For Phoenicians, in fact, it’s a prized commodity, something we aspire to after a long, triple-digit workweek. Fleeing the city for the cool, rarefied air of the high country, our mood rises right along with those green ADOT “Elevation” highway signs that whiz by. From fly fishing in the White Mountains to glamping near the GC, this 11-trip tribute to highness is your escape plan.

In this exclusive excerpt from his new adventure memoir Rim to River: Looking into the Heart of Arizona, longtime Valley journalist Tom Zoellner paints an evocative portrait of the Arizona Trail as it wends from the Grand Canyon across the Mogollon Rim.