The Southeastern Region of Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, comprises the counties of Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise. The mild climate and sunny skies offer year-round opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, bird-watching, and golfing. In the winter, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy skiing at Mt. Lemmon, the nation’s southernmost ski resort. Outdoor area attractions include Saguaro, Chiricahua, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monuments, and Kartchner Caverns State Park.
This region borders Mexico and the Mexican-American influence is strong. The Spanish colonial influence can still be seen in the forts and missions that are now historical sites. Tumacácori and Tubac are now tourist attractions, while San Xavier del Bac still functions as a church. There is also Native American influence and the region is home to the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
The region’s traditional economy was based on mining and ranching. The old way of life can be experienced in tours of copper mines in towns such as Bisbee, and in reenactments of the Old West in Tombstone. The region now depends on agriculture, tourism, military, cattle, computer and electronics manufacturing, and international trade.
The clear desert air provides great viewing of the nighttime skies and several observatories are located in the region. One of the three state universities, the University of Arizona, is located in Tucson. Other important cities in the region are Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Huachuca City. The region is home to 1,054,425 people (19% of the state’s population), and encompasses 15% of the state’s total area.