Timpanogos Cave Trail Reopens
Timpanogos Cave National Monument Superintendent Denis Davis announced that the rehabilitation of the cave access trail was completed ahead of schedule, and therefore, the cave trail and cave system will re-open on September 27, 2008. Due to the rugged terrain, steep cliffs, and exposure, visitors could not be safely routed around trail rehabilitation equipment and work. Park staff and the Intermountain Region’s project manager concluded that for public safety the only acceptable alternative was to close the trail during the week when the trail rehab work was underway.
The visitor center and concessions operations will also remain open on a daily basis to serve American Fork Canyon visitors and school groups. The visitor center hours will be 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. Evening programs will continue to be offered bi-monthly throughout the winter, and will resume on a weekly basis again next May. This season the last day for cave tours is scheduled for October 19, 2008.
“We are extremely pleased that the contractor was able to complete this important cave trail rehabilitation work safely and ahead of schedule. This has allowed us to re-open the Timpanogos Cave Trail and Cave System for visitors to enjoy throughout the autumn season.” said Superintendent Davis. “We appreciated the public’s patience while this project was on-going and invite all to come see the improvements along the cave trail.”
“With the fall colors and seasonably cooler temperatures approaching, American Fork Canyon is a beautiful and pleasant place to spend some time,” said Superintendent Davis. “In addition to driving the Alpine Loop road, a hike up the trail to Timpanogos Cave System can provide a wonderful view of the canyon and bright foliage. You do not need to pay for a cave tour if all you want to do is hike the trail. An autumn picnic at Swinging Bridge Picnic Area is a delightful way to relax and enjoy the season.”
Timpanogos Cave will continue offering advance ticket sales until October 5, after that, tickets will be available on a first-come first-served basis until October 19 when the caves are closed for the season. Tickets can be purchased over the phone in advance of the tour day by calling the visitor center at (801) 756-5238 and using a credit card. Ticket prices are $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for juniors (ages 6-15), $3.00 for children (ages 3-5), and children 2 and under are free. Seniors (age 62 and over) with a Golden Age Passport or Senior Pass are $3.50. Cave tours are limited to 20 participants per tour. Hiking the 1.5 miles to the cave is considered moderately strenuous, gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation. The cave tour and hike takes approximately three hours. The cave temperature is a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit; light jackets, plenty of drinking water and sturdy walking shoes are recommended.
For more information about Timpanogos Cave National Monument please call (801)-756-5238 or (801) 756-5239.
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).