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Crackerbox Canyon - 2 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
4 triplogs
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4 Triplogs
Aug 08 2020

 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Miller Canyon - AZT #27 - Crackerbox, AZ 
Miller Canyon - AZT #27 - Crackerbox, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 08 2020
Hiking13.42 Miles 1,305 AEG
Hiking13.42 Miles   6 Hrs   3 Mns   2.42 mph
1,305 ft AEG      30 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
To get to my start, I traveled in on the Rim Road, to FR 320A. The length of my hike hike today was dependent on how far I could get in on the FR. Success, all the way to the end with NP. Nice camp spot where I parked.

I hiked CW down into Miller Canyon heading towards East Clear Creek. Miller has pockets of water, but the farther you got down canyon, the water disappeared. This is the easiest canyon on the rim I've hiked in. I kicked up on good sized bull elk in velvet along the way.

Up the good ole' AZT to get back on top. The road portion of it drug on for awhile. I broke it up by exploring down FR9709Y to find a vantage spot for my lunch. It looked back down into Miller Canyon.

Back on AZT single track, I made my way to the drop into Crackerbox Canyon. The last 100' into the canyon was a bit of a pucker, but follow those elk trails and they'll eventually get you down.

Crackerbox Canyon was the gem of this hike. Clean water, flowers, greenery and flowers everywhere. I'll come back to this one. Some obstructions, but simple to maneuver around.

Once I hit East Miller, I made the climb back to my car.

On the way out, I took 141H, to 141. A bit longer by a few miles, but smoother and less yahoos than FR300.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Crackerbox Canyon Light flow Light flow
Lots to filter

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max East Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Scattered pools

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Mostly scattered pools from previous rains
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Jul 27 2019

 Guides 83
 Routes 692
 Photos 16,106
 Triplogs 1,617

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
East Miller AZT Loop, AZ 
East Miller AZT Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2019
Hiking25.27 Miles 2,868 AEG
Hiking25.27 Miles   10 Hrs   44 Mns   2.63 mph
2,868 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I call the rim east of General Springs "kyleland". In the past year or so, it seems that west of there should be called "prestonland" given @kingsnake 's plan to hike all these rim canyons.

I was planning to put together a route that let me meet up with two different groups of people who I knew were backpacking separate trips. I was hoping to avoid the cabin loop, and was able to put together a route that covered all new hiking terrain for me.

We started at General Springs and took Crook to the west before dropping into Crackerbox Canyon heading upstream before crossing over to West Miller. We followed this downstream 7 miles before hopping out of the canyon and taking AZT27 back to General Springs. Sunday we resumed where we left off following the canyon north for the final 4 miles to East Clear Creek. Again, we used AZT27 to return back to our starting point.

It was nice to cover the full length of East Miller/Miller to the AZT crossing at the top of CC Cragin. And I had never hiked that section of AZT north of Fred Haught, so that was nice too. Gotta get Shawn out there to build some singletrack and get the route off the boring road! ;)

Miller was diverse over the 11+ miles. I'd definitely make a loop that drops in there again though.

[I wasn't sure what kind of water we would find. Historical satellite photos show that spring and fall can have much more water in some sections of the canyon than we encountered. But I think it could be drier in early summer pre-monsoon some years too. This year featured an especially wet winter, and though monsoon rains had not yet started to drain into the canyon, I think some of the residual winter moisture made it somewhat wetter than the driest it might get. Some times of year this might be require a lot of wading. This weekend it was possible to keep your feet dry, but sometimes just easier not to.]
Coconino Sandstone
33s over 45s
4 archives
Aug 21 2018

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Crackerbox Canyon Upper Loop, AZ 
Crackerbox Canyon Upper Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2018
Hiking3.70 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   1 Hour   56 Mns   2.24 mph
300 ft AEG      17 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
After finishing the Barbershop trail I had the rest of the day so I decided to do a little of the Crackerbox Canyon Trail. It was 2:00 in the afternoon so I figured I could spend 2 hours in this canyon before heading back to Payson for the evening. Because of the early morning rain the creek was running with the upper portion near the Rim road rather "Marshy". The sun was out and in the canyon there was no breeze so it was really muggy. Temps were in the 70's and the bugs were out. The walk along the stream was fairly easy but had to stay to either the west or east of the stream because of the water. This made walking a little more difficult because of the constant stepping through brush and over tree falls. At about one mile in the water in the stream disappeared underground so stream bed walking was possible. At about 2 miles down stream I turned around and headed up the ridge to the east to FSR 123 Battleground Ridge Road. Followed this road back to the Rim Road. Before hitting the Rim Road the General Crook Trail comes in from the east, heading up Battleground ridge from General Springs Cabin. At this junction in a tree is an insulator that was part of the telegraph lines that ran along the general Crook Trail. I heard these could still be found and it appears I found one. Not sure if these lines are as old as the trail though. So if you are at this junction look up.

This was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, but I'm not sure I will head back down this canyon any time soon. Not real interesting and there are a lot of other more interesting places to try. After seeing how the afternoon turned out I'm not so sure I shouldn't have just finished the U Bar trail when I was on the Barbershop Trail. Was hesitant to do a 15 mile hike with my knee (and couldn't do it without it) and the weather wasn't looking too good at the time. Oh well.
Sep 15 2017

 Guides 95
 Routes 230
 Photos 9,161
 Triplogs 721

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Crackerbox CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2017
Hiking11.60 Miles 749 AEG
Hiking11.60 Miles   4 Hrs   55 Mns   2.36 mph
749 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Driving the west end of Rim Rd. is a pain in the donkey — literally, with all the bumps — and it took us 45 minutes to drive the 12 miles to Crackerbox Canyon.

Like East Miller Canyon, Crackerbox has tons of elk sign, both scat & bones. I saw a vertebra and leg bone south of the barbwire fence. Just north of the fence, I found a nearly intact skull. Some of the skull’s structures had needle sharp points. I wrapped the skull in a mylar balloon I had picked up, then stuffed it in my pack. Sweet find. No way I was leaving it behind!

As a result of negotiating Crackerbox’s obstacle course over the final 1.5 miles, I acquired my usual array of scrapes, bumps & bruises.

It was a relief to reach the junction with East Miller Canyon after three moving hours. (Plus an hour of photos, GPS consultation, etc.) I took a sit down break on some rocks, enjoying a sandwich, vinegar chips — my fave! — and G-2 sports drink.

After lunch, I looked up at the bluff. It was rocky, and steep, but not sheer like much of the previous 1.5 miles. It looked like there were a couple of routes up. I picked one, that turned out to be a bit of a water channel. It ended up taking me only 15 minutes to get to the top.

Crackerbox has plenty of shade, so I was sweating more from the labor than the temps. Thankfully, the trek back south on FR 501 also had plenty of shade. It was also breezier on top. I thought I smelled smoke, or maybe cooking food.

I heard, but did not see, wild turkey at Jiffer Tank. Just north of Tracy Lynn Tank, I saw a camper, which would explain what I had smelled three miles earlier.

On the way back to AZ-87, we saw a number of hunters, on foot, in Razrs and on ATVs, both with firearms and bow & arrow. Is it turkey season? The shadows, glare from the lowering sun & dust on my windshield made it really hard to see the road, or the several oncoming vehicles going way too fast for conditions.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Gilled Mushrooms
HAZ - Selfie
Named place
Named place
Tracy Lynn Tank
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Several trees at the intersection of East Miller & Crackerbox were turning straight to yellow.
_____________________ : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.41 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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