Rattlesnake Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 41.61236°N / 111.98776°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Sign the Climber's Log


Route normal to Box Elder Peak, approx. 4.5 miles, 3800 ft gain.

In the past, access has been an issue and the trail received little use. Kelsey's Utah Mountaneering (Green Book) recommends other routes in Wellsville Mountains, and tylosaurus's Northern Utah Peaks page on SP doesn't even mention it. But the access issues have been resolved and the trail is in good shape now.

Getting There

Sardine Canyon (US 89) half-mile N of Sherwood Hills Resort turnoff, at the bend of the main highway. Parking area is fairly large. The trail sign is at a gate barring motorized access.

Route Description

The foot / equestrian trail follows a gated-off jeep track through the forest of maples and box elders and small meadows for half a mile. Then the track turns sharply right and the trail continues up a drainage (which is the Eastern-most tributary of main Rattlesnake Canyon), staying generally in the gukky or just East of it.

A side trail to the right forks towards and across Saddle 6,150, separating Rattlesnake from Wide Canyon. This side trails descends to the edge of farm fields near Wellsville, 1,500 ft below. The summit trail to Box Elder Peak continues straight up.

By 6,700 ft elevation, the maples open up. One can see all the way from Naomi Peak Wilderness across the Cache Valley to Willard Peak in the South, but of course it only gets better further up the trail.

For a while, the trail heads straight up in the direction of the peak, along a minor ridge to the East of the tributaries of Rattlesnake Canyon, then heads into a long traverse to the left, across the gullies and towards a picturesque Butte 7,526. You can see the butte, crowned with a small stand of evergreens, all the way from the TH.

After gaining a couple hundred ft along a ridge connecting the Butte 7,526 with the main spibe of the Wellsvilles, the trail veers left again, towards the main drainage of Rattlesnake Canyon. It finally crosses the gully in the vicinity of the ridge, next to a trio of evergreen trees, and forks again.

The trail straight ahead follows the main crest to the South. The summit trail is a fork sharply to the right. It circles the head of Rattlesnake Canyon just below the ridge crest, then ascends due N of the trio of coniders, and folows the Box Elder (West) side of the main crest to the peak.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-1 of 1

Castlereagh - Nov 8, 2011 6:19 pm - Voted 10/10

Trail junction

as of November 2011 there is no longer a sign marking the separation of the trail up the drainage from the main foot only dirt road right when the road makes a sharp right turn. A wood post is still visible, and I've attached a picture showing where hikers for Box Elder should leave the road and take the trail

Viewing: 1-1 of 1



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.