Jeeping to Box Canyon and the Narrows Near Wickenburg

Congress, AZ

We’ve really enjoyed our stay here in Congress, especially with the beautiful site we have been on in North Ranch thanks to Janna and Mike (Tin TeePee/Log Cabin).  We didn’t get to see them very much during our stay as we both kept very busy.  But we did manage to share a lunch at Nichols West, a nice (maybe the only) restaurant in Congress.

Mike, Janna, and Pam at Nichols West

Later that day we took a walk to the other side of North Ranch to check out the great cactus garden maintained by park residents.  The highlight of the garden is Methuselah, a giant Saguaro (over 500 years old) filled with bird nests.

Old Methuselah

On our final day in this area we drove south along Rte. 93 just outside of Wickenburg and turned east on Rincon Road.  The road is paved for a couple of miles, then turns to dirt as it goes across a wide area of the dry (at that point) Hassayampa  River.  The road is then paved again for another couple of miles before returning to dirt.  At the end of the road we turned down into the dry river bed and continued moving east.

After a mile or so we stopped to visit a short box canyon.

Entrance to the box canyon

Going up into the canyon

The canyon ends at the bottom of a high pour-over that must be an amazing waterfall during the monsoon season.  A strap hangs down from above if you have the skills to climb up (we didn’t).

Looking back out of the canyon

We got back into the Jeep and continued up the river bed, but first we had to go through a small pond.

The surface of the Hassayampa River is dry most of the time during its 100 mile journey through the Sonora Desert.  It only travels above ground in two locations when bedrock segments keep it from draining through sandy segments into a subterranean flow.  One of those areas is here, just east of the box canyon.  At first it is just a trickle.

But the trickle widened as we moved upstream.

At one point we passed a water gauge.  The gauge helps monitor river levels during the monsoon season.

As the river continued to widen we entered an area known as the narrows.

Going upstream through the narrows

After another couple of miles the water disappeared and we came to a very rough section of the dry wash.  We wanted to go back through the narrows anyway, so we turned around at this point.

Downstream through the narrows

Back through the pond

We enjoyed a snack at the entrance to the box canyon

We encountered many four-wheelers during the drive, but at the end passed a very popular local mode of transportation.

So, that wraps up our stay in the Wickenburg / Congress area.  Now it’s time to continue our trek north.  Next up is a visit to beautiful Lake Powell.

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18 Responses to Jeeping to Box Canyon and the Narrows Near Wickenburg

  1. Debbie L says:

    Looked like a jeep was a must! Must have been a fun day!

  2. Nancy says:

    When I get back… We are going here!

  3. Jason wicklund says:

    Surprised you’re allowed to drive in that riverbed.

  4. Mary says:

    What a nice canyon. I’ll have to look for that if we go to Wickenburg again. Our friends are currently boondocking outside Congress and are liking it.

  5. Laurel says:

    Had no idea there was a box canyon near Wickenburg — it’s a place we’ve only passed through in our travels (and that was many years ago). Looks like your jeep was essential for getting out into that pretty back country! Looking forward to your blogs on Lake Powell/Vermillion Cliffs — we’re staying there for a week in early May. :-))

  6. Maxxtrails says:

    Pretty place, we will add it to our future travel list … thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Jeff says:

    Looks like you had as much fun as your Jeep did! It is amazing how the desert rivers flow and the aquifers they form.

  8. Larry says:

    Looks like there is plenty to see and do off the beaten path.

  9. Gay says:

    I just love box canyons! And the narrows look like so much fun…I think Pearl would like it there too!

  10. girlonahike says:

    How fun!!! I love Jeeping! – Alicia @ http://www.girlonahike.com

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    Lovely drive. Love that you made John drive through that puddle twice for the photo op.

  12. pmbweaver says:

    Bella loved walking around in the cactus garden.
    Guess we won’t be doing that drive. Not with Paul’s Big A– Truck…lol

  13. Jim and Barb says:

    A hike with a rope climb? Right up our alley! Crazy to think that saguaro is over 500 years old.

  14. Sherry says:

    Thanks for showing me another neat place I can’t get to since I don’t have a jeep and no longer have a horse.

  15. Kim Nowell says:

    Definetly a spot we would like to take our jeep also, thanks so much for sharing.

  16. colibabas says:

    Brings back memory’s of our stay at Wickenburg a few years back. Rode our quads all through that area.

  17. Jodee Gravel says:

    Beautiful canyon! Love all the big trees and the fun Jeep pond. That water gauge looks like the river gets serious during the monsoons!! I hope that great weather continues for our time nearby 🙂

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