Spotlight: Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Located high on the steep rocky slopes of American Fork Canyon in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos in Utah's Wasatch Range, the Timpanogos Cave National Monument features three limestone caves: Hansen Cave, Middle Cave and Timpanogos Cave. These exquisite caverns are decorated with an elaborate display of helictites, anthodites and other formations in a variety of colors.
What You’ll Find
For the first time in its 92-year history, the park will now offer advance ticket sales for ranger-led tours of the Timpanogos cave system. Visitors may purchase tickets with www.recreation.gov or by phone.
“This is a new service, which many visitors have been requesting, and we are thrilled about the added convenience we are able to offer the public,” said Jim Ireland, Timpanogos Cave National Monument Superintendent.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is located in the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah, approximately 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. Visit the park’s site for more details on finding your way.
Visit the surrounding Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest website for information about camping nearby. You can also visit Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau for nearby attractions, lodging and dining.
Make Sure You
Experience the thrill of caving as you twist and bend to enter beautifully decorated rooms. Learn the science behind formations and hear fascinating stories of discovery as you journey through natural passageways. Access to the caves is by hiking and ranger-led tours only. The paved trail is 1.5 miles one way and considered strenuous as you gain approximately 1,100 vertical feet.
“Each year, rangers lead more than 70,000 people through the Timpanogos cave system, and tours often sell out well in advance, especially on weekends and holidays,” said Ireland.
Visitors may still purchase tickets in person at the park visitor center on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the tour. Ticket sales begin each morning at 7:00 a.m. during the summer season, however, visitors arriving without advance tickets may wait several hours before beginning their tour or may be turned away if all tours for that day are sold out.
Rangers also offer free evening programs at the visitor center, Friday and Saturday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day. From snakes to birds of prey, from fire ecology to campfire sing-a-longs, to guest speakers with compelling stories about Timpanogos Cave and American Fork Canyon, these programs offer something for everyone.
To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a disease that is killing millions of bats in North America, the monument prohibits the use of any footwear, clothing or gear (including cameras) that has been in ANY other cave or mine at ANY time.
By Janelle Smith