As Spring brings a fresh green coat and enticing warmth throughout AmericanForkCanyon, visitors are encouraged to get outside, picnic, hike and enjoy a multitude of recreational opportunities available. Starting Saturday May 12, 2012 visitors should add a visit to TimpanogosCaveNational Monument to their “must do” outdoor activities list for the season. The park will be celebrating its 90th year anniversary in October, and in commemoration of this special day, souvenir cave discovery cards will be given out with each cave tour ticket in 2012.There are three different souvenir cards available, with each card representing the discovery of one of the caves in the TimpanogosCave system. Visitors are encouraged to start planning their visit to the caves now.For the first time in 3 years the park will have a full operational season with no planned closures due to construction projects.The visitor center will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day, and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the remainder of the season.
Other highlights for the 2012 season include implementing a 100% advance ticket sales system for cave tours up to 30 days in advance.Cave tours not sold in advance will go on sale at 7:00 a.m. the morning of the tour. The park has created social media feeds to assist visitors with timely information via Twitter and Facebook.Visitors can connect to the park with Twitter at #TimpCaveNPS where followers can receive updates on ticket availability, weather and other timely information. Our Facebook friends can learn more about planning their visit, park resources and monument events at facebook.com/timpanogoscavenps. Park Superintendent, Jim Ireland stated, “Because of limited parking in AmericanForkCanyon visitors are strongly encouraged to visit the park Monday through Thursday to avoid parking congestion and sold out tours.I encourage visitors to check the park Twitter, Facebook and website at www.nps.gov/tica often for updates; or to contact the park at (801) 756-5238 for advanced ticket sales. Visitors are also invited to share their highlights, comments and tips from their visit on the monument’s Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Cave tour tickets may be purchased up to thirty days in advance starting May 12 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 SeniorPass are $3.50.Cave tours are limited to 16 participants per tour.Hiking the 1.5 mile trail 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.
TimpanogosCaveNational Monument will be holding special Junior Ranger Day activities on Saturday May 26 and Monday May 28 to kick off this season’s series of free Junior Ranger programs.Special award certificates and patches will be available to all participants. Junior Ranger programs will continue throughout the season on Saturday mornings and holidays staring at 10:00 a.m. at the TimpanogosCaveVisitorCenter.
TimpanogosCave will also continue its use of BATS for this season.BATS, Behind A Tour Specialists,is a program to educate youth on working in the national monument, protecting cave resources, and providing visitor services.Behind A Tour Specialists need to be 14 years of age or older, hike to the caves unescorted, and will be provided training and a uniform shirt.Youth interested in participating in the program should contact the park at (801) 756-5239.
Finally, the park will be continuing its highly successful evening programs again. Evening programs will be offered every Friday and Saturday evening starting May 25 from 7:00 to 8:00pm.The programs are free of charge and will be presented at the TimpanogosCaveVisitorCenter unless noted.Please contact the visitor center at (801) 756-5238 for more information about summer activities.