About Aspen Grove
Who We Are
As the name suggests, BYU Aspen Grove is the university’s place away from the business of each day. In the LDS faith, the seeds of the Restoration and beginning of the church started in a simple grove that we now call sacred. Early Latter-day Saints used groves to gather for comfort, inspired learning, and relief from their labors. Our programs and activities are meant to echo those origins.
As an auxiliary organization of Brigham Young University, we strive to contribute to the university mission by assisting individuals in their quest for perfection through providing a wholesome, educational, recreational environment that enriches lives and cultivates a spirit of faith, intellect, and service.
What We Do
Today, BYU Aspen Grove runs year round. Family Camp is still the heart of camp and is the only program we run in the summer (May-August).
We serve campus departments and local community organizations during the fall and winter through our own programs, such as Marriage Weekend Getaways, Family Getaways, Youth Conferences, and Seasonal Rentals.
We are happy to host other groups for their own educational conferences September through April, and we are even open for individual family overnights when availability allows.
BYU Aspen Grove began as the starting point of the world-famous Timpanogos Hike in 1911. About 10 years later, the Stewart family deeded the land to BYU for educational purposes. BYU held summer school from 1924 until World War II and faculty members and students used the area for picnics, outings, weekend getaways, and family vacations.
As executive secretary of the BYU Alumni Association, Ray Beckham saw Aspen Grove as one of BYU's greatest treasures. In 1960, he contacted Stewart heirs to request the rights to the land and their blessing in converting it to family use. The Stewarts readily agreed that such a purpose would fulfill the wishes of those who homesteaded the property at the beginning of the century.
The nearest electricity was five miles away; the nearest telephone was half-way to Provo. Beckham surveyed BYU alumni, comparing interest in a modern, hotel-like facility, or a camp-like facility with fewer amenities, and he began construction of more modest facilities preferred by 9 out of 10.
At least fifty cabins, a kitchen, dining hall, restrooms, trails, roads, parking lots, and playing fields would be needed to transform Aspen Grove. In 1962, his three-man crew selected cabin sites. Water lines and other necessities were placed with careful consideration to minimize impact on the natural environment. The camp’s popular dinner bell came from a 3500 series coal-fired steam engine donated by the Union Pacific Railroad.
BYU Aspen Grove opened on July 13, 1963 and served just eight families that first summer. More than 50 seasons later, the camp averages 80 families per week and hosts over 20,000 guests each year. Family Camp was made possible through the efforts of many people, but Ray Beckham’s vision, creativity, and determination made BYU Aspen Grove a reality.