Arizona : Safety by City
- Casa Grande
- Lake Havasu City
- Oro Valley
- Sierra Vista
Arizona is located in a region of the United States called the Desert Southwest.
It is bordered by California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico in the US, and the country of Mexico to the south.
If you are interested in outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, or snow skiing, Arizona has amazing landscapes to explore.
For history and art enthusiasts, some cultural activities and festivals fill the calendar, along with beautiful scenery to capture artistically.
Its wide array of climates and environments include desert and mountain areas, rivers, and lakes, making it a popular destination for people with a variety of travel interests.
Warnings & Dangers in Arizona
OVERALL RISK : LOW
To make the most of a visit, travelers would be advised to learn a little about the areas they plan to visit. With a little research before travel, there is very little risk. If you are not familiar with desert climates and plan to spend a lot of time engaging in outdoor activities, take time to learn about the local environment - especially the plants and animals indigenous to different parts of Arizona. There are different species of insects and arachnids that have venomous bites, as well as lizards, rattlesnakes, and some large, potentially deadly mammals that you wouldn't want to encounter on a hike. Listen to local guides when they explain areas to avoid and don't leave marked trails. Authorities have good reasons for restricting access to some areas, so follow their advice and you can avoid unexpected trouble.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Visitors make sure to only use vehicles that are permitted by the state as a "Vehicle for Hire". Public transportation is available in many of Arizona's larger cities and towns and presents a safe travel option that is also low risk. Just keep in mind that using public transportation may take longer to get to your destinations, and you will need to consider when the busy hours are for local public transportation if you prefer not to ride when it is more crowded. Also, be mindful in larger cities of neighborhoods to avoid.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
When traveling in some of the more urban areas in Arizona, the danger of being pick-pocketed is higher than in more rural areas. Just as a traveler should in any populated area, it is important to always be aware of their surroundings, protect the bags or purses that they carry, and not carry highly valuable items or important documents with them unless necessary. (Use the safe or security services at your hotel if needed.) This is true for larger populated cities, and while attending any of the many festivals or events in Arizona.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
The risk for natural disasters in Arizona can vary greatly depending on the time of the year you visit. Extreme heat occurs mainly in the summer months of June through September but can be a high risk for those wanting to experience outdoor activities, which would not be advised at that time. During times of extreme heat coupled with drought conditions and high winds, the risk of wildfires can also be high. These fast-moving fires can cause the risk level to change quickly. At the other end of the spectrum, monsoon conditions can cause an entirely different set of problems. These quickly developing storms with high winds can drop a lot of precipitation in a short amount of time, which can lead to high-risk conditions like flash flooding. Always be aware of your surroundings and changing weather conditions, and never drive through high-standing rushing water.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
While crime rates vary among different communities and regions in the state, there are on average 80 burglaries a day in the state, making the possible risk for muggings a medium to high risk. Visitors are advised to remain aware of their surroundings, secure their valuables, and work with reputable travel websites and advisors to plan their activities.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
It is important to note that this can be a difficult area for travelers to monitor, given the clandestine nature of terrorist activities.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Like any travel destination, the risk of falling prey to scams in Arizona can be minimized by being educated and informed. The risk can remain low by using reputable travel advisors and vendors for everything from booking hotels and ground transportation to purchasing event tickets.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Being informed about various destinations is essential. For solo women travelers who plan to partake in hiking or other outdoor activities, it is important to be prepared and have someone informed of their plans to minimize risk. In larger cities, remember to verify the legitimacy of any ride service before getting into a car, and learn if there are neighborhoods where walking at night is not advisable.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Tap water quality is predominantly good for drinking, giving it a low-risk factor. In larger communities with public water treatment services, there are no issues with water safety or pollution. In more rural areas, tap water should be regularly tested to be assured that water quality standards are maintained. In many of the state's parks, be sure to look for outlets that dispense potable water for drinking.
Safest Places to Visit in Arizona
Based on crime data, one of the safest and most interesting places to visit in Arizona is Prescott Valley.
This area boasts over 400 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, or mountain bike enthusiasts.
There are many lakes for boaters and fishermen or anyone who enjoys vacationing by the water.
There is a robust downtown area with interesting, early-American architecture and a variety of places to eat, drink and shop.
For history buffs, visitors can check out the Phippen Museum with exhibits on the history and culture of the American west, and the Museum of Indigenous People, celebrating the area’s earliest residents.
An often overlooked Arizona destination is Flagstaff.
Many people may be surprised to learn that Flagstaff is a relatively small town of around 70,000 that is located on the road many people use to visit the Grand Canyon.
Flagstaff combines the amenities of city life, like craft breweries and unique, affordable eateries, with the outdoor activities of a smaller town, like areas for biking, hiking, and snow skiing.
Nearby Walnut Canyon National Monument is another destination that makes Flagstaff an excellent Arizona destination.
Placess to Avoid in Arizona
As the largest city in Arizona, Phoenix is also one of the most dangerous places to be.
The high crime rate, particularly violent crime, is nearly double the national average for the US.
While there are some good neighborhoods within the city, it is important for visitors to be informed and remain aware of their surroundings.
The high rate of assaults and rape makes planning and awareness especially important for female travelers.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Arizona
- Use a reputable travel agent or advisor to help plan your trip. This will ensure that you can get first-hand information about your destination and stay in safe accommodations.
- Only use permitted taxis or public transportation. Make sure you educate yourself on public transportation options and are aware of local neighborhoods to be avoided.
- Plan ahead for outdoor activities. Especially those in less-populated areas, travel with a buddy whenever possible, and come prepared with maps of your hiking or biking trails. Make sure someone is aware of your plans and knows when you should be checking in.
- Make sure you bring the proper gear. Including clothing for rapid temperature changes, and water and food for the duration of your activity (and maybe some extra).
- Consider the best time of year that will best suit the activities you have in mind. Outdoor activities could best be planned for non-summer months.
- Stay aware of weather changes. A vast difference in climate and temperatures throughout the state. While lower, desert elevations may have dry, warm conditions, you can visit higher elevations on the same day with a significant difference in temperatures or even snow!
- Bring plenty of changes of clothing. In drier months of the year, there is a lot of dust that can get on your clothes. In wetter months, you may get muddy. Plan with adequate clothing, or make plans to launder during your trip.
- Drink plenty of water. Even if your idea of activity is shopping indoors, you will still need to stay hydrated in this drier climate.
- Plan to visit larger tourist sites, like the Grand Canyon. In addition to planning for any tours or accommodations, there are occasionally times when different access points to the Grand Canyon may be closed or have limited access. Planning will make sure these changes don’t ruin your vacation plans.
- Make plans to do some road tripping. The state of Arizona is large, so if you plan to see some different areas, you’ll want to drive there or rent a car. While many of Arizona’s cities have public transportation, driving yourself around the state is the best way to reach all of your destinations.
So... How Safe Is Arizona Really?
With proper planning and awareness, a vacation in Arizona can be safe.
Just remember that Arizona is ranked tenth among the 50 states in the United States for violent crime.
This is based on a combination of the murder rate of just over 455 per 100,000 individuals, and an incarceration rate of 558 per 100,000 individuals.
Poverty rates are often correlated with violent crime.
The poverty rate for Arizona is 13.5% (2019), just slightly higher than the national average of 13.4%.
Using this same data, Phoenix is indicated as the most dangerous city in the state.
How Does Arizona Compare?
- Visas - For international travelers to Arizona, contact the US State Department, or your country's state department to receive information on visa requirements for travel to the US.
- Currency - Like all US states, Arizona uses the US dollar as its currency.
- Weather - Climate can vary greatly from the north end of the state to the south, depending upon the elevation of your destination. Local weather websites are the most useful source for up-to-date weather information.
- Airports - There are a variety of international airports in Arizona, including ones located in Yuma, Phoenix, and Tuscon, as well as regional airports located throughout Arizona.
- Travel Insurance - Depending on the timing of your travel to Arizona, travel insurance may be advised if you plan to visit during a potential wildfire season or monsoon season.
Arizona Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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