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Tucker Box, AZ

no permit
26 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
4 of 5 by 1
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,188 feet
Elevation Gain 114 feet
Accumulated Gain 337 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.19
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
2  2009-12-19
Tucker Box Ruins
11  2009-05-11
Tucker Box Ruins
13  2008-10-06 ssk44
Author ssk44
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 12
Photos 2,250
Trips 274 map ( 830 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 10 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:28pm
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Desert Oasis
by ssk44

Tucker Box is a rarely visited desert oasis located in a canyon called Armer Gulch, in the hills north of Roosevelt Lake within the Tonto National Forest. This is one of those places that people will see on there map but typically never actually go there. The riparian area of Tucker Box is not visible from the road that crosses the canyon so most people drive right by. If they only new what they were missing...

The parking area that I have designated as the trailhead is basically a small pull-off located on the last switchback before actually driving into Armer Gulch. This is an amazingly short hike. The total in and out distance is only 1.50 miles. It's hard to believe that such a special place could be so accessible yet visited by so few people. I think the reason so few people hike to Tucker Box is that canyon leading up to it is somewhat intimidating. There is no existing trail to Tucker Box. The hike immediately starts up a rocky, deep and narrow canyon with tall cliffs on both sides. (WARNING) NEVER ATEMPT THIS HIKE AFTER MIDDAY DURRING MONSOON SEASON!!! This is not a place you want to be standing during a flash flood. The water depth in the narrow portion of the canyon can reach ten feet at flood stage. Armer Gulch is one of the main drainages coming out of the high hills above Roosevelt Lake and is known for having flash floods. Although a short hike, the canyon is fairly rugged. Before reaching the riparian area you will be spending your time constantly boulder hoping. At the midpoint you will encounter a narrow slick rock waterfall that is somewhat precarious to climb around. Once you reach the lower portion of Tucker Box, the canyon turns into a jungle bushwhack. If your idea of a good time is something other than being scratched from head to foot with a constant full body itch, this is defiantly not the hike for you. Amazing is the only way to describe Tucker Box. The hills surrounding the riparian area are beautifully rugged with red rock jagged cliffs. There are frogs everywhere along the creek area. It is so thick and lush that you can barely make your way through it. Tucker Box has gotten particularly lush over the last couple of years due to higher than normal moisture percentages for the area.

As a little side bonus to this hike is a well-preserved Indian ruin on the summit of the mountain just southeast of the riparian area. Reaching the ruins from Tucker Box is very difficult. The best way to get to the ruins is to hike up the slope from the parking area.

This is a special little place that should defiantly be on your must see list if you have the same love for the area that I have. Count on having it all to yourself if you go.

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2008-10-06 ssk44
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Review
Tucker Box
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Tucker Box Ruins
Tucker Box (05/08/2009)

Revisited a personal favorite. After my morning hike of Malicious Gap and a great burger from the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin I headed out across FR60. Considering that I was already in the area it made sense to do a combo trip. I have wanted to hike the summits on both sides of Tucker Box to see the location from a different perspective and to visit the Indian ruins on the east summit. The ruin site consisted of nine rooms and most walls were in pretty bad shape. One small section was still intact. The site was buried in deep grass, which made it difficult to take any decent pictures.

I always love the added color in the early and late summer months however the heat and the SWARMING GNATS tend to detract from the overall experience. It was still worth the effort.


Permit $$

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To canyon trip
From Mesa take Highway US60 towards Globe. Before Globe turn left on Highway 188 towards Roosevelt Lake. Before Roosevelt Lake turn on highway 288 to Young. Just before Highway 288 heads away from the hills above the lake you will be turning on FR60 (A-Cross Road). The A-Cross Road (FR60) is a dirt road that is not suitable for wet weather travel. Once on FR60, drive approximately 5.00 miles to FR97 and turn right. Drive on FR97 approximately 5.00 miles to the Tucker Box Trailhead. At roughly 3.75 miles on FR97 you will drive past the Jack Shoe Ranch on your left, which is located along Armer Gulch. The entire drive to Tucker Box can be done in a high clearance two-wheel drive truck during dry conditions. The road beyond the trailhead requires four wheel drive.
page created by ssk44 on Oct 05 2008 9:43 pm
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