Timpanogos Cave National Monument includes an impressive cave system known for its colorfully decorated caverns. It is located in American Fork Canyon, along Utah's populous Wasatch Front, and so it attracts a large number of visitors every year. To reach the caves you must hike up a steep 1.5 mile long trail. A guide takes you through the caverns and you exit not far from where you came in. You then descend along the same trail you hiked up.
Timpanogos Caves may only be entered with a guided tour. Tours are offered from mid May through mid October every year. On weekdays you may be able to join the next tour if you just arrive at the visitor center and pay your fees. On weekends and holidays, tours fill up quickly and you may have to wait several hours if you do not have advanced reservations. Tour tickets may be purchased up to 30 days in advance by calling the visitor center at (801) 756-5238.
Visitor Center(40.442, -111.712)
From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit onto Hwy 92 and follow it east 10 miles to the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center and trailhead are on your right as you drive up American Fork Canyon.
The trail is paved. It begins right by the Visitor Center and snakes up the mountain, climbing 1,160 feet. Along the way it provides spectacular views of American Fork Canyon and down into Utah Valley. The trail is steep but it is not very long and so virtually anyone can make the hike if they just take it slow. Carry plenty of water. Mid-summer temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees.
Cave Entrance(40.4401, -111.709)
Tour groups are limited to 20 people. Those in a group hike to the cave mouth, making sure they arrive before their tour is scheduled to begin. Benches are provided where you can wait in a shaded cavern just in front of the cave.
A guide then leads the group through the cave. Dim lights allow you to walk without difficulty. You'll move over smooth rock, which is wet in spots. You'll also cross boardwalks and climb steps. The temperature inside the cave averages 45 degrees year-round. The air is damp and feels cool. People are encouraged to wear sweaters or jackets and wear closed-toe shoes.
Strollers and other wheeled vehicles are not allowed on the trail or in the caves. You can bring babies but you've got to carry them, in your arms or in a pack. Pets are not allows on the trail or in the caves.