When Harry McClintock wrote the lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountain, he didn’t have a specific place in mind. His song, first recorded in 1928, is about a hobo’s idea of paradise. Every child who grew up in the 1950s remembers Burl Ives singing the chorus:
Oh the buzzin’ of the bees
In the cigarette trees
Near the soda water fountain
At the lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
On the big rock candy mountain
There is a mountain in Utah that could be mistaken for candy and when the song came out, someone posted a sign at its base declaring it the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Moreover, a nearby spring also acquired a sign as the Lemonade Spring.
Located in Marysvale Canyon along the Sevier River, the Big Rock Candy Mountain is, unfortunately, not sugar but colorful volcanic rock. The original ash and lava which were deposited between 20 and 35 million years ago have been mineralized into the bright yellow, orange, red and white formations we see today.
Recreation opportunities abound in and around Marysvale Canyon. A paved biking trail runs along the Sevier River and white water rafting trips are an exciting way to view the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Candy Mountain Resort offers cabins and a restaurant and a starting point for the Paiute ATV trail. Or just stop awhile to enjoy the colorful formations and dream of a mountain of candy and a lemonade spring.
To find your way to the Big Rock Candy Mountain, go to the Kanab to Sevier Road Trip Guide.