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Forums › Reviews › Arizona Trail Reviews › Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5
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Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5571
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Synopsis
Box Canyon is a really fun and scenic trail. The entire trail is very easy, with the exception of maybe 3 obstacles which require some consideration and careful driving.

Near the trail is what I call "Red Hill" though I don't know if it has an actual name or not. This is a great place to play around and features a moderate hill climb on the left, and extremely steep climb on the right, and nice deep-rutted climbs in the center that will tip stock vehicles to crazy angles. Fun!

Difficulty
Stock FJs should have no problems running the trail from north to south, which will take you 'down' the most difficult obstacle (the small waterfall). Running the trail south to north, you have to climb this. Completely stock FJ's with all open diffs (no ATRAC, no locker) might have a tricky time with that... it's very easy to tow strap over this obstacle should this occur.

This trail has been described as a good 'transition' trail for people who have never wheeled anything difficult, but want to maybe dip their toes (i.e. tires) into some good stuff. But no matter the wheeler, newbie or experienced, this trail is great time!

Length
From 79, looping around through the canyon, and back to 79 is about 30 miles. Trail should take a few hours.

Location
To get to Box Canyon, you leave and later rejoin 79 south of Florence Junction.

Google Maps - Box Canyon north intersection w/ 79
Google Maps - Box Canyon south intersection w/ 79

Aerial of the trail:

The little nub sticking off the right is "Red Hill"...

Interestingly, Red Hill can clearly be seen on the Google Earth imagery. It is at 33° 9.137'N 111° 11.907'W. Here you can see what the GPS log of playing around on a hill looks like (can we say crazy people?). As well, you can see Martinez which Dan(pumbaa) mentions below.


Pictures
Stock FJ on Red Hill!!



Dan(puumba) no doubt flexing his glute muscles here!


Beautiful place... this is representative of the trail in the canyon itself. Very unique colors on the walls.


GPS Track
Below you can download the Google Earth .kml tracklog of the trail. The accuracy is fairly poor (think "box canyon"), and indicates that at one point I was going 105mph on the trail. Let me be the first to say this is not possible. Not on this trail, anyway... Twisted Evil

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Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down...


Last edited by tibaal89 on Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:48 pm; edited 8 times in total
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TRDjonnie
Trail Runner
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Joined: Nov 30, 2007
Posts: 696
Location: down wind

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) Reply with quote

Here's a pic of one of the tougher obstacles on the trail:


and the 2nd hardest obstacle:
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Pumbaa
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2529
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) Reply with quote

The hardest obstacle is the rock wall. If you are going from North to South (going down on the rock wall) it looks harder than it is. Take it slow and you will be fine.
Example:


When you are going up the rock wall (South to North) it can get difficult.
I do recommend a locker and/or A-Trac and taking it slow.
Example of NO locker/A-Trac:


The truck came close to the wall (mirror hit):


Remember, it is always better to be Safe so if you don't feel comfortable in a situation ask for help! We wheel to have fun not to collect damage!


Second obstacle can be easy both ways as long as you go high on the rock, keep your differential clear!
South to North:


North to South:


On the South entrance/exit at Florence is a great photo opportunity, make sure to stop and take some nice pictures! You cant miss it just stay on the trail.


Last edited by Pumbaa on Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pumbaa
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:05 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) Reply with quote

I'm putting this here because you have to go through Box Canyon to get to this spot:

If you go past the Red Hill you will be going onto the Martinez Cabins Trail:
This trail features awesome views in the canyon and washes but can be difficult and spotting is required to get through the rocky section in the wash.
A stock FJC can make it through with some careful spotting but damage to skids is to be expected.
Higher Clearance and good tires are recommended.
Once past the rocky wash, watch out for metal pipes sticking out, there are a few.


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Chigoe
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Joined: Jan 03, 2008
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Location: Sunny Scottsdale

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Really nice loop, easy from North to South. A bit of water helps keep dust down.

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SpeshulEd
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

we did this when we did the coke ovens a couple of months ago, its a fun trail, doable in a stock fj. coke ovens is doable stock as well, but I wouldn't go alone if you plan to go up the steps.
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

I ran this the other day... the rain has made it a bit more interesting, but I think 2.5 is still a good call on the difficulty.

Maybe it's just my bad memory, but the "Red Hill" looks like it is WAAAAAY worse... somebody should go try to do it and see if they wreck themselves. Laughing


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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Quick update on this...

The waterfall has grown to include a second step at the very bottom, though it is not as big as the main one pictured here.

Also, this obstacle;



...basically no longer exists. The soil on the ground has risen several inches and it no longer really stands out as a major obstacle.

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BellyDoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

That's because of rock stacking... this is why rock stacking is BAD. I've watched this obstacle fade over about 10 years.

It was the centerpiece of the trail in 1999. Back then, you actually had to drive the obstacle intelligently from behind the wheel of a stock daily driver 4x4. That's why I still lead people up the groove instead of just bludgeoning over the top of the boulder like you can easily do now. I remember having to figure that out when I was first starting, and it was a total thrill!

Those rocks in the gravel at the base are what gets thrown in by drivers and then left behind. The ethic, of course is that if you have to rock stack, you shouldn't be there. If you're there anyhow and you're forced to stack in order to recover, then you should unstack after you unstick.

If you went there with a big shovel and dug out about 3 feet of rocks, you'd find that the rest of the boulder in the creek bed continues to be steeper and steeper on the downhill side. One year I got up to that obstacle and a long bed pickup was stuck in quicksand right below it. I had to get around him and strap him over the top. It was a total epic.

Also, I think the night picture above shows Mike actually driving up the wrong canyon if the goal is to get out by Mineral Mountain Rd. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's a narrowing side canyon that makes for a fun hike, but it's too narrow around the bend to even get a motorcycle through. He missed the spray painted warning about half a mile back (if it's still there) that inspired my license plate.

It says "BAD ROAD".

This area has unfortunately turned into non-wilderness. It's become a theme park for SUVs. It's a little sad.
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:31 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

I agree about the evil of rock stacking... but I'm talking about literally a massive redistribution of soil (or whatever you call that ground stuff) by nature throughout the canyon... that round rock doesn't stock out of the ground much anymore. Quite the opposite, the floor by the waterfall seems to have gone down and revealed new stuff.

EDIT: The night pic is of the canyon... must just be shot at an angle to make it look small. That's south of the red hill, I didn't go down any dead ends.

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BellyDoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:39 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

The rock stacking stabilizes the normal ebb and flow of silt. Typically, the space below a larger obstruction gets pounded by the force nozzled at it over the waterfall. That should be a low spot that fills with a puddle which is the last to fade as the creek dries. The natural course is for the pounding to force the larger stuff to the sides and downstream. As the flow ebbs, the silt will back fill, but then as soon as the next big flow happens, it digs out again. That's why these places remain tall steps for years and years. That's also why this is the type of place to find quicksand. There will still be underground water with a crust of apparently dry silt on top which gives way to the mush below.

Rock stacking starts to create a matrix of inhomogenous unsorted particle sizes and they key into eachother like stones in a wall. The result is much more durable than the sorted constituents.

The river would, of course, eventually get it sorted back out even if it requires MAKING the bigger cobbles into sand to do it... but that's not on our time scale.

Rock stacking DESTROYS natural obstacles.
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Pauly
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

This trail looks great, not too far from me too. Anyone running this anytime soon give a ring.

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Wikid
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Since there is a good description of the trail already, I will just add some pics with a brief report

Wild flowers were the theme of the day




Testing my new flex




I will end with the theme

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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Great pics Don! I want to take a ride out there to check out the flowers. Looks like there is a decent amount of water in the box as well, which is always cool.

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AZJeepMom84
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Box Canyon (Florence Junction) - 2.5 Reply with quote

very nice pictures. thanks for sharing
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