Mount Timpanogas Caves

We headed up American Fork Canyon and explored Mt. Timpanogos and her caves. It was a steep, very high path that led 1.5 miles up to the entrance of the caves.  At an elevation of 11,750 ft, Mt. Timpanogos is the second highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range. The word Timpanogos comes from the Timpanogots Ute tribe who lived in the surrounding valleys from A.D. 1400. The name translates as rock (tumpi-), and water mouth or canyon (panogos).The hike was labeled “challenging”for kids, but they both did awesome.

Once there we were taken on a guided tour by Park Ranger Nancy T.  Her stories were interesting and really told the complete history of the caves and their discovery in the 1930s. The kids loved it wore their head lights from REI making their path through the caves kid-friendly and less frightening.  They could look down into the dark areas of the cave and see all the neat stalagmites and helictites. The cave is known for its high concentration of helictites.  Helictites are formed when calcite crystals and dissolved impurities are forced out of a tiny central canal in the helictite by hydrostatic pressure.  The caves temperature was a cool 46 degrees.
After the tour we exited back out into the 90 degree weather and began our 1.5 mile decent. The path was very curvy and steep at times which made me a little nervous, but the kids listened and stayed next to the mountain.
Another great day trip to take from Salt Lake City.

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