Geographically, Box Elder County is the fourth largest county in the state of Utah with 5,594 square miles of Great Basin valleys and over 1,000 square miles of the Great Salt Lake. The cities and towns have populations that range from 300 to 19,000.
Box Elder residents need not leave the county to have outdoor fun -- even an indoor dose of culture -- year round. At the Golden Spike National Monument, 30 miles west of Brigham City, one of the most significant events in U.S. history occurred. On May 10, 1869 many witnessed the driving of the last spike into the rails that would join the east and west with the nation's first transcontinental railroad. This event changed the course of history and changed the western frontier forever. Each year a re-enactment of the 'Driving of the Golden Spike' takes place at Promontory Summit. This rail system continues to be important for both business and pleasure.
Box Elder County is much more than the Bear River Bird Refuge, the Golden Spike Monument, ATK Corporation, and the famous Utah Fruitway. A commanding view of the Rocky Mountains' Wasatch Range is to the east, thus giving the County's far flung communities a small town atmosphere along with easy urban access. The county offers a casual lifestyle, a strong sense of community, and a firmly ingrained work ethic which have fashioned the county into an appealing place for families to live, work, and play. More than 90 percent of the residents live in or around Tremonton and brigham City, with Brigham being the largest city in the county with a population of approximately 19,000. Brigham City has won numerous beautification awards, and is also home to Peach Days, an annual festival that celebrated its 100th year in September 2003.
Today, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge consists of more than 74,000 acres of marches and upland habitats for a variety of birds in a desert climate. In 1843, explorer John C. Fremont saw such a large concentration of waterfowl flocks that he wrote "the waterfowl made a noise like thunder...as the whole scene was animated with waterfowl." As the area was settled the marshes began to dry up and by the 1920's there were only about two or three thousand acres of the original 45,000 acres left. Little concern was given until avian botulism left hundreds of thousands of dead and dying waterfowl and shorebirds. Then through public outcry in 1928 Congress passed a special act making the area a National Wildlife Refuge. Among the 200 plus species of birds that can been seen at the Refuge now are the American Avocet, Western and Clark's Grebe, Blacknecked Stilt, Canada Geese, and Tundra Swans (with some 40,000 swans reported during waterbird watches conducted in November). One of North American's largest pelican colonies nest on the Great Salt Lake's Gunnison Island and feed on the fresh fish at the Refuge. Even in the winter months harriers such as the Rough-legged hawk, Prairie falcons and Bald eagles can be seen looking for prey on the fronzen land at the marshes.
Willard Bay State Park, directly west of the famous Fruitway in Willard and Perry, is 9,900 acres of fresh water that offers boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, and wind surfing. Boat launching is located at the North and South Marinas and day use and camping facilities are also available with RV hookups at the Cottonwood campsite. The reservior is also great for warm-waterr fishing with crappie, wiper, walleye, catfish, and small mouth bass to challenage any age angler.
There are several golf courses in the area; Eagle Mountain Gold Course (435-723-3212) in Brigham City, and Skyway Golf Course (435-257-5706) in Tremonton, with an additional course at Bellmont Springs.
The Heritage Theatre, which puts on amateur productions throughout the year in nearby Perry, is a weekend favorite for residents. The Theatre is housed in a former LDS (Mormon) Church with seating for 220. In addition to the Heritage Theatre the Old Barn Theatre is located in Collinston (in a barn of over 100 years old) with community productions. There is also a large effort to bring "big quality" concerts and performances every year to the Brigham City and Tremonton areas and a great focus on historical preservation of the County's finest features. There is a walking tour of the historic homes and buildings in Brigham City available for a great deal of enjoyment. Willard City offers twelve homes that have been listed on the Utah State Register of Historic Sites and many other historical buildings that predate 1885.
Box Elder County recognizes the need for growth and is very aggressively developing plans for responsible development that will maintain historically famous open space, effectively preserve our environment, enhance agriculture and agricultural-related business, and strengthen our current business community as well as those industries desiring to come in as new supporting partners. Box Elder County understands that Quality of Life means many things, including quality employment, a strong and diverse economy, desirable and affordable housing, top level education, safe and peaceful living conditions, etc. Box Elder County is committed to achieving the best quality of life environmentally possible.
Most of the county's communities are located within a one hour drive of Salt Lake City which lies directly south of Box Elder. That means easy access to the symphony, ballet, theaters, international airport, and the University of Utah.
Brigham City is also nearly equidistant from Ogden to the south and Logan to the north. These two cities, less than a 30 minute drive away, are home to Weber State University and Utah State University, respectively. Add to this the many cultural and sporting events, and these cities offer more than anyone could hope for -- including access to skiing, shopping and fine dining.
Quality living is enhanced by year-round activities, cultural events, and outdoor sports. If you're looking for ways to appreciate Box Elder County, consider these:
- Golden Spike National Historic Site 435-471-2209 ext. 29
- Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge 435-723-5887
- Thiokol Rocket Display 435-863-3511
- Willard Bay 435-734-9494
- Utah Fruitway
- Brigham City Depot 435-723-2948
- Box Elder County Campground (Mantua) 435-755-3620
- Stone Houses of Willard & Honeyville
- Tremonton Rodeo & County Fair 435-279-5706
- Crystal Hot Springs 435-279-8104 or 801-547-0777
- Marble Park 435-854-3740
- Heritage Theater 435-723-8392
- Old Barn Theatre 435-458-2276
- Brigham City Museum/Gallery 435-723-6769
- Peach Days 435-723-3931