On Saturday, we decided to go “Jeeping” in our Jeep Liberty. We visited the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce on Friday and picked up a few brochures that included suggested “must see” destinations in which a 4-wheel drive vehicle “might” be suggested. After some research, we decided to go find “The Box” and “The Narrows”, both of which are in close proximity to each other at the bottom of a canyon thru which the Hassayampa River runs seasonally. We did not know what to expect, since the portion of the river that runs thru downtown Wickenburg was dry.
This area, a part of the Sonoran Desert, has a diverse variety of cacti including the mighty Saguaro. These giants seem to be everywhere and were in abundance on our drive out Scenic Loop Rd. north of Wickenburg. It wasn’t long before we came upon this tall fellow. One of the things we learned from Kelly of The Bayfield Bunch was that Saguaros do not start to gain branches until they are about 75-80 years old. We’re thinking this guy is about 150 years old.
For the most part, the route that we took, although a gravel and rock roadbed, it was well graded and suitable for most vehicles. The route was quite beautiful with rocky slopes and outcroppings literally covered with considerable varieties of cactus and palo verde trees. But once we arrived at the top of the canyon overlooking the Hassayampa River bed, 4-wheel drive and high clearance was necessary. We
were glad that we had our Jeep Liberty which, so far has been a perfect “towed”. It has been tested in Colorado, and now in this part of Arizona. Although not evident in this photo, in order to get down to the river bed, we had to climb over and/or around some large rocks bordering on boulders, not to mention deep ruts.
Once we got down to the river bed, we found we were in a different world. The first thing we noticed was water. Although not deep, the river was flowing thru the canyon. And although I failed to take a photo, another thing we noticed was the sheer height of the walls of the canyon, probably several hundred feet straight up on one side. Another thing we noticed almost immediately was that we were not alone. Lots of Razers, ATVs, Jeep Wranglers, 4×4 pickups, folks on horseback, and these guys…
Not to be outdone, I shifted into 4-wheel Low and headed into the canyon…and the river. After a bit of splashing, we passed thru “The Narrows” and went looking for “The Box”.
The Box is so-named because it is a box canyon branching off of the main canyon. As it turns out, it ends almost before it begins. And it’s more a “slot” to my way of thinking. But interesting and beautiful nonetheless.
After so much fun, we decided to head back to town. Rather than climb back up the way we entered the canyon, we decided to explore the river bed all the way back to Wickenburg. We were getting hungry and were in the mood for a burger. We asked around and several people said “Screamers” on Wickenburg Way. So, that’s where we went. It was a great choice. Really good burgers, fries and shakes. All in all, a fun day.