Born in Denmark, Hansen settled in American Fork in 1861 after coming to Utah with Mormon pioneers. He was a teamster and logger in American Fork Canyon, and as the demand for lumber and firewood increased, Hansen had to hike higher up the steep slopes to reach ideal timber. According to family records, Hansen ends his working day in October 1887 high along the canyon wall, setting his ax down against a tree and heads home. The next day he returns to collect his ax and notices mountain lion tracks in the freshly fallen snow. Taking his ax, he follows the tracks and finds the entrance to a cave, exploring only as far as daylight allowed.
Did You Know?
To tour Timpanogos Cave, our 70,000 visitors each year must hike the 1 1/2 miles trail to the caves, gaining over 1,100 feet in elevation.