Sunday, June 3, 2012

Timpanogos Cave Hike

Day 5 of Summer Fun  -

After having a work day on Thursday my husband took the kids to visit Timpanogos Cave in American Fork Canyon the next day. If you have never been there before here are driving directions:

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 the winter.

Hints for visiting the cave:
1. Call ahead to get your tickets. They are 50 cents more expensive to call, but it is worth making sure you will have tickets when you arrive. The cave is often times sold out. To purchase advance cave tour tickets, call (801) 756-5238 during the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Please remember that anyone under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Cave Tour Fees
Adults (age 16 and older) - $7.00
Junior (age 6-15)             - $5.00
Child  (age 3-5)               - $3.00
Infant (age 0-2)               - Free!
Senior/Access (Golden Age/Access) pass holders - 1/2 price


2. Bring plenty of water. The hike is 1 1/2 miles on a paved trail. It is a steep trail and gets very hot. Take more water than you would normally think necessary. My kids do the very best when they have their own camelback or hydration system that they carry with them. Our packs have a spot for snacks as well.

3. Strollers and wheelchairs are not allowed on the trail due to the steepness.

4. Backpacks must be left outside the cave when going on the tour. If you have a child carrier, that must be left outside and you will have to carry the child through the cave.

5. Cave tours are 45-60 minutes long.

6. There is a $6 fee for entering the canyon or you can buy a year long pass that gets you into all the national parks.  The yearly pass is $80. 

7. It may get chilly inside the cave so a light jacket or sweatshirt may be needed. It is about 45 degrees inside the cave.

This is a fun experience that the kids loved. The caves are cool and feel great after the hot hike up the trail. The rangers show you all sorts of different formations and neat rooms in the cave. This is an experience not to be missed.
The trail itself has drop-offs that are potentially life threatening so be sure to keep your little ones with you and away from the edge at all times.