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9 fittest towns of the West

It’s easy to be fit out West, with big mountains, bike-friendly towns, and beaches that practically beg for a volleyball net

Flagstaff
Photo by Tom Bean

Flagstaff

One of Arizona’s highest towns is a magnet not just for Phoenix residents escaping summer heat, but also for elite swimmers and runners intent on altitude training. Lush pine-forested trails add to the appeal. For recovery runs, hit the flat, 50-plus-mile Urban Trails System encircling town (flagstaff.az.gov). And for R&R, head south to the red rock scenery and hiking trails of Sedona’s Oak Creek Canyon. Drive up Snowbowl Road for access to prime hiking in the San Francisco Peaks and views of the entire city, or drive or bike Hart Prairie Road through aspen groves and grassland prairies. Schultz Pass Trail is the money spot for mountain biking. fs.usda.gov/coconino

Where the athletes eat: Stop in at Macy’s European Coffeehouse ($; 928/774-2243) to hang out with the pro runners getting a post-workout fix. Another great choice is Pizzicletta ($$; 928/774-3242), founded by a local whose bike travels around Italy inspired him to make pizza and gelato here.

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