There’s more than one season for riding, not just the summer!
In fact there are several places you can take a wonderful ride in the winter months in the USA. Some of these have fantastic scenery and wonderful riding. One of our favourites is Arizona which will satisfy on many levels.
Riding is possible in southern Arizona year-round, but one of the best times to go is in the winter months. Fewer tourists and lower temperatures make for a great experience exploring the desert southwest. Motorcycles are available in the Phoenix area, and from there you have several choices on where to go. Here’s a few of them:
Sedona, known for its eclectic culture as well as amazing scenery it’s a must-do in the state. Our recommendation is to head northwest from Phoenix, and then through Prescott. From here it’s a northeasterly ride through the mountains on 89A’s twisty and curving mountain roads. Be sure to stop in the historic mining town of Jerome for lunch, then continue through cottonwood and onward to Sedona’s stunning red rock scenery.
Tucson, to the south of Phoenix has several great places to visit as well. Only a couple hours ride away is Saguaro National Park, The Pima Air & Space Museum and the famous “Boneyard”. Saguaro National Park is a preserve for the giant cacti throughout the park and it’s very specific environment they thrive in, it’s an almost other-worldly place to explore.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the best collections of military and civilian aircraft in the United States. With exhibits both inside and out, it shows the wide variety of aircraft of just about every description and capability. It’s easy to spend a full day here just wandering around the various hangars and grounds, with just about every aircraft you can think of.
Also nearby, in fact just down the road, is the famous “Boneyard”. An active military base where military aircraft are put into long term storage, an ideal place due to the dry, desert climate. If you want to do the tour, you’ll need to apply for a security clearance well ahead of time, as it is an active military base, and only does limited tours for the general public.
Further to the southeast is the town where a western legend was born, Tombstone. Only about an hour’s ride from Tucson, it’s now a town that celebrates it’s history, remembered in both cinema as well as live almost daily. Stop by to wander around the town, kept much like it was back when the infamous 30-second gunfight made it into western lore and legend.
About a 45 minute ride from Tombstone is another western town worth visiting, Bisbee. Founded by miners chasing their dreams of finding the “Mother Lode” of silver and gold, it ended up becoming one of the largest copper mining districts in North America. Many fortunes were made from this highly desirable metal, and the town was built up around the mines and the riches it produced. Be sure to go check out the Copper Queen Hotel, a supposedly haunted hotel dating back to the mining town’s heyday.