Crackerbox Canyon, AZ

Guide 5 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
3.3 of 5 
no permit
16 5 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 10.18 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,525 feet
Accumulated Gain 681 feet
Avg Time One Way 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.45
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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6  2022-05-15
Crackerbox Hi Fuller
12  2020-08-08
Miller Canyon - AZT #27 - Crackerbox
21  2019-07-27
East Miller AZT Loop
7  2018-08-21
Crackerbox Canyon Upper Loop
16  2017-09-15 kingsnake
author avatar Guides 102
Routes 259
Photos 9,699
Trips 761 map ( 7,004 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
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Preferred May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Sun  5:39am - 7:22pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 RIM 200911.3 mi*
🔥 2016 Crackerbox Fire17.0 mi**
🔥 2014 General Fire2.1k
🔥 2011 Scout Fire7.4 mi*
🔥 2010 Bravo Fire3.3k
🔥 2009 Rim Fire2.5k
🔥 2009 July 4th Complex Fire3.1k
🔥 2002 Packrat Fire3k
🔥 2002 Pack Rat15.9 mi*
🔥 1990 Dude Fire21.4k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
**possible voids inflate figure
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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No crackers, Jack!
by kingsnake

Crackerbox Canyon most closely resembles its next-door neighbor, East Miller Canyon. (Crackerbox drains into East Miller and, eventually, East Clear Creek.) I’ve always found it odd that the Mogollon Rim mostly drains north, gradually downslope, rather than tumbling south, over the cliff, in spectacular waterfalls. The Mogollon Rim is the continental divide of Arizona.

The hike starts by heading back down FR 391 for a hundred yards to FR 141H, then east down FR 141H for not quite a half-mile. The low point in the road is Crackerbox Canyon.

Many of the canyons the various roads crossed are signed, as is East Miller Canyon, but Crackerbox is only signed on Rim Rd., not FR 141H. Turn north off FR 141H across the small meadow.

Once you are in Crackerbox Canyon, you follow it north for 4.7 miles to the intersection with East Miller Canyon.

The first three miles in Crackerbox Canyon, to the barbwire fence, are very mellow travel. For me, the creek bed was totally dry. There are often shelves on either bank. There is minor deadfall here & there, but it is easily avoided by switching to the other bank or walking for a while in the creek bed. The first couple of miles would make a great introduction to canyon hiking for kids.

If you do hike with kids or don’t relish low crawling, in the dirt, under large logs, there’s a good bailout point about 2.5 miles down Crackerbox Canyon, where there is a good size meadow of ferns and false hellebore on both the east and west bank of the wash. Head west, across the meadow, and uphill 100 ft. to FR 501, following that back to the trailhead.

Crackerbox Canyon starts so mellow because it is shallow and its cross-section flat. The barbwire fence is easily crossed. North of the fence, Crackerbox gets deeper (about 200 ft.), narrower, with a steeper slope.

North of the barbwire fence, Crackerbox Canyon is frequently choked with deadfall and boulders. There is running water or good size pools on rare breaks from crawling over or under an obstacle. You will not only get dirty, but wet as well. I wouldn’t want to be caught in there if there was a flash flood.

The far end of the loop is where Crackerbox Canyon empties into East Miller Canyon. Head up the steep 200 ft. bluff to your left (south).

At first, FR 501 was barely detectable. It was mostly grass. It was only after reaching the gateless barbwire fence — a continuation of the same fence down in Crackerbox Canyon — that I realized why FR 501 was so indistinct: It is being returned to nature. South of the fence, FR 501 was a typical jeep trail.

From the top of the bluff, it is 4.3 flat, shady miles south on FR 501 to FR 141H, then only another .40 miles east to FR 391 and the trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2017-09-18 kingsnake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, head north on AZ-87. 2.6 miles north of AZ-260, turn right onto Rim Rd. / FR 300. I would not drive a car on it. In 11 miles, turn left onto FR 123. Take the very next left onto FR 141H. You will cross Crackerbox Canyon. You can park there or continue to the next right onto FR 391.
    page created by kingsnake on Sep 18 2017 7:39 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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