Exploring Box Elder Creek in Colorado


This area encompasses the rural communities of Bennett and Hudson, home to the winding Box Elder Creek and its tributaries. With its rich history tied to pioneers, railroads, and cattle ranching, Box Elder Creek offers visitors an authentic glimpse into the American West along with plenty of outdoor recreation. From hiking and fishing to historical tours and community events, there’s something for everyone to experience. This article delves into the many attractions and activities that make Box Elder Creek an appealing tourist destination.


  • Box Elder Creek is located between Denver and Cheyenne in Colorado's Front Range rural communities.
  • The area has a pioneer history and modern outdoor recreation with hiking, fishing, and more.
  • Community events and craftsmanship traditions like woodworking add local flavor.

Scenic Landscapes and Outdoor Adventure

Crisscrossed with hiking trails, Box Elder Creek treats outdoor enthusiasts to beautiful vistas and adventures. The creek itself boasts excellent fly fishing as it winds through cottonwood forests with the dramatic backdrop of the Front Range mountains. Visitors can also view wildlife like mule deer, red foxes, and a variety of songbirds along the riparian corridors.

In addition to hiking and fishing opportunities, Box Elder Creek has become a popular destination for cyclists. County roads that parallel the creek feature long stretches of flat or gently rolling terrain perfect for biking. For those interested in water activities, the larger reservoirs in the region offer boating, waterskiing, and other water sports during the summer months.

No matter the season, spectacular scenery abounds. From wildflower-filled meadows in the spring to golden cottonwood leaves in the fall, Box Elder Creek impresses visitors with its natural beauty. The area also boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, making outdoor excursions enjoyable for much of the year.

History and Culture

Beyond its landscape, Box Elder Creek has a rich history intertwined with railroads, cattle ranching, and westward expansion. The creek itself is tied to a larger watershed draining the Black Hills region of South Dakota, where Rapid Creek originates. This watershed sustained Native American tribes for thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the 1800s.

As pioneer settlers moved west on trails like the Overland Trail, Box Elder Creek became an important water and rest stop. The creek crosses the first transcontinental railroad completed in 1869, which brought more homesteaders and established local towns like Bennett and Hudson. Cattle ranches still dot the countryside, continuing the region’s agricultural heritage.

This history comes alive through local museums and historical tours. Visitors can explore a restored railroad depot, walk the same pioneer trails, and discover homestead sites and abandoned mines. Festivals like Hudson Days and the Box Elder Fair celebrate this heritage with rodeos, exhibitions, and community events. For a taste of history and culture, Box Elder Creek delivers.

Local Craftsmanship and Artisan Traditions

In addition to its historical attractions, Box Elder Creek also harbors a spirited community of artists, craftspeople, and DIY builders. The local woodworking scene is especially vibrant, tracing its roots back to the area’s timber and sawmilling history. Groups like the Sawmill Creek Woodworking Community have helped foster connections between woodworkers, providing education, mentorship, and camaraderie.

Visitors can experience this crafting heritage first-hand at local woodworking stores, workshops and community events. Highlights include the annual Sawmill Creek Woodworking Show displaying members’ creations, the Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium, and woodcarving classes offered by local artisans. Beyond woodworking, opportunities abound to meet local artists through open studio tours, cultural festivals and farmers markets.

By engaging with these creative communities, tourists gain a deeper understanding of Box Elder Creek’s enduring frontier spirit and ingenuity. Locally crafted items also make for unique souvenirs and gifts to take home.

Real Estate and Property Insights

In addition to being a tourist destination, Box Elder Creek appeals to home buyers and landowners thanks to its beautiful landscape and low property costs compared to the Denver metro area. However, navigating the property records, zoning regulations, and land tracts can prove confusing for those unfamiliar with the region.

The Box Elder County Recorder’s Office maintains all legal property records for the area. Understanding the recording requirements and utilizing the available online tools can help property buyers access key information. For example, the EagleWeb application provides an interactive map linked to county data on zoning, flood zones, property lines, and more. This helps land owners and potential buyers understand restrictions and land use in Box Elder Creek.

While zoning is relatively flexible compared to urban areas, some regulations exist related to agricultural use, residential density, commercial development, and environmental factors like wetlands or wildlife habitat. New landowners should research these considerations when evaluating parcels or planning construction projects. Groups like the Town of Wellington also provide resources on master plans and development in the Box Elder Creek region.

Looking to the Future

While Box Elder Creek cherishes its historical roots, the region also embraces innovation and environmentally-conscious planning. Groups like the Upper Boxelder Watershed Network take a collaborative approach to managing the creek’s watershed, working across municipal and county lines to balance growth, agriculture and ecosystem health. Their efforts even earned the Network the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 Nonpoint Source Achievement Award.

In addition, the Town of Hudson was recently designated as one of Colorado’s first “Solar Friendly Communities” for adopting formal policies and processes to encourage solar installations. Between sustainable development and technological tools for land owners, Box Elder Creek remains a forward-thinking community.

The future looks bright for Box Elder Creek as the region balances progress and preservation. For visitors and residents alike, its welcoming community and wealth of historical, cultural, and outdoor attractions beckon to be explored.


What are the top things to do around Box Elder Creek?

The top activities and attractions include hiking the scenic trails, fly fishing along the creek, exploring pioneer and railroad history at local museums and tours, attending community events like Hudson Days, and engaging with local arts and craftsmanship.

Where are some good spots to go fishing?

Excellent fly fishing access exists along the Box Elder Creek Trail and at various parks and open spaces, like Pioneer Park in Hudson. Spin fishing and ice fishing are also popular at reservoirs like Barr Lake.

What hiking trails allow dogs?

Many trails allow leashed dogs, including the Box Elder Creek Trail, Pawnee Grasslands, and Twin Spruce Horse Trail. Always check trail regulations as some sensitive wildlife areas may have restrictions.

Where can I learn more about property records or land use regulations?

The Box Elder County Recorder’s Office provides property records. Local planning departments like the Town of Wellington have details on zoning and land use policies. Interactive tools like EagleWeb also consolidate county data.

What types of woodworking events happen annually?

The Sawmill Creek Woodworking Show occurs each March in Denver, while the Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium happens in September. Local woodworkers also organize events and hands-on classes year-round.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to ReadyColorado.com. This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.