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Box Spring Trail #22A - 5 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 11 2016
gs31416
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 Routes 1
 Triplogs 1

50 female
 Joined Jan 16 2012
 tucson,az
Box Camp Trail #22Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2016
gs31416
Hiking0.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles
900 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
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Good news, bad news. The bad news is there was a fire several weeks ago along the Box Spring trail. The good news is the route has been cleared (presumably so the firefighters could get to the site). This report describes Box Spring Trail to upper Sabino cyn with some explorations along the way.

From the junction of Box Spring and Box Camp trails to the pour-off at the lowest burn area, the trail is cleared and well marked. If you are paying attention and haven't seen an obvious sign that you are on trail for 50 yards, you are probably off trail. "Obvious signs" include: cairns, sawed out log segments, flags/tape. The new trail follows the creek more than it used to. Some of the old route still has cairns on it even though its VERY brushy (might as well make your own trail as follow those cairns). I removed cairns that would trick hikers into going the much harder way.

At the first burn area, stay left and you will be able to find obvious signs. A few minutes beyond the burn I got to what I thought was a separate drainage coming in from the North. Looking at my track now, I see that was Sabino. The remainder of my downhill after that was exploring Uppper Sabino Canyon.

I continued downstream, mostly following the creek or a little to its left (Southwest). I encountered a big burn area with lots of large trees sawed off. There are many sawed off stumps here. Continue down-drainage favoring the left (do you see a pattern?). When you get to a pour-off that you think might be possible to get down with a couple dicey moves, you've gone just a little too far. (I was alone so didn't seriously consider the pour-off but I think with the right people I would). I tried going around to the North but got somewhat cliffed out and was doing things a bit too dangerous for solo. Back track up drainage a little an climb the slope to the south. (your left when you are coming down drainage). The slope gets you to a nice overlook. It was a bit hard going up that for me because the burn was recent so ground was unstable. Eventually, this will be better. From the overlook descend to the left of the creek. I didn't see any used route at this section. Basically bushwalked sometimes in the creek, sometimes to the left of it. Shortly after some slabby rocks in the creek (great lunch break), I went left above the creek to avoid a pool that would have required a chest deep wade to get through. In retrospect, that would have been a sensible thing to do. My above creek traverse didn't work out so I decided to return.

I'm very pleased with the clearing of Box Spring trail below the spring. Because the new trail follows the drainage more so than the previously marked trail, it might be more susceptible to closing down with flood debris. It would be a pain to have to climb over all the deadwood before the saws got to it!
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7 archives
May 25 2014
Timknorr
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 Photos 730
 Triplogs 26

34 male
 Joined Jul 26 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2014
Timknorr
Hiking0.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Feeling adventurous and with the temperatures in Tucson soaring into the high 90s, I ventured to Box Canyon near the top of Mt. Lemmon. I had been reading some triplogs about Brinkley point and the Box spring 22A trail and decided I would try and explore the area.

Due to high winds and the condition of the trail that leads to box spring I abandoned my attempt to visit the spring or drop down into Upper Sabino Canyon. I also was rethinking my bushwack to Brinkly Point. There are too many dead trees and with no hiking partner the risks were just not worth it.

On my way back to the parking lot I decided I would venture off the trail and check out the top of some unmarked peak above box camp trail. The decision paid off as this high point yields an amazing vista that includes the Rincons, Santa Ritas, Tucson mountains, and distant silhouettes of the Baboquivari mountains. The peak looks down Upper Sabino Canyon and Cathedral rock dominates the view West. To your North West are the steep southern slopes of Mt. Lemmon.

It was a fantastic vista and only about a mile from the trail head.
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Sep 22 2013
PrestonSands
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 Guides 168
 Routes 149
 Photos 5,560
 Triplogs 1,349

43 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Box Camp Trail #22Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2013
PrestonSands
Hiking4.30 Miles 1,055 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles
1,055 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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I had never been on either of the Box trails, so off I went. The storms had parted and the sun was out. Old burn areas were full of ferns and wildflowers. Vague memories of reading that Box Spring Trail was a disaster came to mind, but I wanted to give it a try. The bushwhack and fallen trees were more than I was looking for today, so I turned around just above Box Spring, while a couple of determined backpackers continued the descent. Beautiful area, I can't wait to go back when I have more time.
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"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
Jul 01 2012
camiles
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 Triplogs 108

46 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2012
camiles
Hiking0.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
2009 had been the last time I had been down this trail - I wondered if there had been any work done to it - if there has it was hard to tell! The trail has cairns where cairned and well worn where it leaves the Box Camp trail (there is no trail sign for Box Spring - I am pretty sure remember one at some point - I wonder if it was removed due to the condition of the trail...). The trail is easy to nice and easy to the saddle (where you would turn off for Brinkley Point). After the saddle the trail is still easy to follow, but is usually a slippery steep dirt affair punctuated by unstable rocks and overgrown by prickly plants - but it is still much more pleasant than the hillside itself. It was a relief to get to the small drainage that leads down to Sabino Canyon - while brushy/blocked in places it is much nicer than the trail (imho) - although I saw more Poison Ivy than I remember in trips in 2006 and 2009... Sabino Canyon had some pools - but was not flowing. The box about 5 minutes downstream still had big pools - but without flow they did not lure me down for a dip. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157630365845224/with/7477125492/
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Jul 21 2009
brownheart
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 Triplogs 1

46 male
 Joined Jul 23 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2009
brownheart
Hiking0.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   0.11 mph
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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OK this is my first triplog but after hiking this hell of a trail I feel it necessary. My bro and I started at the Box Camp TH at about noon and enjoyed the nice 1.8 mile hike to the Box Springs TH. With two thirds of our hike over, we figured we would be enjoying the spring in a matter of minutes. We were wrong! The trail started out very nice and simple but after about .15 of a mile we started to have difficulty seeing the trail. The trail got very thick with thorny brush and started to get what my what my brother called "pretty hairy." After about another .15 miles or so of switchbacks we got to to the drainage which turned out to be the rest of the trail but it did not seem like a trail at all. Rocks, downed trees and brush made the the longest .5 mile i have ever hiked. We eventually made it down to the stream which was a sight for sore eyes but we could not locate the swimming hole seen in photos here on this site. We traveled down stream till we got to a point were a huge boulder was wedged between the canyon walls. My brother, the younger more agile of the two of us, went ahead to take a look and reported that if we were to continue we would not be able to make it back up the way we came. We resigned to going back up the stream. Noticing some trail markers going up a hill we decided to take advantage of the easy climb in elevation to see if we could see the swimming from up there. This was the highlight of our trip. The view from up there was amazing but alas there was no sight of the swimming hole. We descended back down to the stream and hiked up stream a little to check for the swimming hole, no such luck. We decided to take our break at the original spot were the trail ended. Both my brother and I regretted not bringing our filter pump. Our water was running low. We had not anticipated consuming so much water during the first 2.6 miles or our hike. According to my GPS we had been moving for 1.5 hours and not moving for 2. After some chow and soaking out feet in the stream we headed back up. We decided to head up the mountain via a different trail well marked by marking take. What we thought would be easier was actually not. Although less technical the brush was worse and the majority of the scratches accumulated on my arms came from this part of the hike. This alternate trail eventually brought us back to the drainage we originally descended. The rest of our climb was a killer and at times required us to climb on all fours. After getting lost a little thanks to missing a left turn we finally made it back to the switchbacks and got out of what can best be described as a hell hole. Dead tired we made it the the Box Spring TH and gutted it out the rest of the way to the car. Total time moving was 3.5 hours and total resting time was 4. Total time on the trail was 7.5 hours. The next day i did some serious reading on here and found had i read a little further before the trip I would of never done this hike. I had anticipated camping but thank god i didn't. All in all it was a very gratifying hike and the hardest 5.5 miles i have hiked in my life so far.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Huntsman Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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Oct 10 2008
kmurph38
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 Triplogs 3

82 male
 Joined Apr 20 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2008
kmurph38
Hiking0.80 Miles 6,720 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles
6,720 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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After clearing the Red Ridge trail, I've started trail maintenance on the Box Camp and expect to clear it down to Apache. It's been many years since I visited the Box Springs trail, and then it was overgrown with Deer Brush and many deadfalls. If time permits after finishing Box Camp, I'd like to do some work on Box Springs. Since some of you folks have recently visited it, I'd very much appreciate a GPS route or some GPS waypoints to help guide me as I work the trail. Thanks.
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Sep 07 2008
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 384
 Photos 3,875
 Triplogs 2,943

45 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2008
fricknaley
Hiking5.30 Miles 1,257 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles
1,257 ft AEG
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allen fraley
Jeffshadows
Out grinding around and exsanguinating by Box Spring. This trail is gone beyond the spring. The treefall over the winter and growth from the storms have made the drainages leading down to Sabino impenetrable...believe me, I tried. :stretch:

Took the nice little side trip to some of the most sensational lookout points in the Catalinas. I'm not kidding either. :-$
Flora
Flora
Alpine Goldenrod
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hi
Aug 11 2007
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

41 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Box Spring Trail #22ATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2007
Vaporman
Hiking4.50 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   1.59 mph
400 ft AEG
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Another pleasant forest hike in the Catalinas. If I had read the beta a little more carefully, I would have had some pants and long sleeves to plow thru the thorn bushes that have overgrown the trail down to upper Sabino Canyon. I got about halfway down the hillside and into that side-creek before turning back due to lack of daylight and gear. :? Even if I plowed thru and made it down to the box, it would have been a tad to late in the day to truely enjoy the water anyways. Next time, I'll just have to come a little more prepared. :roll:
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.59 mph

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.

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