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White Box & Hanging Gardens of WCC
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mini location map2016-08-19
15 by photographer avatarPeter_Medal
photographer avatar
 
White Box & Hanging Gardens of WCCCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Canyoneering7.32 Miles 2,432 AEG
Canyoneering7.32 Miles
2,432 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 
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Friday night, nine of us car camped at my "secret trailhead" (cats officially out of the bag) which is exactly 4 miles from Highway 260. This road is slow going. Not for those that get car sick easily. High profile is a must. 4WD is not necessary except possibly in snow/mud/rain. Road Map to Car Camp: [ gps route ] This Car Camp is an ideal spot for those wishing to avoid the grueling extra 2 miles drive to the true HG TH, which, I think that portion of road is much much worse. Also, this an even tastier place to launch for a Meadow Canyon rap loop, just 1.29 miles back to car camp from the Hanging Gardens TH. I think next year I am going to mountain bike to Car Camp, so done with that drive. I'd rather watch water boil, or paint dry.

Friday night and Saturday morning there was no wind, no rain, beautiful sunrise and sunset. We built a rather girthy fire ring and left some ideal accessories for future trips (or others). We agreed we would launch at 7AM and I led my peeps on a 1.41 mile (bushwack) route to just before the first rappel into Meadow Canyon. Flawless. Planned route was 1.5 miles. There was an unavoidable swim through a large pool just before the first rap. A brisk little fully clothed swim with a backpack on will definitely wake ya up in the morning.

Meadow Canyon is an ideal canyon for beginner canyoneers... just 4 raps, none of which are that difficult. Our very experienced lead ropers (Joe and Jennifer) were awesome. They checked and re-checked each anchor and each connection. The first rap, Joe wanted everyone to take their backpacks off, just in case, which we slowly lowered down. The second rap of the day was only a 40' and was my first with a pack on. Funny, I am afraid of heights, but have no fear on a harness connected to a rope, climbing or rapping.

We got to the Hanging Gardens just about the time dark evil clouds rolled in. Not to long after we got our tents set up it started to rain. It was beautiful. I cant imagine to be in a better place then Hanging Gardens in a drizzly rain. My grill grate was still there left from last year. After everyone had a chance to take a power nap and get their evening accommodations dialed in the rain stopped. Time for wood harvest. Mike and I found a 4" to 6" 120lb +/- oak widow maker. Should be more then sufficient for the evening and morning fire. Kyle (ASUAvaitor) connected up with us and helped with the destruction of this oak beast and joined us for dinner.

By request, made two batches of a traditional beef stew with a slight twist, added chicken and Hatch green chilis. Think we were all lights out by Hikers Midnight. Not leaving the stew pot at camp to become canyon booty, have it well hid for next years feasts.

Sunday morning we all agreed to depart around 10am. Departing the HG, with full pack on, jumped off the rope to introduce the cold water sting we will be enduring through White Box. Video in and around the HG: https://youtube.com ... ZUMM

Once up top at the official HG TH, I mapped a slightly shorter bushwack back to TH, which ended up being just 1.29 miles vs. 1.5 from last year.

I think next year, an ideal way to do this would be to simply park inside the gate just off Highway 260 and mountain bike ride over to TH.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Meadow Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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"Before there was a trail..... there was no trail"
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