailings is often cited as the largest dam structure in the country, by volume (the tailings, waste material from the mining process, were heaped into a pile that...

The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan operates the largest aircraft "junkyard" in the world, a 2,600-acre site with over 4,500 military aircraft. Some are stored as part of a mothball fleet, while some perfectly good aircraft are...

Major communications and intelligence center for the military. Located on 73,272 acres (114 square miles) in southern Arizona, Huachuca is home to units such as the Army Intelligence Center, the Army Information Systems Command, and the Joint Interoperability...

Two UAV runways and support facilities on a remote site at Fort Huachuca, one of the Army's main intelligence centers.

What is said to be the tallest fountain in the world is, suitably, in one of the most arid cities: Phoenix, Arizona. The fountain shoots eight tons of water as much as 625 feet in the air (70 feet higher than the Washington Monument), at the rate of 7,000...

A multi-story geodesic sphere house on a pole, next to the Interstate south of Kingman, Arizona. It was built originally as a restaurant called the Dinesphere, part of a sprawling desert development that never materialized called Lake Havasu Estates (Lake...

Construction of this dam on the Colorado River, upstream from the Grand Canyon, started in 1956 and created Lake Powell when it was finished in 1963. The lake flooded a 186-mile long valley, forming the second largest man-made lake in the country (after Lake...

Grand Canyon Village is the most developed portion of the national park, right on the edge of the canyon. This is where most of the tourists come. There are some grand old lodges, including those built by Fred Harvey (a western tourism promoter who built...

Museum housing the world's largest display of firefighting gear. Most of the exhibits are of a historic nature: hand and horse-drawn pumpers, hose carriers, and hook-and-ladder wagons from the 18th and 19th centuries, antique motorized fire trucks, historic fire...

Part of Asarco's "Ray Complex," this copper smelter processes ore from the company's copper mines in the region (the Ray Mine, Silver Bell Mine, and Mission Mine). Copper concentrate arrives from the mines, the nearest being 20 miles away, by rail, and is...

Honeywell's Aerospace business, with over $10 billion in sales, is headquartered here in Phoenix. Honeywell's activities here grew substantially when they bought AlliedSignal Aerospace recently, and acquired the Phoenix-based assets of  that company, a...

Art Deco wonder of the west, which created the largest man-made lake in the country, Lake Mead. It was built primarily to control flooding and provide a stable supply of water downstream, secondarily to produce electricity, and tertiarily to employ people, and...

Unusual desert airport, with some aircraft maintenance facilities, and large airliners in storage. Originally called "Storage Depot #41," Kingman was a major storage airport for airplanes returning from WWII.

Looming on Interstate 40 west of Kingman, this steel mini mill was built by North Star Steel in 1996, the seventh of several mini mills built by the company. This facility makes rebar and wire core rod, with waste metal imported from the scrap yards of Las...

More than 20 telescopes are clustered at the summit of Kitt Peak, from radio telescopes to solar telescopes. It is the location of the 3.8 meter National Optical Astronomy Observatory Mayall telescope, one of the world's largest, and the unusual McMath solar...

Lake Havasu is a lot of things. It is a reservoir on the Colorado River created by the Parker Dam, and it is a point of origin for the Colorado Aqueduct and Central Arizona Project, which bring water to Los Angeles and Phoenix, respectively. It has become a...

The Lavender Pit is part of the Copper Queen Mine, run by the Phelps Dodge Corporation from 1879 to 1975. Mining took place in underground tunnels and shafts until 1951 when it was determined by Harrison Lavender, the then-manager of the Copper Queen Branch...

The actual London Bridge was purchased by the president of the McCullough Corporation and rebuilt at this location, in artificial Lake Havasu, in the middle of the desert, on the Colorado River. The relocated bridge was originally built spanning dry land,...

A collection of eight observatories on Mars Hill, Anderson Mesa (10 miles away), and other hills in the Flagstaff area, comprising the Lowell Observatory. This observatory is known for its observations of the Solar System and of asteroids, though it also...

Luke AFB calls itself the largest fighter training base in the world, which it may be, though Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base is also big. With 215 aircraft, mostly F-16's, and over 8,000 personnel, the base uses the 2.7 million acre Barry M. Goldwater Range...