Box Camp #22A

Area Status: Open

Box Camp Trail provides some of the most dramatic views of any trail in the Santa Catalinas. It is also steep and rocky, and, as you might expect, the most rugged sections also offer the best views. Extending between the East Fork Trail (area is unavailable)in the Sabino Basin, during summer most people hike from the top down. During the winter, use increases on the lower (warmer) end of the trail. Starting from the top, the trail moves through large ponderosa pines before dropping suddenly into the Sabino Basin below. (If you would like to take an interesting side trip, Box Spring Trail #224A leads 0.9 mile to a perennial spring.) The trail cuts through brittle rock littered with rubble, and in some places the trail can be hard to find. When you come to where the grass begins and the Manzanita brush ends, you will find a natural vista with numerous user paths that dead end at various view points of Sabino Basin and Palisade Canyon. Expect to look hard for the correct route down to the Sabino Basin. The correct trail route veers to the west squeezing you through a couple large boulders and down a couple tight switchbacks. A review of your map and compass direction may be needed at this time. Also, look for rock cairns to follow. If you hike this trail in the fall; look back to Mount Lemmon from Sabino Basin to see the turning golden aspen leaves. Historically, before construction of the Catalina Highway, this trail was the quickest access route to Soldier Camp.

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Motorized and mechanical vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.
Water: Purification of water is recommended prior to use.
Operated By: Santa Catalina Ranger District

General Information

Directions: Travel east on Tanque Verde Road to the Catalina Highway. Turn left on the Catalina Highway. Drive 4 miles to the the MP "0" marker, which starts the Forest Service Boundary. Continue up Catalina Highway for about 22 miles/milepost 22.  Trailhead parking is on the west side of the Catalina Highway just past the Spencer Canyon turnoff (in the vicinity of milepost 22). The lower end of the trail can be reached via the Sabino Canyon Trail #23 and East Fork Trail #24A.


Day Hiking

Great Views, tall trees, forest to desert diversity and challenging trail. 7.3 miles of these trails are within the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. When hiking in remote areas, go with a companion whenever possible. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return, then stick to your timetable. USGS Map(s): Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon
Elevation desc 3,700 - 8,050 feet
Difficulty Level: Difficult


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
0.9 miles

  Elevation : 
3,700 feet - 8,050 feet