I am going to let you in on a secret; Arizona is the best state for outdoor enthusiasts. I am only telling you this because I know no one will move here because of the whole sub-prime mortgage debacle (I love Buzz words). So you can visit on occasion but don’t relocate here permanently. There are already enough old people who want to change their fate by eating organic and riding mountain bikes on rough mountain trails. I applaud them for their efforts but, I just don’t see how eating organic is going to prolong their life when they have already poured dum dums down their throat for 90% of it. The point is that it is important to start good habits early in life. Ok back to the topic….
You choose the weather: Maybe you like day long downpours, I don’t. With 300 sunny days per year, there are no excuses to be inside. But it is too hot you may cry….WRONG. This thing called altitude changes the temperature. Apparently, as you rise in elevation, it gets cooler. Cool. The driving time from Phoenix to Flagstaff is 2 hours. The difference in temperature is 30 degrees F. That means when its 110 in Phoenix during the summer, Flagstaff is 75-80. During the winter when Flag is 35, Phoenix is a comfortable 65-70. Essentially, you enjoy any temperature you desire by driving less than two hours.
Remarkable Scenery: A two hour drive can take you past the highest mountain, the deepest canyon, and the most desolate desert in the state. The terrain varies rapidly. In the high country, there are plenty of dense pine forests and snow capped peaks. The high desert landscape provides rolling hills and fields of juniper trees. The low deserts show off the classic terrain of Arizona complete with Saguaro Cactus and Joshua Trees. And of course, the Grand Canyon region has a big freaking hole you can explore.
Left Wing Lifestyle: I know it’s a red state but just hear me out. People here tend to be active because of the year round sunshine. Additionally, There are tons of health food and organic stores. Most of these are concentrated in the mountain towns of Prescott and Flagstaff. There are also ultra liberal colleges in both of these towns. Go figure.
Culture: There is plenty of history in Arizona, especially in mining. Bisbee and Jerome are two of the most well know boom and bust towns from the glory days of mining. They have now turned into hippie towns but the coolness factor is still their. Jerome is carved into a hillside and reminds me of a old European city. It’s weird. There are plenty more towns and sites like this to explore also.
Biking, Hiking, Running, Camping, Star Gazing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Canyoneering, Rock Climbing, Skiing… and more
I Know this this isn't very specific about where to go and what to do but I’m not going to give away my secrets. Also, I came across this blog about a girl who does ultra hard core endurance stuff in Arizona. Check out her reasons for liking AZ and scroll down to see the pictures on the right side: