Several reservations are located to the south and northeast of the metropolitan area.
From its historic heart to the west of Sky Harbor International Airport, the greater metropolitan area—of which Phoenix is only a small part—has grown to take in a vast expanse of land that stretches nearly from the Gila River far to the south to the tall plateaus and volcanic mountains of the north and east and out into the broad desert valley to the west.
Growth is a constant in Phoenix life as thousands of new residents and millions of visitors find their way there each year.
In summertime, the so-called monsoon season, much of this precipitation returns to the atmosphere almost immediately through evaporation or transpiration.
None of the mountains ringing Phoenix to the north and east reaches an elevation high enough to attract much moisture.
Phoenix plays a prominent role in the economy of the Mountain West region of the country, serving as a financial, communications, and transportation hub. With its broad, tree-lined avenues, Spanish-style architecture, and surrounding mountains, Phoenix bears much resemblance to Los Angeles.
Like its California counterpart, Phoenix is a metropolis with not one but many centres, all at considerable distances from one another.
Phoenix, city, seat (1871) of Maricopa county and capital of Arizona, U. It lies along the Salt River in the south-central part of the state, about 120 miles (190 km) north of the Mexico border and midway between El Paso, Texas, and Los Angeles, California.
The Salt River valley, popularly called the Valley of the Sun, includes not only Phoenix but also nearby cities such as Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe. (2000) 1,321,045; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale Metro Area, 3,251,876; (2010) 1,445,632; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale Metro Area, 4,192,887.
The population of Phoenix is predominantly white (i.e., generally of European ancestry); the site was settled largely by Midwesterners in several waves of migration.