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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    46 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    1.3 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Box Canyon Trail


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    Table of contents

    When the temperatures start to soar, you need a chilled-out afternoon in a refreshing swimming hole. The Box Canyon Trail is a quick 1.3 km hike that leads you down into a box canyon with a swimming hole in it. The red granite walls are gorgeous and the water feels perfect when the sun is shining.

    This route is good for families, with only a bit of steep climbing needed to get down into the canyon. Additionally, it’s still a bit of a hidden gem that doesn’t see much traffic. You might just get the place to yourself, which is always a plus.

    Note that the parking area and trailhead for this hike can both be tough to find. Bring a GPS track or a map with you to help you find your way.

    Route Description for Box Canyon Trail

    There’s nothing quite like a swimming hole at the end of your hike, especially when you’re hiking in Arizona. The perk of the Box Canyon Trail is that it’s a bit of an undiscovered gem still. You won’t need to share this route with too many other hikers, escaping the crowded atmosphere that more popular swimming hole hikes can have.

    This route is quite short, but there are some steep sections that young kids might need a hand with. Additionally, we definitely recommend coming prepared with GPS tracks since the trailhead and parking area for this hike can be hard to find.

    When you’re looking for the parking for this hike, here’s what to watch for: about 4.8 km after Kohl’s Ranch, look for a soft shoulder next to an embankment with tall trees. There is one guardrail that ends and a gap before the next begins. This is where the hike starts.

    Once you’re parked, head up the embankment. There are two paths about 6 m from one another and you’ll want the one on the left.

    Continue through the trees after the embankment to the fence. Head under the fence and keep hiking through the trees. About a quarter of a mile into the hike, don’t be tempted to follow the path that heads left into the clearing. You’ll continue straight through the trees.

    Past the trees, you’ll find yourself at the top of the canyon. Take a minute to soak up the view before tackling the last half-mile of the route. You’ll hike through the brush and down to the creek bottom. Don’t be tempted to scramble down- there’s a dirt path that continues through the brush that’s safer to use.

    Once you reach the creek bottom, get ready to take a dip. Settle in to soak up the sun, have a picnic, or just take a quick swim before retracing your steps back up to the trailhead.

    Hiking Route Highlights

    Box Canyon Pool

    The swimming pool at the bottom of Box Canyon is a treat, with a trickling waterfall flowing over the dramatic red granite. This swimming spot doesn’t get too busy, so you might just score some solitude while you splash in the cool water.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where do you park for the Box Canyon?

    Look for the soft shoulder embankment on the side of the highway. It’s not marked, but a GPS route can help you find it.

    Do I need a permit to hike Box Canyon Trail?

    There is no pass or permit required for this hike.

    Insider Hints for Box Canyon Trail

    • We always recommend staying away from water-based hikes in Arizona when there is rain in the forecast. These areas can be prone to flash flooding, which can be deadly. Visit on a sunny day!

    Getting to the Box Canyon Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Box Canyon Trail is on AZ-260 East.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Box Canyon Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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