Box Canyon Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Box Canyon Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

0.9 miles
170 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips





wild flowers


This is a moderately difficult short trail with amazing views on your way to a great swimming hole in box canyon. Once you find the trail head within the forest along the deer fence, the first part of the trail starts going into the forest which then takes you to the rocky ledge of the canyon where you must hike/climb down. The views are spectacular and the destination is even nicer. The trail can continue from the swimming hole to the private BSA camp 'R-C'.

1 month 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.

2 months ago

Do you need a permit to hike this???

3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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

7 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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Beautiful quick hike down to a quiet paradise. I had the place all to myself and took a quick swim in the freezing water! Lots of great rocks to climb. And a few small waterfalls.
The trailhead was not very clear but if you park just before the guardrail, get out of your car and climb up the embankment right there, it's a quick scramble up. Then follow the path to the deer fence and crawl under.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The destination is lovely! The parking/trail leaves much to be desired. Access to the "trail head" is on a large highway shoulder. That is, there is no official parking lot- you're merely pulled off to the side of the highway. Steep incline scramble off the shoulder to a rough trailhead. After a brief walk there's a clearing and you'll need to find a small rock-lined path that will take you to a footpath. Short but rocky decline to the creek. Final destination is very pretty! Summertime swimming-hole for sure. This time of year it was temperate and peaceful. Luckily I hiked with someone who had been there a few times before; I'm not confident I'd know the path in/out otherwise.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hard to find the trailhead, You can park on 260 just north of where the guard rail ends. Scramble up the embankment and follow the trail to the left. Crawl under the deer fence and follow the trail down to the water.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Park after M M 271 (east bound ) on side of 260 climb up side of embankment at big dead (broken in half ) Tree Follow trail south under fence approx. 1/4 mile to canyon edge ! Proceed with caution !!! Jesus loves you !!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Getting a 0 for parking being on a freeway.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Great little escape.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great hike, cool swim. Trail head was a bit hard to find. Park on side of road by red hillside (if you get to scout camp, you passed it). Walk up either side of hill and toward deer fencing. Cross over/under fence where possible (easy spot at top of hill). Hike straight out until you get to trail. Go left and at the Y go to the right side. There is a small but visible trail down to the water. Wear sturdy shoes and bring extra clothes or something to swim in.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Know where you are going and where to jump. Favorite place in Arizona.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

awesome!!! took the family and had a picnic...a little challenging but not too bad, my 4 year old did it!!!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Finding the trailhead was challenging, follow the deer fence until you come to an area you can go underneath. When in the forest, make sure you go right at the clearing/fork to get to the box canyon ledge where the hike is across rock descending quite steeply. The views are amazing, and there is a great waterfall and swimming hole at box canyon. The trail can continue to the Boy Scout camp which is private property.

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