Looking for some ATV fun or just a fun place to get away for a weekend? Big Rock Candy Mountain has you covered.
My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting this attraction tucked away and basically hiding in West-central Utah in Paiute County. The Mountain you see above, gets it’s mostly mustardy yellowish-white color from volcanic rock spewed millions of years ago and had been chemically altered by the obvious hydrogen sulphide, along with water and oxygen, as well as minerals present in the surrounding area to form and give you these beautiful little piles of rock to change up the scenery a bit in the rolling farmland hills.
Lodging at Big Rock Candy Mountain
It’s a great little place to stay if you’re looking into exploring the Paiute Trail system. Which is ginormous by the way! 2000+ miles with a 240 mile main loop.
- You have your choice of 8 cabins, (yay)
- 12 caboose train cars, (whoohoo)
- A few motel rooms, (snore)
- 32 lot RV park, (way too crowded and too close for comfort)
- Or some good old fashioned camping, (I do enough of that!)
The lodging at this place books up pretty quick as it is a great place to stay whilst getting your fill of all of the ATV rides you can stand. As my husband puts it “we’re comin in jiggly hot!”
If you’ve decided on booking one of the train cars
When starting my research and bookings for this trip I immediately fell in love with these caboose train car rentals. I thought these are either going to be super trashy, inconvenient, in desperate need of repair and updating, tiny and strictly novelty rooms that I will wish I didn’t book for 3 nights. I was impressed really! Turns out, they were probably one of the best rooms I’ve stayed in lately. All of the train cars had a different name and theme. Ours was a beachy nautical theme and was super cute.
They’re clean, convenient, updated and yes novelty but again way cute. Especially the porch overlooking the Sevier River. There are some fire pits, grills and tables down by the river for more of your outdoorsy pleasure. We didn’t indulge in our love of a good sit-down by the fire with a beer in hand, because they wasn’t advertised, and I didn’t want to pay $9 for a small bundle of wood at the ol nearby “convenience” store. Had I known, I would’ve probably brought some wood from home.
Oh yes – the “convenience” store. The one that closes whenever it wants really, because everyday it was different. The day we arrived, which was on the Thursday right before Labor Day weekend, they closed at 3 PM. To our later thankfulness we had our shit together that morning and left way earlier than we needed to, we ended up there around 1:30 – 2 PM and decided we would see if we could check into our lovely little ass end of a train room. The staff was super friendly and helpful though.
Services available and some things to know before you go
I advise taking a quick drive around in your ATV to get your bearings. There are signs posted around about not driving on the main highway. They don’t like it and I can see why.
If you know where you want to go, drive around and see how you can get there by using the trails. It’ll be a fun adventure in itself!
There’s basically no cell service so be prepared for that. It can be hard to get used to if you’re a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and whatever junkie. It can also be hard if you are trying to look up where something is via the internets cuz that shit isn’t happening unless you drive into Marysvale.
Restaurants and foodstuffs
At the Big Rock Grill & Smokehouse, you can get good home cooked meals with very friendly and fairly fast service. They also have a sauce they make for sale called Honey Jalapeño Dippin Sauce. It was so good we bought 2 bottles.They closed at 8 PM on weekdays and 9 PM on Saturday.
Hoover’s Cafe just a little further down the road towards Marysvale was closed when we went but I read they’re planning to re-open for the 2019 season.
There’s a little convenience store in Marysvale called Tug’s One Stop and it closes at 7 PM so make sure you take plenty of food, snacks, and water just in case. I’m happy to report that my overpacking really shined in the food, coffee, and snack department. If you like to savor a good glass of wine, a few beers, or if your more of a “let’s get waay steed” type of person, then be sure to BYOB. There is a super secret tiny section in the back of Tug’s where you’ll find a small selection of those things. ( which blew my mind by the way) And maybe that is why they close at 7 PM because of some of the Utah laws about enjoying yourself too much and apparently too late.
There are a few other places to eat at in Marysvale as well.
Tomatoe’s Pizza Pie – Specializes in Pizza, sandwiches, pasta and also serves up salads, burgers and ice cream. (this place was good but busy around dinner time)
Marysvale Diner @ Webers – this is a motel restaurant with the usual American fare. (didn’t try)
Dixon’s Dawg House – a walk-up stand serving Hot dogs, chips and burgers. (passed it up)
Activities and such
Naturally if you’re coming to the resort, you’re going to check out the Paiute Trails on your sweet ass side-by-side or 4-wheeler. (or your crummy ass piece of shit) Or you can rent one of their many selections of off-road vehicles for a cost of course.
These trails are so abundant and interconnected that I can’t even tell you which ones we were on or which were my favorite. But I did enjoy the one that passes by a spot called Hennessy Point, which is pretty high in elevation. I believe we found out it’s a bit over 10,000 feet!
Just grab a trail map (available pretty much everywhere at varying prices) and choose which ones you want to explore. Just make sure you bring food and especially water as there are no services anywhere except in Marysvale.
But if you’re into hiking, I highly recommend the short trip up to the Bullion Falls. We weren’t able to go down to the falls like we had heard you can do because we thought my husband had torn his biscuits (Meniscus) so we stopped because it gets a little rocky going down. Check out my post on hiking tips.
Man made fun
The resort has a few other activities to check out besides the ATV and bike trails, and hiking.
There’s the Adventure Mountain which is a suspension bridge across to the mountain with ropes and iron footholds and handholds to help you up to where you get to zip line your way back down to the bottom. You have to be in a safety harness so don’t worry about free falling to your death like I would. (a little scared of heights but getting better)
The Adventure Park will get you the thrill of making your way through obstacles such as a tight rope walk over the Sevier River, tire swings, wall climbs, balance beams and the like. I didn’t partake in these activities but there’s always next time.
Sevier River trips
There’s also an unguided lazy river float and a guided white water rafting trip available with everything needed to participate for a small fee. Or you can just float the river on your own if you have the life jacket and tubes, rafts or SUP boards to make this water loving attraction possible. We paid for the lazy river float and in hindsight I wish we would’ve just used our paddle boards and went down the river by ourselves. It would’ve been about the same experience to be honest. The “kid” that drove us all down to the launch area was pretty much clueless mouth breather and probably didn’t know his left hand from his right.
Big Rock Candy Mountain overall conclusion and thoughts
After spending a long weekend here, I must say I really enjoyed it but I could have enjoyed it a lot more had I known about all the weird early closing times of basically everything and that I had my own fire pit to myself to enjoy down by the river as part of the train car rental.
That amenity may have been listed somewhere but I sure as hell didn’t see it or maybe I didn’t pay attention to it. Who knows! But I had been wanting to go here ever since we bought our RZR and finally had the chance to go. We starting looking about a month and a halfish before going and found only one train car available. It was Labor Day weekend and the last weekend they had their season open so maybe that had a lot to do with it.
They could benefit from adding a cell tower out there for sure. Just because it would be nice to know you could call for help or look up some info online if need be. Trust me, it was a little frustrating.
A little dive bar that serves some food wouldn’t hurt but I bet they don’t do that for fear of too many people getting in their rides and feelin the need to booze cruise and get lost and wreck and die and or cause accidents. I get it. People are dumb.
But I will say a beefing up of knowledgable personnel around for the guided trips and helping people stay on track and not being stupid, especially on the busy weekends or Holiday weekends would make it a more safe and resorty type experience for sure.