• A water drop clings onto the edge of a orange stalactite, surrounded by white stalactites.

    Timpanogos Cave

    National Monument Utah

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  • Cave tour tickets

    When you purchase your tickets on recreation.gov, the time options listed will be for your hike time, which is the time you should pick up your tickets at the visitor center. Plan on 3-4 hours from that time, round trip.

Early Peoples

Fremont pictograph; series of rust red triangles resembling a person on sand colored rock.

Fremont pictorgraph. Remember, if you come across any evidence of early peoples in American Fork Canyon-don't touch, deface or remove! Take a picture and/or note the location and share with a ranger. New discoveries help paint a bigger picture of our understanding of early peoples.

NPS

For several thousand years, the first people of the area were heavily influenced by the climate. The Paleo-Indian people (12,000 BC) hunted large animals, and likely stayed near the shores of Utah Lake in the cool climate. As the climate warmed, Archaic people (~10,000 BC-AD 1) maintained a lifestyle of hunting and gathering. Excavations in other caves in American Fork canyon show that hunters used some caves as a base camp for hunting in the canyon.

From AD 1 to 500, a cultural shift occurred, and the Archaic hunter gatherers were replaced by Fremont farming communities. The Fremont people built small farming villages across the valley where they grew corn, squash and beans. Excavations in American Fork Cave have found ceramics, cordage, ground stone and corn kernels associated with the Fremont people.

As the climate cooled again around 1300 AD the Fremont people abandoned their farming way of life. Those remaining returned to hunting and gathering, and are possibly the ancestors of the Utes. The Timpanogos Utes or Utah Valley Utes inhabited the valley using American Fork Canyon to hunt big game and gather berries.

Did You Know?

Helictite

Timpanogos Cave is known for its high concentration of helictites - a spiraling cave formation that seems to defy gravity. Helictites are formed when calcite crystals and dissolved impurities are forced out of a tiny central canal in the helictite by hydrostatic pressure.