Tag Archive | Timpanogos

Exploring Timpanogos Cave – Inside and Out

Timpanogos Cave National Monument is unique and spectacular. Over 70,000 visitors come each year to see the the heart of the cave, bacon and the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

inside-timpanogos-cave

What are the Hours and Prices at Timpanogos Cave?

The visitor center and caves are open seasonally, May-September. The visitor center and caves are open 7:00am – 5:30 pm. The last cave tour starts up the trail at 4:45.  When the tickets say “4:45 pm” that is the time that you start at the visitors center. They give you roughly 1 1/2 hours to hike the trail. If you get up there early, and there is space in the group ahead of you, they will let you in early. 

Cave Tour Fees

Adults (age 16 and older) – $8.00
Junior (age 6-15) – $6.00
Child (age 3-5) – $4.00
Infant (age 0-2) – Free (but still requires a ticket)

Senior/Access (Golden Age/Access) pass holders – 1/2 price

Where is Timpanogos Cave?

Located in American Fork Canyon on Highway 92 just 10 miles east from Interstate 15 and 17.2 miles from U.S. 189, and approximately 40 miles from Salt Lake City. It is on the scenic Alpine Loop. 

From I-15: If you are arriving from the north or south on Interstate 15 take Exit 284 (Alpine-Highland exit), then turn east on State Highway 92 and proceed ten miles (16km) to the monument.

From U.S. 40 or U.S. 189: If you are arriving from Heber City or Provo Canyon traveling on U.S. 40 or U.S. 189, take State Highway 92, passing by Sundance Resort and over the mountainous scenic route known as the Alpine Scenic Loop. Because of the narrow and winding road, buses and large vehicles over thirty feet are not allowed to travel on the Alpine Scenic Loop. The Alpine Scenic Loop is closed during winter. An alternate way is to travel U.S. 189 through Provo Canyon, turning west onto Orem 800 North (UT 52), then after 2.4 miles turn right onto State Street (Hwy 89). After 3.8 miles, turn onto Pleasant Grove 100 East (UT 146). Stay on this road for almost five miles, as it turns in Canyon Rd and takes you to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. When the road ends, turn right into the canyon (UT92) and drive up the canyon to the visitor center.

The visitor center has an information desk, exhibits, theater with orientation film, bathrooms, a snack bar and more.

Timpanogos cave National Park Visitor Center

How to get to the Cave?

 HIKE!!!! The trail head for  Timpanogos Cave is by the visitor center. A park ranger tells you the rules and then you can hike. The trail is asphalt and winds back and forth.   It climbs steeply 1,092 feet over 1 1/2 miles, and is not wheelchair accessible.

Timpanogos Cave Paved trail

The trail has educational signs along the way.

timpanogos-cave-educational-sign

There are several types of wildflowers along the trail. They are beautiful.

Timpanogos cave flowers

Also, there are markers along the way too. There are numbers (that go up to 18 and mark educational spots that correspond to a guide that you get from the visitors center) and there are also markers showing how far you have traveled.

Markers at Timp Cave

The trail to the caves provides spectacular views of American Fork Canyon and Utah Valley.

View from Timpanogos Cave

There are no restrooms inside of the caves. Visitors are encouraged to use the last chance restrooms outside of the Hansen Cave entrance before taking their tour. You can see the windows of the building on the side of the mountain.

TImpanogos cave last chance

Inside Timpanogos Cave

Watch the video to see all the neat pictures of the inside of Timpanogos Cave. There are three caves that have been connected together.  In the caves are beautiful!!!

What do I need to know about Timpanogos Cave?

  • No baby strollers or wheeled vehicles are allowed on the trail.
  • Tickets sell out far in advance, so buy them online here.
  • Local residents regularly hike the trail for fun and fitness.
  • The round-trip hike and tour of the cave system takes about three hours.
  • Mid-summer temperatures on the trail can reach 100 degrees F. However, temperatures in the caves average 45 degrees, so a sweater or light jacket is recommended.
  • Hiking shoes, water, flashlights and sunscreen will make your visit safe and enjoyable.
  • No pets are allowed on the cave trail or in the caves.
  • To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a disease that is killing millions of bats in North America, the Monument prohibits any boots, clothing, or gear (including cameras) that have been in ANY other cave or mine at ANY time.
  • It is strongly recommended that you carry at least one liter of water PER PERSON on the hike to the caves.
  • No food, drink, candy, tobacco, or gum is allowed in the cave.
  • Flash photography is allowed, but tripods and monopods are not.

Favorite Photographs of Timpanogos Cave National Park

view-from-timpanogos-cave

This is my favorite view and you can only see it as you exit the cave to come back down the trail.

timpanogos-mountain

You have to look really closely to see the person on the trail on the mountain. This is where you come down as you exit the cave. The pretty shot above is from that mountain

timpanogos-cave-ranger

The rangers are awesome. Our kids really liked it and asked a lot of questions!!!

 

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

Alpine Loop is a gorgeous scenic byway in Utah County.  It has great views of the back side of Timpanogos Mountain, pretty wildflowers and lots of trees – and sometimes you can see wild life too!

Alpine scenic loop

 

Where is Alpine Loop?

The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway follows Utah Hwy. 92 through American Fork Canyon and then continues through Uinta National Forest into Provo Canyon on U.S. 189. 

You can start at the American Fork Canyon and drive through to the Provo Canyon. Utah Highway 92 runs directly east from I-15 and goes to the mouth of  American Fork Canyon.

Or you can start at Provo Canyon and drive the other way. It is not a one way road. You can get to the Provo Canyon by taking 800 N through Orem or take University Avenue in Provo north. University Avenue becomes US Highway 189 that runs through Provo Canyon.

What does the Alpine Loop Cost?

If you are just driving through, it is free. If you plan to stop and play at a campground or hike one of the trailheads, then you need to pay the National Park Service fee at the entrance of American Fork Canyon or Provo Canyon.

Alpine loop sign

What Should I Know?

  • It is gorgeous all year, but the fall is the best.
  • The road is narrow and has lots of switch backs, so drive slower and watch for other cars.
  • There are a LOT of trailheads off the Alpine Loop. Great place to drive, but also a great place to start an outdoor adventure.
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument and  Sundance are located along the route.
  • The scenic byway is about 20 miles. It took us about 45 minutes to drive through.
  • The Alpine Loop is open from approximately late May to late October.
  • The road is entirely paved, but snow closes part of the road in the winter.
  •  It is not recommended for vehicles more than 30 feet long.

Photos of Alpine Loop

 

Alpine loop wildlife

The deer were just off the road. They startled us. Drive slowly – especially during the cooler parts of the year.

Alpine loop view of Timpanogos

The backside of Timpanogos Mountain. Imagine all the colors in the fall!