As befitting an award-winning winter mountain biking destination with around 300 days of sun per year, we offer this trip from mid-October to March.

As Lonely Planet says : ‘go to the desert regions of the US Southwest as the air cools and you’ll quickly see why it’s one of the best-kept secrets in American travel. In winter’s light, these spots are gorgeous in ways bordering on magical, endlessly fascinating and, best of all, empty.’

It’s true. Arizona tops every warm winter getaway list. The low and middle desert regions around Phoenix and Sedona provide mild temperatures most of the year round, making it perfect for mountain biking. In addition, the low angle of Arizona’s winter light produces bright sunsets and sunrises – the likes of which you won’t see in the summer. Arizona also offers great bird-watching all-year round and if you hit the desert at the peak of spring (late February and March) you’ll be greeted with giant saguaro cacti, carpets of pink sand verbena mixed with deep purple phacelias, neon cactus flowers and fiery red sprays of ocotillo.

In Sedona, the average daytime temperatures for October, November and March are a pleasant 18-28°C (65-83°F), while in December, January and February you can expect cooler temperatures of between 12-16°C (55-60°F). Most winters, there is some snowfall at the peak of Sedona’s red rocks, although it tends to melt rather quickly on the ground.

Around Scottsdale, temperatures are at their coolest in December and January, averaging 19°C (65°F) during the day. The period from mid-December through to February is your best bet if you want to avoid the crowds, although the weather is chillier in Sedona.

Day and night temperatures can differ by over 30°F/17°C. Mornings and evenings can be cool so wear layers in anticipation of any changes in temperature.

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