Meadow Canyon and Swimming the White Box - Day Trip

Meadow Canyon is a technical canyon and tributary of West Clear Creek on the Mogollon Rim requiring 3 or 4 rappels with the longest being approximately 80 ft.  Meadow empties into West Clear Creek, and just a 1/4-mile downstream from one of the most beautiful places on the creek, Hanging Gardens.  A little bit upstream from Hanging Gardens is the White Box.  The White Box is a 75+ yard swim through a narrow section of the canyon and one of the most scenic sections.

We'll do the Meadow Canyon and White Box loop as a day trip by starting out at the drop-in point for Meadow Canyon.  We'll gear up at the first rappel and work our way down the canyon, wading through a few pools of water until we reach West Clear Creek.  We'll gear down and hike in the creek until we reach Hanging Gardens where we will eat lunch.  After lunch we'll continue upstream and swim the White Box before exiting at Cash Tank.  The hike back to the vehicles along the jeep trail will take less than an hour and a half.

We'll grab a beer and food at Rimside Grill on our way back to Phoenix.

This is a technical canyon requiring rappeling gear and prior rappelling experience.  Sign up only if you have technical canyoneering experience.

Required Gear: helmet, harness, PAS, carabiners, descender, dry bags, pack with good drainage, sticky canyoneering shoes

Wet suits are not required this time of year.  You will be swimming so make sure you wear clothes that you're comfortable to swim in.  The rocks are slick so wear sticky canyoneering shoes.  Dry bags are required and will aid in your ability to float in the creek.  Make sure you at least double dry bag anything you don't want to get wet.

ACA Rating: 3B III

Total Mileage: 7+ miles

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  • Mark

    Fuckin A , THAT was fun ! Nice beginners canyon... LOL

    1 · August 23, 2014

    • EG

      tell me about it.

      August 24, 2014

  • AZMike

    I checked the water flow gauges on West Clear Creek for the conditions on Aug 23. Normally, the flow is 7 to 15 CFPS (cubic feet per second). Yesterday it was pegged at 70 CFPS, which is up to 10x greater for this time of year. The graph shows that the canyon flashed Thursday evening with a flow rate of 700 CFPS. That's nearly 100x what we experienced.

    1 · August 24, 2014

  • Angelo P.

    I can swing buy and grab you.

    1 · August 22, 2014

    • Mark

      Awesome that would be great ! # is[masked] I'll be there early so you won't have to wait. Let me know what time you want me there.. 7:15 maybe ?

      August 22, 2014

  • Mark

    I live at the I-17 and carefree highway - anyone willing to swing by and pick me up at the McDonalds right off the 74 exit ? 5 minutes out of the way... I can drive too if someone wants to drive up here and share the ride but going to Bell Rd is 20 miles out of the way for me... would rather save the time and miles if I could... :) No worries if not, but worth asking.. If I need to bring extra gear for anyone let me know..

    August 22, 2014

  • EG

    GPS address to meeting location (Denny's):
    2717 W Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85023

    August 21, 2014

    • Philipp

      Sure, I'm almost always up for getting together after a hike / climb/ canyon. Meeting at your place sounds good, saves most time. I may need to revise my offer to drive - the road is ROUGH, right? - I "only" got a subaru outback. [masked]

      August 22, 2014

    • AZMike

      Hey Philipp. Thanks for the offer on driving. I have a 4WD Toyota 4Runner so I'll plan on driving. We're planning to leave my house at 6:10 AM. I'll text you my address, which is in the Park Promenade subdivision on the SW corner of Ray and McClintock. Plan on bringing a change of clothes for after the hike. TYL

      August 22, 2014

  • EG

    sounds amazing but the only gear I have is a rock climbing harness. Have a great time!

    1 · August 19, 2014

    • AZMike

      You're on.

      1 · August 20, 2014

    • Mark

      If you need anything else I can bring it... let me know. I have plenty of extra gear..

      August 22, 2014

  • Mark

    Anyone on the West side of town and would rather go up I - 17 ?

    August 19, 2014

    • Angelo P.

      I'm going up I-17.

      August 20, 2014

    • AZMike

      I changed the meetup to Denny's restaurant on the SW corner of I-17 and Bell. We'll meet there at 7:00AM.

      August 20, 2014

  • Art G.

    Hi Mike, The technical part of this is clearly not for me, but it sounds lovely, and so my question is whether the hike can be done by non-technical means going in the opposite direction: Start near Cash Tank, swim White Box, and work one's way to Hanging Gardens?

    If so, would you mind providing driving and hiking directions. It looks like 260 to FR 149 to 142 or 142A...but then what?

    thanks,

    art

    August 19, 2014

    • AZMike

      Hi Art. You can drop into West Clear Creek at Cash Tank which is where we will exit WCC from the White Box. A description of the hike is detailed in HikeArizona.com at the following link. http://hikearizona.co...­

      August 19, 2014

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