Box Elder Peak via Deer Creek/Dry Creek Trail

1 review #17 hike out of 36 in
5.1 mi
1 hrs 52 min
4,226 ft
Elev Gain


This is a difficult 5.3-mile hike (one-way) that involves 4,700 feet of elevation gain from the trailhead to the summit of Box Elder Peak. For the first 3.6 miles, you'll be hiking through Aspen groves and a white boulder field until you reach a wide, grassy meadow where you'll have sweeping views of much of the central Wasatch range. From here, the remaining 1.7 miles is a grueling hike to the summit of Box Elder. Much of the trail in this section is lost and requires GPS navigation and bushwhacking. In addition, the final mile involves traversing through scree fields and scattered patches of snow and ice.

Getting Started

Drive to Granite Flat Campground in American Fork Canyon (Take 144 to FR 010). Once you go past the campground entrance station, there is a large parking area, which includes designated HIKERS ONLY parking. The HIKERS ONLY parking is located right next to the Deer Creek trailhead. If the campground isn't open, there is a parking area right before the campground entrance station where you can park and walk into the campground. Look for the HIKERS ONLY parking and the trailhead is right next to that.

Taking Children

The first 3.6 miles from the trailhead up to the meadow are children-friendly. Gradual (but constant) climbing and relatively smooth trail. The meadow is a great place for a family picnic. Rank this section 8/10 for children. The last 1.5 miles from the meadow to the summit I don't recommend for children under the age of 10. Very steep, lots of bushwhacking, lots of scree/snow/ice. If you have a fit child over the age of 10, they can come up here, but use caution. The views from the summit are INCREDIBLE.

This is an alternate route for Box Elder Peak Loop via Box Elder Trail.

    Rate this Hike

    4 months, 1 week ago
    The first 3.6 miles from the Deer Creek trailhead was a little overgrown in spots with some water on the trail at the start, but otherwise was very nice. A gradual ascent with nice switchbacks. The last 1.5 miles from the meadow to the summit were very tough. Lots of bushwhacking since the trail isn't marked very well (lots of it looks wiped out from avalanche debris from the winter that hasn't been cleared yet), so having Gaia was essential. Also, still quite a few tricky spots with snow and ice, so having spikes is essential (ice axe is helpful, but not needed). Finally, lots of scree in the final mile, so watch your footing. The views were INCREDIBLE from the summit. Happy to have bagged it on a sunny and cool day with calm winds.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Public Tracks

Andrew Baldwin 4 months, 1 week ago
Darren Draper 1 year, 3 months ago
john 1 year, 3 months ago