Description: A unique and scenic drive through a narrow, steep-walled canyon. It’s tempting to rate this trail easy but there are several moderate-size rocks to get over. Stock SUVs with good ground clearance should be okay. You may bottom out occasionally but damage is unlikely. The trail is a bit tougher driven uphill in the opposite direction. Stay off this trail if rain is expected. This canyon is extremely dangerous when flooded. The walls of the canyon are too steep to climb out. Route-finding is easy.
note: State Trust Land permit is required (read this post).
Time & Distance: Almost 16 miles. Add another 13.3 miles to reach the trailhead from Hwy 79 via Cottonwood Canyon Road. Allow about 2 hours for the trail plus time to get there.
Trail Conditions: Bureau of Land Management, Gila District, Tucson Field Office. Call (520) 258-7200.
This VIDEO should give you an idea what this trail looks like.
Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.
Directions to the Trail: From the intersection of Hwy 60 and Hwy 79 at Florence Junction, drive south on Hwy 79 about 5 miles. Turn left at a flagpole between mile markers 144 and 145 at Cottonwood Canyon Road. Follow Cottonwood Canyon Road east for about 8 miles, until you reach a major T intersection with Mineral Mountain Road. Head south on Box Canyon Road for 5.5 miles, until you cross a cattle guard.
View Box Canyon in a larger map and get even more DETAILS!
Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!