Box Elder Peak

South Route
American Fork Canyon

Elevation gain 4301'

I thought this was a difficult hike. It only took 4 hours up, but there was a lot of death-slide scrambling near the end, I think we took the wrong route.
We went up American Fork Canyon to Granite Flat, we took the Box Elder South Route Trail.
The trail begins in a beautiful forest and walks through many open meadows. About 2 miles up, you get to Wide Hollow Overlook, which looks south down a deep ravine. From here you need to go right, towards an old cabin ruin. Follow this trail into a meadow, look west, the peak you see is sub-peak 10,138' east of Box Elder.
We went left at the fork in the meadow, we followed the trail until it crossed the Wide Hollow drainage, then we cut straight north and found another trail and followed it for a while. When this trail ended the pain began. I would suggest staying in the main drainage, and not trying to go up too early like us.
From the top looking south we could see a huge congregation of mountain goats, I would guess about 30-40 individuals, the most I've ever seen together.
We stayed on the top until about 9:00 , it got dark and we had a hard time finding the trail (because there wasn't any). Along the way we saw a strange tree that was growing in the middle of the drainage, it had no branches or leaves, or sign that it ever had any, it had a bulbous body that had grown into it's self.
We walked through a boulder-laden trail, until we reached a steep drop off of smooth limestone, I think this would be an incredible waterfall in the spring if you can find it (60-100 feet high). We then backtracked, and bushwhacked up to the trail, it was kind of hairy. Shane walked down the whole trail without a flashlight.
My knees were glowing with pain.


Sunday, August 26, 2001

From along the beginning of the trail, looking northeast.
From here you can see, White Baldy,
Red Baldy and American Fork Twin Peaks.

Looking west toward the Sub Peak east of Box Elder.

Looking southwest near the Wide Hollow Overlook.

The cabin ruins near Wide Hollow Overlook.

Looking west toward Mill Canyon Peak down Wide Hollow.

From the saddle to Box Elder Peak looking southeast down Wide Hollow
You have to scramble over loose shale and limestone.

This is the base of Box Elder Peak as seen from the south saddle

Strange limestone formations

The Box Elder Hoodoo

Looking east toward the Uinta Mountains

Nearing the summit.

Just below the summit, I started around the east side of Box Elder Peak
and saw this large family of Mountain Goats.

I looked down and there was this guy just sitting there,
chewin' grass, seconds later he turned his head and looked at me.
I didn't take a picture, because I didn't know what he would do.

I didn't move, but he took off running.

He noticed that I wasn't chasing him,
so he stopped to take a better look at me.
He could have kicked my butt off the mountain.

Shane reaching the summit.

Box Elder Peak Summit 11,101'
Looking north toward American Fork Twin Peaks. The summit log is full.

Looking east toward the Sub Peak 10,138'
I think there is a route that climbs up this ridge. (I'm not sure)

Red Baldy, Red Top, American Fork Twin Peaks, Unknown

Looking south toward Mount Timpanogos and Santaquinn Peak in the far distance.
You can see the goat herd in the bowl and the highlighted area on the mountain in front of us.

From the summit, looking northwest toward the giant gnarled limestone strata.
Limestone is malleable and can be folded,
unlike granite and quatzite which shatter when put under stress.

From the summit looking north west toward Lone Peak and Bell's Canyon Peak.

Looking north to the Pfeifferhorn, behind is Broads Fork Twin Peaks,
Sunrise and Dromedary.

Thunder Mountain, and the Pfeifferhorn, Cottonwood Ridge in the distance.

Looking north toward White Baldy and American Fork Twin Peaks.

White Baldy with Monte Cristo and the Cottonwood Ridge in the far distance.

A huge pika cache, they spend all summer storing up food for the winter, they don't hibernate.

Shane coming down the west side of Box Elder Peak.

Going down Box Elder Peak

Looking south toward Mount Timpanogos

Oquirrh Range, South Mountain, Point of the Mountain, Traverse Mountains and Alpine City

Utah Lake, Mahogany Mountain (base of Timpanogos) and Mount Nebo, in the far distance.

Special Thanks to Shane


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