Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Timpanogos Cave National Monument in American Fork Canyon is popular with hiking enthusiasts and families who come to explore the underground caves. It’s only possible to visit the caves as part of a tour with a park ranger. Explore the surrounding Wasatch Mountain State Park at your leisure. Spot wildlife and stop for a picnic under the trees.
The 250-acre (101-hectare) park features three main caves. Hansen Cave was discovered by adventurer Martin Hansen in 1887. Today, man-made tunnels connect it to Middle and Timpanogos caves. These caves are known for large concentrations of helictites, masses of calcite crystals and impurities that push upwards, seemingly defying gravity.
Daily one-hour cave tours run throughout summer. Venture deep into the side of Timpanogos Mountain with an experienced ranger. It’s a steep 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) hike along a trail to reach the caves; wear appropriate footwear and bring water and sunscreen. The trail brings you to about 6,700 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level, where you’ll enjoy the views over the Utah Valley. Bring a flashlight to see where you’re going and to admire the special rock formations in the cave.
Hike on above-ground nature trails to spot mammals and birds, including mountain lions, moose, hummingbirds and falcons.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is usually closed at night and in winter. It's a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City and there are no public transport options. Book ahead for a tour during holidays and weekends.
A park entrance fee applies to all vehicles and is valid for several days. To help prevent the spread of a disease that threatens bats, the park prohibits any items that have been in any other cave or mine, including clothing and cameras.