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Situated within rugged terrain in the northeastern part of the Sonoran Desert, these well-preserved cliff dwellings were occupied during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries.

hiking
3 days ago

A nice hike indeed, a dangerous one if not careful. Hard to find since road was moved! More like 18 miles from Payson, near mile marker 271, right before the green roof cabin at the Boy Scout camp on the right. Do not go if rain is expected and save for summer months when hypothermia is not a threat. The rocks at the base are slick even when dry and many an air vac have rescued those who fell and broke or became stranded going up on the other side. Be sure to stay left when you come to the cliffs. Some people scramble down the cliffs on the right but it is dangerous. There is a much clearer path if you stay left which is a slower, safer descent to the mouth of the canyon. Once there look downstream and know that all of that can be safely traversed if careful. Suggest crossing the narrow stream at the bottom of the descent at the now “top” of the canyon and look for the easy scramble down the first rock face to the water. Continue safely exploring by swimming downstream a bit to next speck of dry rock. Stay within ability to climb back up; small dogs not suggested, but strong ones who swim can make it. Stay safe!

1 month ago

So close to the highway and so beautiful! I was grateful for the trail description from Chrissie here because it is not marked and we likely would have turned back had we not had those details.

Very nice trail. Paved all the way, great views, and amazing to see how they lived in 1400 AD.

on Box Canyon Trail

hiking
3 months ago

We parked on the side of the freeway and climbed up the embankment you can clearly see where you walk up not hard to find. After a short walk you will see a fence... go under the fence ...first part of the trail is flat.. trail itself is not marked stay straight and look for a very small incline up and a ledge..once you hit the ledge follow the path down to the left. The decline is steep lots of flat large rock's be careful. We saw mountain climbers training and practicing.. follow the trail down keep going it's a short hike down but remember what goes down must come up. Once you get to the bottom the view is amazing. Very enjoyable hike bring water and snack if you just want to hang out at the bottom and enjoy the view for a bit. Reserve water for the very steep incline UP you will need it. Overall it was an amazing hike.

off road driving
3 months ago

Great trail! Did it with my friend, we both drive built 100 series land cruisers. Both of us used our rock slides twice. Come prepared and so long as an experienced driver drives all will be fine. Minimum of 2 vehicles and carry proper recovery gear!

trail running
4 months ago

Really difficult but so much fun and the most beautiful views!!! Easy to get to, and I was the only one out there. Definitely will be back!

Do you need a permit to hike this???

Bridge is closed. Trail is supposed to be closed but someone opened the gate Trail is destroyed. All I can say is don’t do it !!!!!!!!
Don’t read old reviews the trail is not the same

We hiked the old forest road (FR27), which is very rocky with deep ruts off and on for the majority of the hike. We started at the top of the Mountain where the communication road is closed off. The road we drove in on (FR 626) is very rocky and I recommend a vehicle with good clearance. Be sure to bring plenty of water. We stashed 2 gallons of water at the bottom (near mile post 228 off US-87), and also where the old road meets the new road. On a hot September day, we needed it. The vegetation varies from desert cactus at the bottom to mountain pines at the top. You can see Roosevelt Lake and 4 Peaks from the top. This hike gave me a sense of accomplishment, and I was glad to see my vehicle at the top. Round trip took us about 8 hours but we weren't in a big hurry.

Beautiful, quick hike. start from coordinates given by alltrails, which is off to side of highway. entry is up the embankment (~12 feet). 3 min after you find the trail, you go under a fence. flat walking for next but, great scenery as you start to see the canyon, and then the trail goes down to the waterfalls. somewhat steep descent on smooth rocks. small waterfall and pool. return ascent gets heart rate going.

Just wanted to let people know the 2 photos with the long log is called water wheel/Ellison creek in payson.

off road driving
7 months ago

Took the Jeep out, had a great time! Trail gets very narrow, don't expect to come out unscathed. Recommend having a good driver, dicey obstacles for about 5 miles of the loop- challenging!

Could only get to the lower cliff dwellings but it was still pretty amazing. The hike up can be strenuous depending on what you are used to. Just be aware in case there are kids or older adults in the group! There will be a fee at the entrance since it's a national monument. If you want to see wildflowers, go in late March/early April.

off road driving
7 months ago

Great trail, no traffic, 110 in valley & 88 at top!
Great views!

off road driving
8 months ago

Really great trail! Beautiful views and interesting abandoned mines and equipment. The trail has gotten harder over the past few months though. It's still fairly easy to get to the main mine area, but to do the whole loop has gotten very difficult. I have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with a 2.5" lift and 35" tires and It was harder than anything I would do again. I made it out with minimal damage, but it wasn't easy. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone that doesn't have a serious off-road vehicle.

trail running
9 months ago

Red rocks, beautiful country.
The trail is more of a 4wd road and are a little easy to get off track on as there are no signs.

Wow, incredible to be on this scared land. Interesting part of Indian Culture.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful trail! Starts out pretty flat terrain, then you start down a beautiful rock trail along the mountain side. Pretty quick hike to get the blood pumping. Finding the trail is not easy. The map with start you on the side of the road (hwy 260), park before the guardrail, climb up the dirt embankment and you'll find little dirt trails you can tell people have used. When you come to the fence look for the hole and climb under. Then it's pretty easy from there. Just follow the dirt/rock path to the creek. If you want to get in the water, bring water shoes.

Lower dwelling are good 3 stars but the upper is much better hence the 4 star rating. Biggest issue is getting a spot on the weekend for the hike it is ranger guided only access. Not a difficult hike and a slow pace with the ranger talks which are very informative. Our 4 year old did it without issue so don't let the ranger description scare you off.

Nice hike. it was paved with many benches along the way. I took my little brother. It was very steep but thats excepted as you are going up a cliff lol.

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