2011 Season Delayed Opening
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
March 30, 2011
For Immediate Release
Denis Davis, 801.756.5239 x-101
Maintenance Work to Delay Opening of
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
UPDATE: As of May 19, 2011 the caves and cave trail are now tentatively scheduled to open on May 27, 2011. Please call the monument before your visit at 801-756-5238 for details.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument will remain closed to visitors until at least May 25, 2011 as the park completes several maintenance and construction projects. Additional opening delays may be necessary if project completion schedules are not met. The park historically opens on Mother's Day weekend which this year is the first weekend of May.
The delay in opening the park results from critical upgrades to the electrical and lighting systems in the caves. Staff will be installing new electrical grounding connections and repairing other connections that have corroded through the years. The park is also placing temporary barriers along about 300 yards of the cave trail where cliffs along the edge of the trail create a high risk falling hazard. Permanent rock walls or hand rails will be installed at these locations in the future.
"If all the projects conclude on schedule, we should be able to open the park by May 25," said park superintendent Denis Davis. "Our primary concern is for the safety of park visitors and staff."
Additionally, the shelter at the cave exit is being extended to improve visitor safety from falling rock hazards. The only fatality from rock fall in the park's history occurred at the cave exit around 1933. This project has been planned for several years and construction is scheduled to begin August 1. When that project begins, the trail and cave tours will be open to the public Friday through Sunday and holidays. Construction work will require closure of the trail Monday through Thursday to ensure safety.
Davis also advises the public to check the park website (http://www.nps.gov/tica) or to contact the park directly at (801) 756-5238 beginning in mid-May for the exact opening date and to buy tickets for cave tours. The National Park Service wants all visitors to enjoy the caves but must limit numbers to protect delicate, irreplaceable cave features. Each tour has a 20 person limit. To purchase advance tickets please call the park up to 30 days before you plan to visit. Because of construction activities and possibility of schedule changes, it is particularly important this year to make reservations in advance.
The caves at Timpanogos are typically open from May through October. The caves are closed if weather or other factors make hiking conditions difficult or dangerous. The trail up the steep and rugged northern slope of Mt. Timpanogos is physically demanding, but rewarding, with a climb of 1,092 ft in 1½ miles. A typical round trip to and through the caves, and back down takes about 3½ hours. The Timpanogos Cave Visitor Center is located in American Fork Canyon on Utah Highway 92, 10 miles east from Interstate 15, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
For more information regarding the opening of the park or tours of the cave please call (801) 756-5238 or visit the park website athttp://www.nps.gov/tica.
Did You Know?
At an elevation of 11,750 ft, Mt. Timpanogos is the 2nd highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range. The word Timpanogos (tim´p?no´gas) comes from the Timpanogots Ute tribe who lived in the surrounding valleys from A.D. 1400. The name translates as rock (tumpi-), and water mouth or canyon (panogos).