The first of a four-volume series, From the Desert to the Mountains describes and synthesizes the prehistory and history of the Sycamore Creek Valley and Mazatzal Mountains of central Arizona. The area transects the desert valleys and hill country northeast of Phoenix to the mountains below the Mogollon Rim, presenting a microcosm of the rich environmental diversity of central Arizona. This ecological mosaic is mirrored by the rich history and cultural diversity of the region, spanning thousands of years and ranging from mobile hunters and gatherers to sedentary farmers. Two important historical-period roads, the Reno Road and the Bush Highway, also traverse the region, generally following Sycamore Creek, one of the few natural transportation corridors between Phoenix and the mountains of central Arizona. This first volume describes the results of the archaeological excavations at 29 prehistoric sites, including small resource-procurement and plant-processing locales, temporary base camps, field houses, farmsteads, and small hamlets. In age, they include the Middle and Late Archaic periods, and the Colonial, Sedentary, and early Classic periods, with several sites containing minor protohistoric and historical-period components. Evidence of Archaic period occupation is scattered widely throughout the region, but the most intensive occupation occurred during the pre-Classic and Classic periods.