The northbound highway corridor seems too narrow on the approach to Brigham City, Utah. The jagged mountain range creeps closer from the east while the open lands of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge close in from the west. Few cities of the Wasatch Front feel as "nestled" as Brigham City. Its Main Street archway proclaims "Gateway to the World's Greatest Wild Bird Refuge," and welcomes visitors to an historic main drag that also serves as part of a base camp to year-round adventure and vast tranquility of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the nation-transforming Golden Spike National Historic Site.
Brigham City is near the northernmost point of the Wasatch Front, Utah's vibrant population corridor. The steep and adventure-filled Wellsville Mountains branch off from the Wasatch Front. Interstate 15 runs a parallel path to the mountains, which rise thousands of feet above the valley floor, virtually in the backyard. You'll instantly notice Brigham City's small town feel, despite bigger city amenities like comfortable and affordable hotel rooms, deluxe suites, and beautiful golf courses. Brigham City has many historic buildings, including a dignified, pillared courthouse with a clock in its dome, a Mormon Tabernacle and the classic 100-year-old Capitol Theater. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center provide a popular place with a great view for birding enthusiasts. The world-renowned birding destination is an impressive place for viewing and listening to everything from ducks to colorful songbirds.
Brigham City was settled in the early 1850s and originally named Box Elder, but later changed its name to honor Brigham Young, second president of the LDS (Mormon) Church. West of Brigham City is ATK, where the solid rocket boosters used to propel the space shuttles were manufactured. The ATK Thiokol Rocket Garden (free to the public) displays a complete booster for the space shuttle and rockets from the middle of the century to the 2000s. The open-air display is 2 miles past the turnoff to Golden Spike National Historic Site.
There are plenty of great things to do in Brigham City – check out these visitor tips for the best places to play and eat.
Willard Bay State Park
Enjoy camping, boating, birding and fishing at one of Northern Utah's premier reservoirs just south of Bear River. There are two marinas with modern campgrounds. While Willard Bay has become a destination for water sports through the warmer months, it is also a great birding destination throughout the year where many enthusiasts can add new species to their lists.
Crystal Hot Springs
Crystal Hot Springs' range in temperature from 120-134 F and holds the highest mineral content found in the United States. After a day spent exploring Box Elder County, regardless of the temperatures, head to Crystal Hot Springs for a rejuvenating soak in their hot mineral pools and spend the night under the stars in their family-friendly campground. Head north from Brigham City on S.R. 38 past Honeyville.
Eagle Rise Mountain Biking Trails
Eagle Rise and surrounding trails are perfect outing for a family or for people with beginner skills and fitness. Not a lot of climbing, not very technical, and not very long, it’s definitely worth exploring. Even though the rides are moderate, the visuals are not.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
Also near Brigham City, the Great Salt Lake is one of the premier migratory bird flight paths in North America. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is among the finest spots in the area for bird watching. Species of interes include the American white pelican, blacknecked stilt, American avocet, white-faced ibis and snowy plover. As many of 200 species of birds make a seasonal stop in Bear River.
Brigham City is famous for Peach Days, a community celebration held each September, the weekend after Labor Day. Visitors can find any number of things to do in Brigham City this weekend, including outdoor activities and vendors, movie screenings, pageants and Utah's largest car show. Nearly 75,000 people stop by Brigham City to celebrate the bountiful harvest of some of the region's most revered peaches thanks to the warming sunlight on the Wasatch Mountains' western slope. Patrons of farmers markets and High West Distillery alike enjoy this special harvest.
Utah's Famous Fruit Way
Find the best in local agriculture from Northern Utah at roadside fruit stands like Pettingills, Sumida's, Tagges Famous Fruit and Paul's Patch. The Fruit Way lines a stretch of historic Highway 89 between Willard and Brigham City just off the interstate. That few extra minutes can result in lots of fresh-picked produce and local food products like cheese curds and shakes for the road trip still ahead. Driving northbound on I-15, take exit 351 and stay right. Take a left on Highway 89, heading north toward Brigham City.
Maddox Fine Food
Brigham City has multiple classic dining establishments that lend to its historic, small town aura. But Maddox Fine Food, two miles south in Perry, is a dining icon that is as much a destination as it is a diner, and it's well worth visiting. Known as Utah's Original Steakhouse, Maddox has served up "farm-to-table" since 1949, sourcing beef from their own ranch and seeking out other locally sourced ingredients, when possible. Dine in or drive-in.
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