Theater in the Pines (Aspen Grove) – Mount Timpanogos UT

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Description

In 1934-36, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the beautiful amphitheater at Aspen Grove – today known as the Theater in the Pines. 

The amphitheater has an elegant stone stage that includes back and side walls with entrances for actors stage left and stage right, plus a tunnel behind the stage for easy movement and steps up to the top of the walls on both side.

There is an orchestra pit, also in stone, and planting beds for flowers.  Surprisingly, the stage is built over a seasonal creek that passes through an arched tunnel beneath.  On each side of the stage area are wooden footbridges over the creek, set on stone walls.

Originally, seating was on massive logs, which were put in place by Works Progress Administration (WPA) crews just before the theater opened in 1936. After the war, permanent seating was installed: wooden planks set on low walls of cinder blocks. The theater can seat upwards of a thousand people.

There are conflicting versions of which CCC company built the amphitheater. Baldridge (p. 123) say that work was done by men from Company 948 at Camp F-30 working out of Hobble Creek Canyon in the summers, while Roper (p. 90) indicates that it was built by CCC men from Camp F-43 in Pleasant Grove.

The Theater in the Pines is still used for events at Aspen Grove, a group camp run out of Brigham Young University. For many years, the principal use was for annual gatherings of thousands of people joining in a celebration of Mt. Timpanogos and a hike to the top, led by a BYU professor.  

The theater is still in surprisingly good condition, though the plank seating has been mostly removed and need to be replaced (2021).  There is also a stone drinking fountain and campfire circle seating (renovated) nearby and a concrete pad that might once have been the foundation for a ticket booth.

Source notes

Baldridge, Kenneth. 2019. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Roper, Roger. CCC Database. Utah State Historic Preservation Office. 3-29-2021. 

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Location Info


Aspen Grove
Mt. Timpanogos, Utah 84604

Coordinates: 40.403732, -111.604798

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