About Box Elder County
Box Elder County covers 5,614 square miles, a large area, in the northwest corner of Utah. Great Salt Lake and its mud and salt flats form most of it's southern boundary; the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains form its eastern boundary. Deserts cover much of the county, but the Wasatch Mountains, on the eastern border, and the Raft River Mountains, which lie on the north, are beautiful forested alpine areas. The Bear River, the longest inland river in the world, flows through the Wasatch Mountains and empties into Great Salt Lake. It, along with other mountain-fed streams provide irrigation water for wide expanses of farmland, especially in the Bear River Valley. Most of the population of the county lives in this small part of the county, while only a few small towns are found further west.
Box Elder County's population, as of the year 2000, was 42,745. Brigham City is the county seat. Interstate 15 passes north-south along the eastern edge of the county, and Interstate 84 breaks off at Tremonton, heading northwest into Idaho. Utah highway 30 crosses the wide western deserts of the county, eventually reaching the Nevada state line, and also connects to Cache County to the east. Several other state highways connect the wide areas of the Bear River Valley.
The great western deserts of the county are almost uninhabited, although large areas are used for grazing cattle and occasional ranches can be seen. The valleys slope gradually down to the salt and mud flats of Great Salt Lake. Several low mountain ranges separate the valleys. Snowville, Park Valley and Grouse Creek are the towns found in this remote area.
Thiokol operates a plant that builds rockets for the space shuttle in Box Elder County.
What to See in Box Elder County
Golden Spike Historical Site
The famous completion of the first transcontinental railroad took place in Box Elder County in the Promontory Mountains in 1869. This portion of the railroad was bypassed when by a track running right through Great Salt Lake. The site, including many miles of the original railroad grade, is preserved by the National Park Service, called Golden Spike National Historical Site. Travel along the historic grades, now converted to roads, and read the story of this monumental undertaking in many signs along the route.
The Raft River Mountains
The Raft River Mountains reach as high as 9,925 feet in elevation and sit right in the northwest corner of the county, with their northern slopes reaching into Idaho. They run east-west, contrary to the norm, and are largely flat on top, accessible by a four wheel drive road.