Marysvale Branch – Denver And Rio Grand Railroad
Hover Box Element
Can you imagine an old steam engine chugging down this trail? The railroad into Marysvale was part of the Marysvale Branch line of the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad. Potassium sulphate from the Alunite operation and passengers were part of the early cargo.
The line started south from Thistle Utah, some 130 miles north of here in, 1890. The final 6 miles through this canyon was built in 1900.
The intent was to build the line on south to Panquitch and beyond, but the revenue did not make the line profitable, so the idea of going farther south was abandon.
The line from Richfield to Marysvale was abandon in 1972. In 1983, a giant land slide in Spanish Fork Canyon created Thistle Lake, which wiped out the town of Thistle and the entire Marysvale Branch was closed forever.
Let your mind go back a 100 years; imagine if you will, a large steam engine puffing though this canyon pulling a line of ore and freight or maybe passenger cars. Passing the Big Rock Candy Mountain with the engineer singing the famous Burl Ives song, “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”.