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Contact: Jim Ireland, (801) 756-5239
Timpanogos Cave National Monument will kick off its 90th summer season Memorial Day weekend, with the first cave tour of the year on Saturday May 25, 2013. Tours will be offered daily until late September, entering the cave every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m. until 6:15 p.m.. Each tour is limited to 16 people, regardless of age.
Beginning May 25, the Monument 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 p.m. for the remainder of the season.
Spacing the tours further apart (every 15 minutes versus 10 minutes in previous years), will reduce crowding and associated impacts to the cave, while additional late afternoon tours have been added to accomodate as many visitors as poosible.
Each year, rangers lead over 70,000 people through the Timpanogos cave system, and tours often sell out well in advance, especially on weekends and holidays. Beginning May 25, cave tour tickets for the rest of the summer may be purchased by credit card up to thirty days in advance by calling (801) 756-5238. Tickets not sold in advance will go on sale at the visitor center at 7:00 a.m. the morning of the tour.
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 older) with a Golden Age Passport or Senior Pass are $3.50.
The three mile round-trip hike to the cave is moderately strenuous, climbing almost 1,100 feet in elevation from the parking lot to cave entrance. Altogether, the hike and the cave tour takes apporximately three to four hours. The average cave temperature is a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit; light jackets, plenty of drinking water and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. Trip planning and safety information is available at www.nps.gov/tica, and visitors can connect to the park via Twitter at #TimpCaveNPS and Facebook at facebook.com/timpanogoscavenps for updates on ticket availability, weather and monument events.
Many local residents enjoy hiking the cave trail for exercise even if they don't take a cave tour. Hiking the trail is free, but rangers encourage fitness walkers to come in early morning to avoid the heat of the day and use the limited parking areas before the cave tours start. More information about trail safety and hiking for fitness will be avaialbe in the visitor center.