We started at 8AM up the mtn by Canyon Lake. When we made it to the top of this first hill, Kat saw a cairn off to the right (SW) so we went that way. Shortly I slipped, landing partially on a cane cholla. After removing some of those pesky needles (some would come home with me) I got back up on my feet. We walked a little further but because we couldn't see another cairn and we were heading almost straight down; Kat decided to backtrack. We soon spotted a trail going to the east of us and decided that the little cairn was a joke. So I
knocked it down and Kat built a new cairn at the point you need to turn and go east down the back side of the mountain. We did run into two backpackers coming up. We also noticed many downed saguaros including one right in the middle of the trail. It had fallen on its arm.
I tried to take pictures of all the downed saguaros that we saw this day and there were many
We reached La Barge Creek at 10:21 and took a break shortly thereafter for a quick bite before heading up the Creek to the Box. Next we headed further to the west side of the creek and then headed south. It took me awhile to get my creek legs functioning so that the balance thing becomes somewhat second nature. The view of Battleship to your west and Geronimo Head to the east is quite something; especially as the sun shone on it.
As we got closer to the Box, the boulders got a little larger. There is one section that looks like you should go around it but it's best just to head right up the middle. And you know the old saying, "the shortest distance ... is a straight line" boulders or not
. We reached the Box and then looked east. YIKES, those are some very TALLLLLLLLLLL canyon walls. WOW! and then you got the water flowing too and these big pools. We hit the jackpot!
So we made our way around the bend to the SW side until we could go no further unless we wanted to go up to our waist in water (we'll save that for Vaporman/Nonot/Suzaz). We put down our packs and walked around, took pictures and just enjoyed the area for 1/2 hour. It was great!
And then it was time to leave the fun and hop down creek so that we could get back to the TH no later than 5:15. Kat knew coming up and over that mountain in these temps would be a tough haul
. We did run into two other younger hiking couples who passed us by, well mainly me, and another fellow who lingered behind us no matter my pace. Let me tell you, it was not easy coming up that mtn after hopping up and down a creek so if you can, dunk your shirt in the creek if it's a warm day and don't forget your hat or umbrella. I had both but only used the hat because I was using my trekking poles. I did tell Kat that Wendy sings for me so it makes it easier to get thru the harder parts of the hike but Kat declined.
Last, don't wear black
I did make it from the creek to the TH in 2 hrs which was 20 minutes faster than from the TH to the creek. The views along the way were just great; especially to the east as the rocks were set aglow. It is also a longer hill going down to the TH than you would think. You can't miss the large cairn NONOT mentions in the hike desc. The only thing I can think of is the Four Peaks are directly north of it???
I did drink 2.5 litres of water. This was my longest hike to date. I was glad 6 miles of it was on a trail; altho I do like the boulder hopping - especially going down stream. Depending on sunrise/sunset, I would suggest starting earlier so you can spend more time in the Box as it is a magical and fun place.
Sorry for the jittery parts here and there. Also, I was just learning what works well to video and what doesn't.