Box Canyon Loop
Box Canyon Loop
4.5
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A smooth, scenic trail stretching less than a mile in length: this easy hike is perfect for all members of the family.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles57 reviews
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Brendan S
Arlington, VA2,099 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023 • Couples
The Paradise area of Mt. Rainier is where everyone goes, but if you drive farther down the Park road, you can see box canyon, a very deep and narrow slot canyon that was carved by a glacial river that continues to flow briskly through the canyon. It's an unusual milky color because of the silt that the melting snow washes through. There are great views from the bridges at each end of this short loop trail and also some colorful wildflowers along the path.
Written 29 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve5863
Avon, OH12,823 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
This amazing canyon is located on Stevens Canyon Road 12 miles (19.3k) west of the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center or 17.5 miles (28.2k) east of Longmire. The canyon, as deep as 180 feet (55m) and as narrow as 13 feet (4m), has been carved though the dense volcanic rock by the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River. The rushing water carrying debris large and small has carved and polished the sides of this narrow canyon into smooth graceful undulations easily visible from the footbridge and the road’s bridge over the canyon.

The parking for this trail is located on the south side of the road just east of the canyon and is relatively large with reasonably clean restroom. From the parking area, there is a short path to the south that leads to an overlook with some interpretive signs. Unfortunately, from this overlook one can hear the water rushing below but cannot see more than a glimpse of it from here; perhaps the best part of this overlook is the excellent view of snow-capped Mount Adams to the south on a clear day.

To hike the easy but excellent 0.5 mile (0.8k) loop trail, cross the road to the trailhead and take the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. The first leg, on the east side of the canyon, is quite open and passes by rocky areas where one can easily see grooves in the rocks that were scratched-out as a glacier dragged rocky debris over the surface. About halfway through the hike, the trail takes a sharp turn to the left (west) and uses a footbridge to cross the canyon. From the footbridge, one has an excellent view down into this incredibly deep and narrow canyon and can see the rushing water below and the gracefully carved and polished canyon walls. After the footbridge, the trail quickly turns left again heading south through a densely forested area and when one emerges, back at the road, turn left again and cross the bridge to return to the starting point. While crossing the bridge, one again gets views into the canyon although they are not as good as those from the footbridge.

Summer often comes late in this sheltered area of the park and even when the west side of the trail is still buried in snow, the more open east side may very well be passible to the footbridge as was the case when we first visited in June following a heavy snowfall winter. If you do not wish to take the hike, at least stop here and walk over to the bridge next to the parking area and take a quick look down, you will happy you did.
Written 4 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Al F
Snohomish, WA387 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Couples
Most travelers driving up the Stevens Canyon Road to Paradise even give Box Canyon a glance as they pass by. Big Mistake! If you get out and walk this very short (less than a mile) loop trail, you will be rewarded by a spectacular view of a deep and incredibly narrow gorge, cut by the Cowlitz River. There is a bridge that spans the canyon, and you will be amazed at the sculpted rock walls and rounded shapes that you can see from there. Even if you don't want to walk the loop trail, you should at least park and get out to walk onto the bridge right next to the parking lot. That too will give you a great view of this canyon.
Written 17 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robin N
109 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2016 • Family
Quick loop trail will take you to one of the most beautiful views of a meadow with majestic snow capped mountain peaks in the backdrop. Hummingbirds fluttered near us as we walked the gorgeous trail along the canyon. We were short on time and had much to see, so the 1/2 mile loop trail was the perfect exploration outside of the car for us. Be sure and walk to both sides of the road for the best views on each side. Bring your camera!
Written 18 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HazelEyesFromTN
Gatlinburg, TN397 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
This is a half mile round trip if that much. One side of the road is a overlook and the other side has the start of a trail. It starts out in the open but crosses over the canyon and into woods. You come back down the road to the parking lot. From the road also also has nice shots into the canyon.

I love narrow canyons and this does not disappoint.
Written 3 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PhfamWA
Washougal, WA258 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2015 • Family
Amazing, easy stop right off the main road. Might not sound like much from guide books, but looking down into the crevice/canyon was just thrilling - and terrifying. If in Mt Rainier, definitely put this on your list. Half hour max.
Written 31 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OutdoorBoomer
Kennewick, Washington787 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Couples
Most people only go to the viewpoint/interpretive part by the parking lot. If you just stroll across the road and go in 1/4 mile there is an excellent example of glacier scouring, a wonderful view of Rainier on clear days and a bridge that allows you to look right over in the canyon gorge.
Written 17 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M-F_Trackers
Philadelphia, PA437 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2014 • Couples
A quick and easy walk to an overlook. The muddy fork of the Cowlitz river has carved this gorge. The sheer force and volume of water is incredible. Well worth the 15 to 20 minutes.
Written 17 June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LorenG
Seoul, South Korea38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2013 • Solo
This is one of my favorite parts of the park. It is easy to find. After you get there and park you car, walk half way across the bridge and look down. It is simply amazing.
Written 19 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LadykatherineSeattle
Seattle110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2012 • Family
A deep, deep narrow gorge with a rushing river way down there -- oh my. Very powerful sight. You can actually just stop at the parking lot along the road and see it if you don't want to do the hikes.
Written 4 July 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Box Canyon Loop - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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