OverviewBox Elder Peak is located in the Wasatch Range, south of the Little Cottonwood Canyon alpine ridge, and north of Mt. Timpanogos. The peak is over shadowed by Timpanogos as well as nearby Lone Peak and the Pfeifferhorn, but it still offers outstanding views of these and many other surrounding peaks.
Box Elder Peak is located in the Uinta National Forest, Pleasant Grove ranger district.
Getting ThereExit Interstate 15 on exit 284 and head East towards Alpine on SR 92 for 6 miles.
Continue East on through the intersection with route 74 running North and South for another 1.8 miles to the mouth of canyon. Continue straight for another 0.5 miles to the fee Station. After a little chit-chat with the ranger continue East on SR 92 for another 4.7 miles at which time you will encounter a “Y” take the Left onto SR 144 (North Fork).
Follow this road North for 2.1 miles to Tibble Fork Reservoir. Continue around the reservoir and past the restrooms for a ¼ mile to a sharp left hand turn, stay left and continue ahead for ¾ mile. Here the road to Silver Lake takes off to the right, stay left towards Granite Flat Campgrounds. Continue through the guard station for another ¼ mile to the trailhead on the right.
Submitted by SP user rmjwinters:
It's worth clarifying that trail 43 (Deer Creek trail) begins just inside Granite Flat CG on the right. There are 5 parking stalls. It is clearly marked. Trail 44 (Box Elder Trail) begins about 40 yards further up the road from Trail 43 parking area. There is parking available for 4 cars and it is clearly marked. Any junctions on this trail have been updated with new/newer signage.
Red TapeThere is a $3 use fee in American Fork Canyon.
Submitted by SP user utahguy058:
The Fee to go up American Fork Canyon is now 6 dollars, and not 3 dollars like stated under the red tape section.
The first campground encountered when driving up American Fork is the Little Mill campground. Little Mill is located approximately 1.5 miles beyond the Timpanogos Cave visitor’s center. The campground parallels the road, as well as American Fork Creek. There are 66 campsites and numerous picnic areas. The sites are rather cramped, quite a few of them are located very closely together. Each site is $11.00 per vehicle.
If you continue Northeast on 144 you’ll come to Tibble Fork Reservoir. A paved road leads from Tibble Fork to the Granite Flat campground. Granite Flat features 64 individual sites and several group areas. For the most part the campsites are fairly spacious and well spaced. The individual campsites are $11.00 per night.
Geologic cross section A-A' of Box Elder Peak anticline, a compound structure comprised of two superposed anticlines and the product of five structural phases: 1) lateral ramps developed in hanging wall of Charleston-Nebo thrust in Jurassic-late Cretaceous time, 2) folding of the C-N allochthon during late Cretaceous (Campanian)-middle Eocene construction of Cottonwood arch (Uinta allochthon), 3) late Eocene-early Miocene extensional reactivation of C-N thrust plane by faults of the Deer Creek detachment fault system, 4) late Oligocene intrusion of Little Cottonwood stock, and, 5) late Eocene-Recent flexural-isostatic exhumation related to Cottonwood core complex. Hanging wall extension is tiered with slip along curved, reactivated sole thrust responsible for structural development of Box Elder Peak rollover anticline, and American Fork crestal collapse graben related to subsidiary normal faults rooted to reactivated C-N thrust imbricate. Based on mapping by Baker and Crittenden (1961). Subdivisions of Proterozoic Big Cottonwood Group (pCs) and Mississippian undifferentiated (Mu) abbreviated: Ybc, Big Cottonwood Formation; Ymf, Mineral Fork Tillite; Ym, Mutual Formation; Ml, Gardison Limestone, Deseret Limestone, and Humbug Formation; Mbg, Great Blue Limestone.