Christopher Creek - 01. Box Canyon


Christopher Creek, Arizona, US

Disclaimer

01. Box Canyon

Usual Difficulty none (varies with level)
Length 5.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 126 fpm
Max Gradient 350 fpm

The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers


The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers
Photo of Spencer Huff by Nathan Werner taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
TONTO CREEK ABOVE GUN CREEK, NEAR ROOSEVELT, AZ
usgs-09499000 100 - 1000 cfs IV-V+ 00h21m 1.57 cfs (too low)


River Description

A spectacular steep creek through a spectacular box canyon. This creek didn't start getting attention until Bret Howard, Roy Lippman, Tyler Williams, Hut Wade and Mark Knight attempted it first in '05. Roy broke his leg on the 4th or 5th drop (a 10-footer into a shallow pool). Evan Stafford, Kyle McCutchen and Todd G completed the first d shortly after. It has been on the radar of steep creekers, worldwide, ever since its opening and dramatic spring events.

Put InChristopher Creek Campground off the 260 about 21 miles east of Payson, AZ.  Do not put in or linger at the Scout Camp (It is private property).
Take Out: On Tonto Creek at Bear Flats (may require a 4 wheel drive) or hike out at Spring Creek back to you car on the 260.

Photos and Video can be found here:
COKayaking: First Successful Descent Report  excellent descriptions and photos.
Huckin Huge Films: 2Descent Christopher Creek
Huckin Huge Films: Risen Sun promo

 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-10-26 20:37:07

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Christopher Creek CampgroundN/APutin
0.6Mini GorgeIII
0.9RanchN/A
1.4AutobahnIV+Photo
1.5The Nihilist VWaterfall Photo
1.6The White RussianVPhoto
1.7Bunnie's DropIV+Photo
1.8Maude's DropVPhoto
1.9Donnie's DropVWaterfall Photo
2.0The Big LebowskiVWaterfall Photo
2.1The Little LebowskiVWaterfall Photo
2.3Spring CreekN/AAccess
2.4T DubN/APortage
2.5Log Jammin'VPortage Hazard
2.6Tonto Creek ConfluenceN/A
4.3Bear Flat SubdivisionN/A
5.4Bear Flat CampgroundN/ATakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Christopher Creek Campground (Class N/A)

The campground is about 1/4 mile down from the highway, so even if the gate is locked in the winter it is a fairly short walk to the creek.

Elevation: 5640 feet.



Mini Gorge (Class III, Mile 0.6)

A scenic gorge that drops about 50 feet in half a mile.

Elevation: 5605 feet



Ranch (Class N/A, Mile 0.9)

The creek levels out past some sort of ranch on river right.

Elevation: 5562 feet.



Autobahn (Class IV+, Mile 1.4)

First boof of many

First boof of many
Photo of Marshall Mcquillen by Nathan Werner taken 10/26/17

The excitement really starts here.  Get ready to be locked in, and get your fair share of excitment.

Elevation: 5510 ft.



The Nihilist (Class V, Mile 1.5)

The Nihilist

The Nihilist
Photo of Marshall Mcquillen by Ty Skoe taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

Also knowns as Roy's, but that doesnt fit the Big Leboski theme.



The White Russian (Class V, Mile 1.6)

Think Tight

Think Tight
Photo of Spencer Huff by Nathan Werner taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

Most people walk this thing, if you want to run it you better be skinny 



Bunnie's Drop (Class IV+, Mile 1.7)

First step of three

First step of three
Photo of Ty Skoe by Marshall Mcquillen taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

Also known as triple drop



Maude's Drop (Class V, Mile 1.8)

Boof, then get tight

Boof, then get tight
Photo of Nathan Werner by Marshall Mcquillen taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

Best to scout and run from river right, very dense set of brambles above. 



Donnie's Drop (Class V, Mile 1.9)

You're out of your element

You're out of your element
Photo of Spencer Huff by Nathan Werner taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

The last drop before the big boy 



The Big Lebowski (Class V, Mile 2.0)

His Dudeness

His Dudeness
Photo of Jeff Lewboksi by Spencer Huff taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

The dude abides 



The Little Lebowski (Class V, Mile 2.1)

The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers

The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers
Photo of Spencer Huff by Nathan Werner taken 10/26/17 @ low runnable level

No doubt the sweetest drop in the canyon, it makes navigating the Dude worth it, just for this drop.



Spring Creek (Class N/A, Mile 2.3)

Spring Creek comes in from river right very close to the end of the Box Canyon. It is fairly short but steep hike up this drainage to highway 260.

Elevation: 5200 feet.



T Dub (Class N/A, Mile 2.4)

The drops after the Lil Lebowski are not runnable, despite what you may think.  Begin a long and tricky portage puzzle, until the confluence of the tonto pretty much.  It is called T dub, because well, team work will be mandatory 



Log Jammin' (Class V, Mile 2.5)

A stout slide with a tight slot, it used to get run all the time, but the last time we ran it, which as far as I know was the last decent, a rock had shifted, closing the exit of the slot, and turning it into a portage



Tonto Creek Confluence (Class N/A, Mile 2.6)

Tonto Creek comes in from river right.  Average gradient is 60 feet per mile from here to Bear Flat Campground.

Elevation: 5125 feet.



Bear Flat Subdivision (Class N/A, Mile 4.3)

Private homes border the creek from here down to Bear Flat campground.

Elevation: 5000 feet.



Bear Flat Campground (Class N/A, Mile 5.4)

A road fords the creek from left to right.  The undeveloped campground is next to the road, on river right. 

Elevation: 4960 feet.




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