Perched heavenward amongst the “Wasatch Mountains” in the “American Fork Canyon” of Utah sits “Timpanogos Cave National Monument.”
“Timpanogos Cave National Monument” provides novice and experienced cavers alike with a glimpse into one of the more unique caverns in Utah. The cave is well known for its distinct cave formations and fault lines.
What follows is a brief overview of what visitors to the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” can expect.
Highlights within the cave include the “Chimes Chamber.” The “Chimes Chamber” like many other areas of the “Timpanogos Cave” contains high concentrations of distinctly colored helictites.
While in the “Chimes Chamber” visitors will be able to gaze upon 6 to 10 inch long greenish yellow helictites.
In addition to the unusual cave formations there is one other thing that makes “Timpanogos Cave” unique. That is its display of fault controlled segments. A striking example of these fault lines can be found in the cave’s “Imagination Room.”
In the “Imagination Room” the fault lines and passageways seem to run in tandem with each other.
Park Admission Fees
In order to reach “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” one must first remit a $6.00 per vehicle payment to the “Uinta National Forest” staff. This is because the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” is located with the “American Fork Canyon.”
The $6.00 fee includes 3 days worth of access to “American Fork Canyon.”
Furthermore there is an additional charge for the guided cave tour. As guided cave tours sell out quickly advance reservations are strongly recommended.
Guided Cave Tour Information and Fees
Potential visitors should be aware that this guided cave tour is not for the faint of heart. There is a great deal of physical exertion involved just to get to the cave’s entrance. To get to the cave visitors must hike along a paved path that has an extremely steep incline. The entrance of the cave itself is 6,700 feet above sea level.
Between the hike to the cave, the cave tour itself and the return hike back to base visitors can expect to be standing and walking for a minimum of 3 hours. Depending on the season outside temperatures can range from a frigid 45 degrees Fahrenheit to a sweltering 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature of the cave itself tends to hover around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore proper clothing and footwear are a must. Parents of small children should note that strollers are not allowed therefore they should bring along a backpack child carrier.
Tickets for the 60 minute guided cave tour can be purchased up to 30 days in advance by calling 801-756-5238 during the hours of 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Potential visitors should be aware that the park staff charges a fifty cent processing fee on all advance ticket purchases. A maximum of 20 people are allowed on the cave tour at any one time.
Guided cave tour ticket purchases are non-refundable. Tickets are also available for purchase at the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” visitor’s center right up to the start of the tour depending on availability.
As of 2010 tickets to the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” are $7.00 per adult, $5.00 per child between the ages of 6 through 15 and $3.00 per child between the ages of 3 to 5 years. Children under age 3 are admitted into the cave for free.
Introduction to Caving Program
For an additional fee the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” staff offer an “Introduction to Caving” program for all those interested that are age 14 and older. Admission to the “Introduction to Caving” program is $15 per person. The program is only available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year.
It is imperative that anyone considering signing up for the park’s “Introduction to Caving” program understand that there is some physical dexterity required for completion.
Participants must be physically able and willing to bend, crawl and negotiate their way through narrow grottoes.
Furthermore, only five people are allowed to participate in the “Introduction to Caving” program at one time so advance reservations are strongly recommended for this activity as well.
Junior Ranger Program
Like most National Parks, the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” has a “Junior Ranger Program” that is offered on Saturdays from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Completion in then “Junior Ranger Program” entitles the participant to an official “Junior Ranger Badge” and certificate. Additional details about the “Junior Ranger” program are available on the park’s website.
Hours of Operation
The “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” maintains seasonal hours of operation and remains closed during the winter months.
Summer hours begin in May and conclude on Labor Day. During the summer the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” is open daily from 7:00 am until 5:30 pm. The first tour each day of the summer season departs from the visitor’s center at 7:30 am and the last tour departs at 4:30 pm.
Fall hours begin after Labor Day and proceed until the end of the season. During the fall season the “Timpanogos Cave National Monument” is open from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm with the first cave tour of the day leaving at 8:30 am. The departure time for the last tour of the day varies depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend.
As all hours of operation and admission fees are subject to change visitors are encouraged to call and reconfirm details in advance of their trip.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
RR 3 Box 200
American Fork, UT 84003
Those that would like additional information about things to do and see while traveling through Utah should log onto the state’s tourism website.