In 1894, Bartholomew Malan built a hotel atop a peak along the mountains in Ogden, Utah. The hotel, named Malan Heights Resort, offered spectacular views and excellent service for its guests. Although Malan Heights Resort burned down after only a few years in operation, visitors today can see an old boiler and a plaque to remember this hotel.
Bartholomew “Tim” Malan (1848-1913) came from a family of Italian immigrants that moved to Ogden when he was seven years old. In 1891, Malan purchased roughly 800 acres of land and began constructing a road up Taylor’s Canyon. The road led up the south part of the canyon and reached a basin at the peak of the mountain. Malan began building a hotel, which he called the Malan Heights Resort when it was finished in 1894. The nearby peak and basin also carry Malan’s name. A newspaper article, published August 20, 1895, reported, “B. Malan has now completed a road to Waterfall Canyon and is prepared to accommodate any number of pleasure seekers.” Another article noted that “he has succeeded in carrying out his plans done well.” Malan offered transportation services up the mountain at a cost of one dollar for a round-trip. One of the primary attractions of Malan Heights Resort was the view of the valley from the top of the mountain.
Tourists’ responses to Malan Heights Resort were overwhelmingly positive. Visitors were quick to note the beauty and grandeur of the mountain scenery. One tourist, Mrs. L.L. Rogers, exclaimed, “To say the scenery is grand, grand, my pen only feebly conveys the idea. One needs take the trip to fully realize and appreciate the grandeur of the affair.” An Ogden Daily Standard article reported that “the visitors exclaim that they never saw anything like the mountain scenery of the Wasatch range.” The mountains surrounding Malan Heights Resort provided stunning views that created an enjoyable environment for tourists. The resort offered such a refreshing experience for visitors that it could be compared to a “Copacabana of the West.” Malan chose a strategic location for his hotel, as tourists could enjoy both the hotel’s services and the extraordinary landscape. For the years the hotel was in operation, guests were treated to a prime vacation spot in the mountains.
Despite the beautiful backdrop, the hotel faced some unfavorable circumstances, including vandalism and property damage. According to an Ogden Daily Standard article, “visitors have pulled stones down from the sidewalls which protect the road” and “others have taken a delight in hurling stones from the wall down the mountain side, endangering the lives of those who might be walking below.” Malan created a ten-cent toll on traveling to the hotel to make up for the destruction, but was ultimately unsuccessful in reversing the hotel’s prospects. The hotel permanently closed in 1904, and in 1910, it burned down due to a forest fire. All that remains today is an old boiler and a memorial plaque that sits in the basin to inform visitors about the resort.
Today, visitors can still enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and hike Malan’s Peak and Malan’s Basin. After hiking through Taylor Canyon, visitors arrive at a sign with instructions to cross the bridge and start the switchbacks up Malan’s Peak. After reaching the Peak, one can continue on to Malan’s Basin concluding their hike after 2-3 hours with a total of 6.8 miles roundtrip. While the hotel may be gone, the scenery endures as testament to Malan’s vision of western grandeur.