MONTPELIER, Vt. — This fight has its peaks and valleys.

Vermont officials are rushing to the defense of one of the state’s most cherished icons, the red-, orange- and gold-hued fall foliage that tops trees and mountains, after an Arizona magazine claimed the fall colors are better there.

The cover of the October issue of Arizona Highways magazine shows a waterfall surrounded by golden foliage and the headline “Autumn in Arizona and why it’s better than it is in Vermont.”

Not to be outdone in the battle to draw leaf peepers, Vermont Life magazine quickly produced an all-in-fun cover mocking the claim. It has a photo of a local attraction, the Quechee Gorge, and the headline “Gorges in Vermont and why the Quechee Gorge is grander than the Grand Canyon.”