Last Friday I hiked to Timpanogos Cave with some friends. During the tour of the cave, the tour guide, who has been a guide there for only three months, and will soon move on to Alaska for his next position, stated that the legend about the mountain was actually created by a BYU professor in the 1920s, and is not a legend of the Ute tribe.
Below is a link to a wikipedia article on Mount Timpanogos, and here is an excerpt from the article:
Viewed from Heber Valley to the northeast, Mount Timpanogos resembles the profile of a sleeping woman. Various legends are told of an Indian maiden who died of grief after her lover was killed, with one version the basis for a ballet, but there is no evidence that any of these are actual Native American myths. It is possible the romantic story was created in the early 1900s by Eugene Lusk “Timp” Roberts, a professor at Brigham Young University who initiated an annual hike and pageant intended to “sell Timpanogos to the world.”
The National Park Service website for Timpanogos Cave, which includes a few versions of the legend, states: “Early residents such as the Timpanogots Ute tribe who lived in the surrounding valleys from A.D. 1400, to modern folks have kept legends of Timpanogos alive through storytelling, publishing, and ensuring the tales are heard by the next generation . . . At least twelve recorded versions of the Legend of Timpanogos exist today. Attributing the legend starts with the first print version which was told by Brigham Young University professor Eugene Lusk `Timp’ Roberts in 1922. The Roberts version of the story likely debuted at a traditional bonfire held at Aspen Grove the night before the Timp Hike, an annual pilgrimage to summit Mount Timpanogos in the early 1920s. By all accounts this modern story was quickly accepted as an authentic Indian Legend.”