Hike Box Elder Peak
Utah › Rattlensake Trailhead
Added by Jeff Sonderegger
- Fantastic day hike or over-nighter (if desired)
- 8.75 mile round trip
- Elevation gain: ~4,100 ft. (it's pretty steep most of the hike)
- Amazing views of the Great Salt Lake, Cache Valley, the Bear River Range, and the northern Wasatch Range
From the Rattlesnake Trailhead (about a mile northeast of the Sherwood Hills Resort on U.S. 89) to the peak is just under 4.5 miles. The hike is great exercise, as it's relatively steep. The steep angle provides for stunning views along the entire trail, making this one of the most picturesque hikes in northern Utah.
Higher up on the trail, fields of bright, beautiful wildflowers contrast with the sharp, jagged buttresses jutting out from the mountainside. Wildlife, in the form of birds, deer, and smaller animals, are also abundant.
At the peak, the position of the Wellsville Range allows one to simultaneously see the colorful beauty of Cache Valley and the natural wonder that is the Great Salt Lake. It does get windy, so a wind jacket is recommended.
The hike can be completed easily in a single day, but the peak's prominence also allows for breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, so finding a spot near the summit to stay the night is encouraged.
- Hiking boots/shoes
- Minimum two liters of water per person
- Comfortable hiking clothes
- Wind jacket
- Sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag
- Warm clothes (temp. drops at night)
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Great Views From The Top
The trail is a little challenging because of the incline, and pretty overgrown along most of the trail this time of year (June). It feels like you're bush wacking most of the way up, which can be pretty intense mentally between the fear of ticks and rattlesnakes (although I have yet to hear about a single snake sighting). Once you make it up to the ridge the views on both side are incredible, but definitely bring a jacket if you'll be staying for a while because of the wind. Also, keep your skin covered with a long sleeve shirt or sunscreen--you will burn pretty easily once you get to higher elevation.
It was a great hike which featured some amazing views that make it well worth the trip with views of Cache Valley and the Great Salt Lake. It's a steep ascent pretty much the whole way, so if you're not in shape it's likely to be difficult. Expect to cross some snow drifts until mid summer.
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