Free activities Hikes

Box Canyon

Box Canyon

Today we did a hike that we can’t recommend for families with really small children. But if you have kids age 6 and up or so, you will love this one. It is a beautiful Box Canyon in Sanpete County. The reason you may want to avoid Box Canyon is that there is a lot of scrambling, climbing and scaling. There is a lot of potential for injury if you’re not capable and careful.

 

Box Canyon is rocky and narrow and leads about half a mile to a trickling waterfall. The canyon is a popular place for climbers because of its steep rocky walls, and we passed several. Large round river rocks litter the bottom of the canyon, and they can move or roll if you’re not careful. The canyon varies in width from about 25 feet down to 8 feet. The canyon walls are perpendicular for the entire hike and reach 80 feet above you.

Box Canyon

This is the opening of Box Canyon.

Box Canyon

We saw three different sets of rock climbers.

Box Canyon

It was fun seeing what was around every corner through the narrow canyon.

What makes this hike exciting is that huge boulders have fallen blocking the canyon. You’ll have to scramble under a few, climb around a few, and even scale one or two.┬áThe trail is appropriate for anyone for the first half, and there is a large open cave that you can climb up and check out. This can be a tricky one for little kids, though.

Box Canyon

This is the cave that you climb to, but it’s a tricky climb.

Box Canyon

Our boys did fine with this part, but the last 6 feet are tough. Even mom needed help from dad.

Box Canyon

The cave is more like a large opening.

In the second half of the canyon the scrambling begins. There is one particularly nasty part right toward the end that has you scaling about 12 feet over some overhanging rocks. Someone has placed a rope that will help you with this part, but please don’t attempt it unless you’re certain you can do it safely.

Box Canyon

There are huge boulders toward the 2nd half of the trail. You go over, under and around.

Box Canyon

This adventure was perfect for our oldest two who love climbing!

Box Canyon

Definitely a very tricky spot…but you can easily turn around here and say we did an awesome hike!

Box Canyon

Our dad is awesome. He is a pro at helping us get up and down rocks safely. I would never do this hike without him.

Beyond the rope, the canyon narrows out and you come to a small grotto where you’ll find the waterfall. There are ropes leading up this one, too, and a long time ago, when Dad was younger, he scaled it. The canyon continues up that way for a long time, eventually climbing out to the top of the mountain. Or course, the waterfall, which is really just a trickle, is very wet and slippery. Climbing it is for the very experienced, or the very insane. Our boys loved the waterfall, and they climbed around the walls of the grotto a bit while we rested. Of course the trail is an out-and-back, and it took us about 90 minutes roundtrip. From the start of the canyon to the waterfall, you will walk about 1/2 mile, which makes this trail 1 mile roundtrip.

Box Canyon

There is a tiny trickle of water in one spot. Don’t worry, we stopped to throw rocks.

Box Canyon

The waterfall isn’t much, but it was a fun place to end.

You may have noticed that we are telling you this hike is not for small children while we hauled our 3, 6, and 9 year-old along. You may attempt this hike, and you can certainly do the first half no matter your skill level. But please remember as you go up, that whatever you climb is twice as hard to come down. It is also this unique level of difficulty that led to our boys proclaiming Box Canyon to be one of their favorite new hikes.

Box Canyon

As we came back down the trail, we could see the leaves changing colors outside of the canyon. It was beautiful!

Box Canyon

Box Canyon is unique for the conglomerate rock walls.

To reach Box Canyon, you have to go to the tiny town of Fountain Green. From there, the signage is great, with the first sign sending you west toward the mountains on 400 South. As you leave town, the road curves left and takes you out to the tiny town of Jerusalem and Freedom (Didn’t know there was a Jerusalem in Utah, did you?) The distance is 6 miles from Fountain Green to the turn-off. There’s a sign in Freedom that turns you west (right), and then you turn right again after 1/2 mile. This road leads you up Maple Canyon. It is a short ride to the end of the pavement. Then it’s .8 miles to the pullout for Box Canyon. There is a wide spot on the right (north) side of the road to park, and you can see the trail that leads into Box Canyon. There is no sign that says Box Canyon, so watch carefully.

5 Comments

  • I think this is my new favorite blog- been pinning great trip ideas for about an hour now. Wonderful photos, great writing- I especially like the details on how to get places and the difficulty level for kids. I’ve read a lot of family blogs which are inspiring but yours also allows me to plan accordingly. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! We have some much fun, and we try to be thorough to help you. We love the feedback!

  • I have lived in Utah my entire life and it’s so fun to still discover new places to go. Thanks for introducing us to Box Canyon!