Tucson, like all of Arizona, is in Mountain Standard Time. This is UTC-7. It has been this way since 1968 when almost all of Arizona ditched Daylight Saving Time.
Why Is Tucson On Mountain Time?
Because the state of Arizona is in the Mountain Time time zone. These time zones were determined by the British centuries ago (they planned time zones for the whole planet), and the lines are now regulated by Congress, which has given the power to the Department of Transportation. The states have a bit of leeway in how they can set up their time zones, but most of the requests need to be routed through Congress before any changes can be made.
Tucson is right in the bottom middle of Arizona, which means that it doesn’t need to share a time zone with neighboring states. The bulk of the business that it does is going to be right there in Arizona, so it only needs the rest of the state to be working at the same time.
Tucson does share a time zone with a good chunk of Mexico, which lies just below it.
Does Tucson Have Daylight Saving Time?
No. Arizona is one of two states without Daylight Saving Time. Well, most of Arizona isn’t on DST. The exception is the Navajo Nation. They do still use DST, while the rest of Arizona keeps MST throughout the year.
Arizona doesn’t use DST because there is no need to do so. Overall, Arizona is an incredibly hot state. It gets a lot of sunshine throughout the year. There is no need for them to have an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. In fact, the argument is that those that live in Tucson, and the rest of Arizona, would prefer to have an extra hour in the morning. This is when it is much cooler and a whole lot easier to work, particularly in labor-heavy industries e.g. farming.
This does mean that, during DST, Arizona is the only place in Mountain Time that matches Pacific Time i.e. from March to November, it will be the same time in California as it would be in Arizona. This is despite the two of the places sitting in completely different time zones.
Arizona Has The Highest Number of Time Zone Changes In The US
We have told you that not all of Arizona uses Mountain Standard Time, with the Navajo Nation switching to DST in the summer months. However, the Hopi Reservation, which is in the heart of the Navajo Nation territory, does not use DST. This means that Arizona has the largest number of time zone changes in the US in a very select part of the country.
In the summer months, if you headed down Route 264 and drove 100 miles, you would go through 6 different time zone changes!
Final Thoughts – In What Time Zone is Tucson, Arizona?
Tucson, Arizona is on MST, or you may see it sometimes referred to as MT. The state does not use MDT at any point.