Box Spring Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews

Box Spring Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Lemmon, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1673 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Directions from Tucson: Trailhead access is from the Catalina Highway about 100 to 150 yards uphill from the Spencer Canyon turnoff (in the vicinity of milepost 22). The lower end of the trail can be reached via the Sabino Canyon Trail #23 and East Fork Trail #24A.

hiking
31 minutes ago

Beautiful hike in the pines! The trail is mostly shaded, about 75%. There was some running water in the base of the trail once I hiked in a bit. After 1.8 miles in I made the turn off the main trail but the side trail (#22A) was so overgrown it was hard to follow. I tried to bushwhack my way down to the spring but ended up with a nasty scrap from a tree branch I didn't see under some overgrowth. I turned around not too long after I got off the main trail. The Park Ranger at the Palisades Visitor Center told me that the side trail to the spring is no longer maintained. It has too many fallen trees and overgrowth and they've decided to let it go. Wish I would have made it down to Box Spring but it was still a beautiful hike!

9 months ago

not great for running. overgrown and scratchy. much better scenery elsewhere nearby

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

I enjoyed the trail up until the bend where the trail is overgrown. I didn't want to go through all that so I turned around. Nice and shady trail. Very quiet as well.

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

This trail was great to start off with as it follows the Box Camp trail which a well kept wide and well traveled track. However things changed after we made the 90 degree turn off the Box Camp trail and headed toward the creek. After about 1/3 of a mile this portion get very narrow almost overgrown (although apparently this is way better than the trail has been) and extremely steep (where we would have to slide down the rocks). We did not make it to the creek because the going was so rough.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

hiking
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

hiking
Monday, May 23, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nice trail. Shady and cool up by the trailhead and gets steadily warmer as you get lower in elevation. We followed previous hikers recommendations and only hiked about 2.5-3 miles down the trail before heading back to avoid the summer heat. Beautiful pine forests at the beginning and absolutely stunning views of the mountains and valley below once you break the tree line. Moderate to low traffic based on our experience, definitely a good choice if you want to avoid the more popular spots.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

hiking
Sunday, November 09, 2014

We completed the first portion of the trail from the trailhead to the off-shoot for the Box Spring Trail, did a small portion of that (too steep and not as well maintained) then hiked back. The trailhead has its own small parking area. The trail starts with a short switchback up a small hill directly behind the trailhead sign then goes into a series of small up/downhill sections. You get some nice views here before hiking down into the valley. Once you start on a steady downhill, there are a lot of large pines with little underbrush, which gives it a nice open, meadow-like feel. It's mostly shaded with some sunny portions. We had our dog with us and he *loved* this trail! It was challenging enough to keep it interesting but not too dangerous for him and not too rough on his paws.

hiking
Thursday, June 26, 2014

beautiful morning... nice views, great company

hiking
Friday, April 04, 2014

Look at comments under "Box Camp Trail". To get to the Box Spring Trail, you need to hike 1.8 miles down the Box Camp Trail to a signed junction at 7500'. From there you can hike northwest to Box Spring, a distance of 0.4 miles. Another 0.5 miles will take you down to Sabino Creek at 6750'. This is probably where the 0.9 miles in this site's Trip Info comes from. But the last half mile is now a steep bushwhack, not trail.

hiking
Friday, April 04, 2014

The Box Camp Trail leads from the Hitchcock Highway (i.e., the Mt. Lemmon Highway) down to Sabino Basin, though you may choose to hike from the Basin up the mountain. The trailhead is over 8050' and you drop to 3600'. Today it was 30F at the start and 80F at the bottom, so it is smart to avoid the lower portions of this trail May - September, and there may be snow and ice at the top in winter. The trail is not hard to follow, and it is spectacular especially the top half. I prefer to the nearby Palisade Trail.

Once you make it to Sabino Basin, you still have 2.5 miles to hike to the tram in Sabino Canyon, or you can avoid the fee for the tram by walking out yet an additional 4.5 mile from the tram on the Phoneline Trail. So this becomes about a 10 mile day with a vertical descent of about 5000'.

Note that the Google map at this site shows the Box Spring Trail, which leaves the Box Camp Trail at 7550', 1.8 miles from the trailhead. It is possible to hike to Sabino Creek (formerly a trail, now a steep bushwhack) or bushwhack to Brinkley Point from the end of the route shown on this map.