Northern Arizona and a look at a real mountain town that rises from the desert.

The San Fransisco Peaks outside Flagstaff, Arizona.Brandon Mathis

Northern Arizona is home to the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine Forest, where the San Francisco peaks will let you play up on the highest point in Arizona year round. (Aaloosaktuki in Hopi and Dook’o’ooslííd in Navajo, Humphrey’s Peak is 12,633 feet.) In Flagstaff, enjoy lovely singletrack and fall trail running, mountain biking and hiking before winter sets in and Arizona’s premier ski resort, Arizona Snowbowl, opens where rumor has it work begins in 2019 on some exciting lift renovations.

Incredible coffee shops line every street corner: Firecreek and Macy’s are local favorites. The White Lavender Latte at Rendezvous Coffee House/Martini Bar is pretty incredible. Diablo Burger and Pizzicleta have established cult foodie followings. Grab a Tower IPA at Mother Road Brewing next to Pizzacleta. Swing by Babbitt’s Backcountry to gear up on all the goods you need for your next adventure.

The White Lavender Latte at Rendezvous in downtown Flag.Brandon Mathis

Sedona down south.

Sedona mid-winter mountain biking.Ben Gavelda

When the weather gets moody, head 30 miles south to Sedona, 2,500 feet lower than its woodsy neighbor to the north where a red rock desert opens up with trails galore and warmer temps. For a look at the local Sedona trail scene, click here.