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Sweet visit to Big Rock Candy Mountain

By Leslie Kawai for The Daily Herald - | Jul 13, 2014
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The burst of vibrant colors at Big Rock Candy Mountain are unmistakable. 

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Surprise your kids with a trip to a real candy mountain. Big Rock Candy Mountain is located just south of Richfield. 

“In the big Rock Candy Mountains,

There’s a land that’s fair and bright, . . .

Where the sun shines ev-ry day, . . .

And the lemonade spring,

Where the blue bird sings,

In the big Rock Candy Mountains.”

Made famous by in 1950s by Burl Ives, the lyrics of the late Utah resident Haywire Mack describe the “crystal fountains,” sunshine, fruit trees and peaceful scenery of Sevier County.

It’s one of those things that your kids will always remember: I remember it from when I was a little girl — visiting the Big Rock Candy Mountain. It’s one of those childhood road-trip stops that always is a happy memory in my mind and one of those places I’m amazed more Utahns haven’t heard of or visited. After our afternoon soaking in the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, I decided to take my own kids on their first visit to the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

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.” I assured her that there really is a candy mountain — talk about peaking your children’s interest. And, even though I had to explain that the Big Rock Candy Mountain wasn’t really made of candy, but was named because the colorful volcanic rock formations in yellows, purples, and reds make it look like candy … the word “candy” in the name was enough to keep my three children excited about discovering this place.

Located 25 miles south of Monroe and just north of Marysvale along Highway 89, passersby can’t miss the Big Rock Candy Mountain marked by a large sign, a restaurant, a wooden bear, and several cabins sitting neatly in a row adjacent to the parking and walking area.

Terry Briggs, owner of the Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort, opened the full-service resort in 2000, including 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.

If you ask at the front desk, you may even get to see the last known bottle of yellow water from the “Lemonade Springs.” Be sure to take time to read the informative plaques hanging on the walls that tell the history and stories about Big Rock Candy Mountain.

In the gift shop adjacent to the restaurant, you can buy Western and Native American crafts, as well as your own copy of the famous Haywire Mack song. And, of course… you’ll want to buy a bag of candy!

So, the next time you drive down scenic Highway 89, check out the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

WHERE: 4479 N. Hwy 89, Sevier River Canyon, Marysvale

INFO: (435) 326-2000 or www.candymountainresort.com


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