Maple Box Canyon is a narrow canyon with high vertical walls, that is extremely popular with rock climbers. Box Canyons are similar to slot canyons in that they are often narrow, but they are narrower, longer and often have another exit. A true box canyon is a canyon with tall vertical walls that dead ends before long, making it a convenient place to “box” in cattle. This was a common practice back in the “Wild West”. Another example of an Utah box canyon is Johnson’s Canyon in Snow Canyon.
Maple Canyon is located between Nephi and Ephraim, near Moroni, Utah. While you are there be sure to check out Maple Canyon Arch. The road to get there is unpaved, but extremely well-graded. Maple Box Canyon doesn’t have a parking lot, but there is ample room on the side of the road.
There are two areas right next to each other where you can enter the canyon. The first is to step across the little creek and enter right at the base of the canyon. This first photo is looking back towards the road.
The second option is about 20 feet further up the canyon. There is a little trail that hugs the side of the canyon.
Either way this is where you end up just inside the entrance of Maple Box Canyon. The first photo is looking into the canyon. The second photo is looking back showing the two paths.
For the first 1/4 mile of the canyon you are likely to see lots of rock climbers.
Maple Canyon has such an interesting texture. The whole canyon looks like cemented together rocks, so it naturally has lots of hand and footholds for climbing. It also has so many tall vertical walls. Do you see the tiny person wearing blue. That guy was nearly six feet tall.
Maple Box Canyon is interesting to walk through, with it’s towering, conglomerate walls.
There are interesting shapes. There are a few parts that could possibly be caves, but it’s hard to see how deep.
There seemed to a small spring creating a wet area along the side of the canyon.
Eventually I got to a large boulder, but I was able to walk around to the left of it.
On the other side there was another spring or something, but I turned around after this other boulder pile.
All along the way I could hear birds and occasionally see them swooping overhead. Down below there was such an interesting assortment of rock colors.
This is a short and easy hike, but quite interesting. If you know how to rock climb, I am sure it is already on your radar.
Stats: Distance – 1.2 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 30-60 minutes
Elevation gain – 462 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – May-October
Permits needed – none
Pets allowed – Yes
Be sure to go to Maple Canyon Arch just up the road. There are also some beautiful camping spots in the canyon. To the south is Palisade Reservoir. To the north is Salt Creek Waterfall and Devil’s Kitchen.