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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, June 18, 2010

Enjoy a Taste of Utah's Big Rock Candy Mountain

When I was young, my family always stopped at Big Rock Candy Mountain, whenever we traveled Hwy 89 through southern-central Utah. It was a favorite rest stop, and still is for many travelers.

That was many years ago. But the mountain is still there – still attractive for a short rest stop or a leisurely holiday.

This Provo Herald article highlights the mountain, and the small resort that has grown up around it. Below are highlights.

‘In the Big Rock Candy Mountains / There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
"Where the handouts grow on bushes / And you sleep out every night.
"Where the boxcars all are empty / And the sun shines every day
"And the birds and the bees / And the cigarette trees
"The lemonade springs / Where the bluebird sings
"In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."

Made famous in the 1950s by folk singer Burl Ives, the lyrics of the late Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock -- a sometime Utah resident born in Tennessee -- describe the "crystal fountains," sunshine, fruit trees and peaceful scenery of a hobo paradise. Residents of Sevier County who heard the song thought they recognized its descriptions and stuck the name Big Rock Candy Mountain on a colorful hillside north of Marysvale on Highway 89.

On our way there, my 8-year-old daughter corrected me when I said, "We're going to the Big Rock Candy Mountain now," and said, "Oh, mom, you mean the Big Rock CANYON Mountain; there's no such thing as a candy mountain."

Terry Briggs, owner of the Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort, opened the full-service getaway spot in 2000. It includes a fine-dining restaurant, ATV rentals, white-water rafting, and motel and cabin rentals.

My children and I stopped at the Big Rock Candy Mountain to eat, relax and take some pictures. The fine-dining restaurant offers American and Italian cuisine. Two friendly guitarists entertain guests. They even played "In the Big Rock Candy Mountains" for me. The food is very good, and the atmosphere picturesque. Open, airy windows offer views of the multicolored volcanic rock.


  • At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Brighton Chalets said…

    Thanks for the post! Where you stay on your vacation can make or break the entire trip. Big Rock Candy Mountain looks like a great place, I'll have to look more into it!

  • At 2:38 PM, Anonymous cabin rentals said…

    "There's no such thing as a candy mountain."- This is exactly what I was thinking when I read this article. I am going to have do a flickr search and see some pictures.


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