Box Bar Box Bar is a River Access Point to the Verde River, close to Bartlett Lake in the Cave Creek Ranger District. This small site offers beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains along with a fast moving river – making it a fun spot for kids of all ages. The shore line is a rocky/pebble beach with several shady trees. Wildlife can be seen during the early summer months, and late winter. The road access in to the site is compacted dirt.
Box Bar shoreline is located right on the verde fiver. The parking/camping is about two minutes walking distance from the river.
We didn’t camp, just came down for the day. This is a fun spot to swim and picnic. This is free and not on Tonto National Forest, so you don’t need a Tonto Pass.
Fire restrictions are in place. There are no facilities other than three port-a-potty’s. Only 45 minutes from Mesa. We usually go to the salt river but I noticed that this area and water is much cleaner!
What a great find! We had no idea what to expect when we rolled down a long and lonely road from Phoenix out to Box Bar. But other people sure knew about it! There were lots of party people there, playing music, floating in the river, and enjoying some BBQ.
Box Bar is not fancy, but it is FREE! There are no reservations and no set camp areas, but there are plenty of flat and shaded spots perfect for a tent. There is a large dirt parking area that includes 3 port-o-potties. If you were going to camp here, the potties are quite far from the camp spots, so keep that in mind.
The best part -- the gorgeous river! The Rio Verde runs right through here and is the main attraction. At Box Bar there is a small dam that holds the water in just enough for a calm small lake to appear. There is also quicker waters that can be kayaked or floated on. Many kids were putting in and going around the bend, getting back out, and doing it over and over again! The water is cool and refreshing in the Arizona sun.
When we went, it was a Saturday. So I’ll be anxious to go back on a weekday or Friday to see if it is as crowded other days. It wasn’t OVER crowded, but the loud music can get old :)
Overall, a truly great find. Only 30 minutes from Phoenix too!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. At Box Bar, I got to use the IceMule Pro Large Cooler.
Before heading out, we packed up sodas, juice boxes, apples, and a tupperware of cookies into the IceMule and poured ice all over the top. The temperature that day was over 100 degrees, but when we got to the campsite and opened the top, the ice was still there and the drinks and food were freezing cold. Never had such a refreshing soda! I’m used to having to drink a warm soda or water while adventuing, so this was quite the treat.
Besides keeping the refreshments ice cold, the backpack was also super comfortable to wear. The straps are super padded, as well as the bag where is rests against the back. I am a super weak person and it was easy and fun to wear.
I totally recommend this cooler to anyone wanting to reward a long hike, boat, or camp with freezing cold treats.
For more info, visit: https://icemulecoolers.com/