The American Southwest region consists of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma, which have for the most part semi-arid and arid climates. Despite the similar weather throughout the region, the geographical features vary from mountains and plateaus to deserts and canyons.
The Southwest region is characterized by wide-open spaces and the occasional city. Some of the most common flora and fauna found in the region include cacti, sagebrush, yucca plants, coyotes, bobcats, wolves, jackrabbits, elk and bison. Some of the country's most dramatic scenery occurs in this region. For instance, the Grand Canyon is a popular tourist destination that attracts more than 5 million people every year. This large rift in the Earth's crust is 277 miles long and ranges between 4,000 and 6,000 feet deep. Monument Valley, another natural wonder, lies on the Arizona/Utah border and is characterized by impressive sandstone formations.
There are a few densely populated cities scattered throughout the region including Albuquerque, N.M.; El Paso, Texas and Phoenix, Ariz. There is a high Hispanic population in the area. However, the Southwest has long been home to another group of people: the Native Americans. At one time several tribes called this wide-open space home, among which were the Ute, Navajo, Hopi, Apache and Comanche.