username
X
password
register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

La Barge Lower - Box Loop, AZ

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
1.5k 132 6
Guide 132 Triplogs  6 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
Rated
4.3
4.3 of 5 by 46
 
16
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
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 1
Grade1
WaterA
Risk
TimeIII
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 13 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,680 feet
Elevation Gain 570 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,540 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 30.7
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
17  2018-10-14
First Water to La Barge Box
bretinthewild
22  2018-03-25 jamminaz
5  2018-02-18 RickVincent
13  2018-02-11
La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop
KBKB
15  2017-12-30
Battleship Mountain - Superstitions
trekkin_gecko
8  2017-12-30
Battleship Mountain - Superstitions
JuanJaimeiii
22  2017-12-30
Battleship via Canyon Lake
The_Eagle
20  2017-12-30
Battleship Mountain - Superstitions
Tortoise_Hiker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 11
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:30am - 5:42pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
229followactivity
Official Route
 
11 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Boulder Canyon Trail #103
Boulder Canyon Trail #103
same trailhead
7.3 mi
1,500 ft
Canyon Lake TH to Peralta Trailhead
Canyon Lake TH to Peralta Trailhead
same trailhead
16.1 mi
1,500 ft
La Barge Lowest Loop
La Barge Lowest Loop
same trailhead
6.0 mi
925 ft
La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop
La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop
0.0 mi away
10.2 mi
2,143 ft
La Barge Canyon View
La Barge Canyon View
0.0 mi away
4.6 mi
930 ft
Battleship Mountain from Canyon Lake
0.1 mi away
14.3 mi
3,241 ft
Boulderfest Canyon
0.6 mi away
0.5 mi
500 ft
Canyon Lake Kayaking
Canyon Lake Kayaking
0.6 mi away
14.0 mi
Canyon Lake to Peak 2811
Canyon Lake to Peak 2811
1.1 mi away
3.1 mi
1,663 ft
Dam Canyon
Dam Canyon
1.2 mi away
1.0 mi
500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Pure Boulderdash
by Fritzski

Likely In-Season!
This hike was actually done as a 13 mile loop hike beginning at Canyon Lake trailhead and extending through LaBarge Canyon. It starts south on Boulder Creek trail, departs the trail at LaBarge Creek, proceeds through the length of LaBarge Canyon to join with the Cavalry Trail, and loops back on Boulder Creek Tr. all the way to the trailhead. The loop portion basically circumnavigates the base of the magnificent Battleship Mtn.


For reasons that I'll point out later, probably about 99% of all those who do this hike will not want to complete the difficult entire loop. I will therefore try to describe this hike in two parts. The first, and main part being just that portion that extends upstream to about the halfway point of the canyon, covering the part generally referred to as "lower" LaBarge Box, and back out the same way for about a 9mi total trip.

A description of the first section of the hike on Boulder Canyon Trail from the Canyon Lake trailhead to LaBarge Creek can be found by referencing the Boulder Canyon hike in the HAZ database. Although the weather was a bit of a disappointment the day we went, it did lend itself to some mystical scenes that looked as though they were from the movie set of the "Lost World".

After your descent to the first crossing of LaBarge Creek (@3mi), it is advantageous to stay on the trail for a short distance more. It will parallel the creek on the west side until it finally heads up and to the west over the saddle. It is at this point that you drop into the creek bed and enter the canyon. This will now become your trail all the way to the turn around point at about the 4.5mi point.

Initially the walking is quite easy in the wide-open creek bed varying from some smooth rock areas to "bowling ball" sized rocks and larger. The awesome escarpments of Battleship Mtn. and Geronimo Head rise impressively on either side. Between about 3.5 and 4 miles the terrain begins to transition to areas of giant boulders requiring some moderate scrambling. I suggest that you just use your imagination in finding the best of many possible routes around these obstacles. None present a great problem that even a moderately experienced hiker can't overcome.

You will soon begin to notice a jagged wall looming ahead. This is the point at about 4.25mi, shown very distinctly on your topo, where the canyon makes a sharp left bend to be followed by a sharp right. It is here where you will be rewarded by one of the most stunning spots in the Superstitions.

After working your way around and through some bus-sized boulders at the bend the beautiful scene will suddenly unfold as you are able to view around the corner. There is a system of beautiful large pools at the base of an unreal smooth rock slope all under vertical walls that extend straight up for hundreds of feet. There were actually minnow-sized fish in the pools, which I found surprising. The day we went the rock was quite wet and slippery so care had to be taken with each step.

This is a uniquely wonderful spot and the turn around point for a very nice 9mi in and out hike. If you could catch it on a warm spring day with the water still flowing, it could be quite a fun swimmer's playground. You'll definitely want to spend some time here so plan on a picnic and a rest break before reversing your route back to the parking lot.

The continuation of the entire loop hike from this point becomes markedly more difficult, don't go alone. Due to the fact that the reward vs. effort factor dwindles, I would only recommend it to those hard-core types who are inclined to do it "because it is there". On the other hand there is quite a high level of satisfaction of "beating" the canyon at its slightly sadistic game of systematically presenting one seemingly impossible boulder obstacle after another.

How you choose to attack each problem will vary, so be creative. Some will involve hugging narrow ledges on the side, scrambling straight up boulders, or bushwhacking through a choked openings to name a few. The gloomy and threatening weather on the day we went seemed to add an air of foreboding to the almost suffocating confines of the remote and narrow canyon. A bit of advice would be that you should consider yourself fairly committed after continuing any distance beyond the pools, for it quickly becomes a situation where it is wiser to continue on than return through the maze.

After you have had enough bouldering, scrambling, and whacking to last you a good while, you will finally emerge from the south end of the canyon and run into the Cavalry Trail. Finally feels like you can breath again!

From here you head right or west on Cavalry Tr. up and over a small saddle where you will get a view of Boulder Canyon and the trail ahead. When you intersect Boulder Canyon Tr. take it north past the Second Water Tr. intersection, Indian Paint mine, and on to the LaBarge Creek crossing where the loop portion will be complete. From here it is a matter of retracing your steps back up and over the hump that so defines the remainder of the Boulder Canyon. Trail. Dry weather may shorten the nine hours hiking time it took us that day.

It was our good fortune to get caught in only a mild bout of nearly freezing rain for the last mile. As soon as we got in the car it began a torrential downpour. Definitely gave pause for a sobering thought. See what "living right" will get you!

Fritzski
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Canyon Lake Trailhead
    From the junction of Idaho Road & SR-88 follow SR-88 14.4 miles east to just after mile marker 210. Turn left into the Canyon Lake Marina parking lot. The area closest to the SR-88 (furthest away from the Marina) is the actual trailhead parking. The area allowed is marked in front of each space.

    There's restrooms outside the restaurant. The restaurant is better than you might think for being out in the middle of nowhere. Try the stuffed Jalapeños, the berry sauce is awesome. Sit on the patio and watch the HUGE fish swim below. The 'Dolly' Steamboat (a tourist attraction) is way out of character for the area, but the snowbirds eat it up.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 49.7 mi - about 1 hour 6 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 143 mi - about 2 hours 23 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 194 mi - about 3 hours 10 mins
    help comment issue

    end of page marker