Looking uphill as the trail cuts through an outcrop of volcanic tuff. Photos and review May 12, 2015 by Bruce.
Candy Mountain Express
(Big Rock Candy Mountain Bike Trail)
The Candy Mountain Express is a paved bike trail in Sevier Canyon, just south of Richfield.
This trail is a great ride for families with young children. For hard-core cyclists, the Express
can be combined with the paved Sevier Highway bike path for a worthy skinny-tire outing.
The Candy Mountain Express trail is 6.75 miles long, but has only 250 feet of elevation change.
The pedaling is a mellow cruise as the route follows an old railroad grade. From the trailhead
on US-89 just south of Interstate 70, the path descends southbound to the Sevier River, then
climbs at a mellow pace up Sevier Canyon to the
Rock Candy Mountain
Looking south (toward Sevier Canyon in the trailhead parking off US-89.
For Big-Miles riders: We're on the paved bike path just south of Elsinore looking southeast. From this point, it's about 6 miles north of the Candy Mountain Express trailhead. For a 50-miler, it's not that tough.
Most of the trail's users are local roadie hammerheads. They take the paved bike path on SR
258 (Sevier Highway, old Highway 89) from Richfield. It's 17.5 miles from the middle of downtown
Richfield to the trailhead, making the out-and-back 48.5 miles.
Intermediate roadies can catch the path in Elsinore (8 miles south of Richfield, 9.5 miles
from the trailhead), for a 32.5 mile round trip.
There's a bathroom at the lower trailhead, and another along the trail around 1/2 mile from
the upper end. Lodging, RV camping, gas, snacks and drinks are available at Big Rock Candy
Looking downhill, about 1.5 miles up the canyon.
Looking east from the trail. Note the spot where the volcanic tuff meets the underlying layers.
Most older children can manage the up-and-back from the trailhead parking near I-70. The round
trip will be 13.5 miles, so allow a couple of hours.
For young children, consider a one-way downhill. But there's no trail parking at the top. The
parking at the resort and gas station is for their customers. If you need to leave a car there,
make sure it's OK. Otherwise, it's drop-off and go, or find a spot away from the resort to
stash your car on a wide shoulder.
The lower trailhead is about 1/4 mile south of Interstate 70 Exit 23 on US 89, where old highway
89 (now the Sevier Highway, SR 258) joins. You'll notice that the Candy Mountain Express is
a continuation of the paved bike path on the east side of SR 258. Catch the trail at the far
end of the parking area.C
ranking along. Even into a strong wind, uphill, on a mountain bike, it was easy riding.
At this spot, the old railroad went through the mountain -- but the bike trail goes around.
Across US-89 from the parking area, you'll notice the road to
Indian State Park
A visit there is a worthwhile activity to add to your bike adventure. But I'd suggest taking
the kiddies there by car after their bike ride, because (1) extra miles, (2) narrow shoulder,
and (3) big RVs and trailers.
The ride begins with a descent to a bridge over Clear Creek, then the Sevier River. (If you're
going downhill, there's a spot near the river where you can intercept the kids and load them
up if they can't make it uphill to the trailhead parking.)
Zipping through another railroad cut.
As I head uphill, a raft from the resort heads down the Sevier River.
For the first mile or so, the trail runs right next to the highway. Then it pulls away into
a tree-lined avenue. At mile 2.5, the road crosses to the west side of the river, while the
bike path stays to the east.
The terrain here is very different from the "usual Utah." The gray rock spires of the mountainside
are tuff, created from volcanic ash and pumice that was ejected from a large volcano nearby.
Spires of tuff meet the skyline. What Hawaii would look like if it were as dry as Utah.
Looking toward the resort.
Look for spots where the tuff meets the underlying tilted rock layers. You may also spot old
mudflows beneath the ash. Stop to read the nature and history signs along the trail.
Expect to see a few rabbits and squirrels. If you're lucky, you may spot the local wild turkeys.
Deer will be around in the morning and evening.
Not as small as he looks. My friend here is a full five feet long.
Bridge across the Sevier River at the resort.
The bathroom at the top is near an old road that connects across the river to the highway.
Note that this large parking-lot-ish area is private property, and you can't park there.
Just a bit further on, the trail takes a 90 to the right and dips to a river bridge. Pedal
straight past the cabins. The trail joins the road at the south end of the gas station. Again,
note that this is NOT a public parking area for your car.
Before you head back down, check out the fun stuff and spend a few bucks at the
They have ice cream.
Note to skinny-tire hammerheads as you turn downhill: the speed limit on the bike path is 20
Oh the buzzin' of the bees in the cigarette trees The soda water fountain where the lemonade springs And the bluebird sings in that Big Rock Candy Mountain -- Burl Ives
Candy Mountain Express map
50-mile. Richfield I-70 exit 40. South on bike lane of old US-89.
32-mile. Elsinore I-70 exit 31. Paved bike path west side of SR 258 (old
Trailhead: I-70 exit 23 to Highway 89. 1/4 mile south of I-70, left to SR
258 and immediately right into parking lot. Start ride southbound.
Castle Rock Campground (south of I-70 near Fremont Indian State Park)
RV camping at resort
KOA in Richfield
GPX File Download: