advertisement

The caves are accessible only on guided tours from early May to mid-October, daily from 7:30am to 4:30pm (8am-3:30pm after Labor Day). The caves close in winter because snow and ice make the access trail too hazardous. The steep trail is not navigable by either wheelchairs or strollers.

Getting There/Access Points -- From Provo, head north on I-15 to exit 284, then east on Utah 92 to the visitor center, which is on the south side of the road. For a beautiful but slow drive, when you leave the caves, continue east and then south on Utah 92 through American Fork Canyon, which is narrow and winding, and turn west on U.S. 189 back to Provo. From Salt Lake City, take I-15 south to exit 287, and proceed as above.

Information/Visitor Center -- Contact Timpanogos Cave National Monument at R.R. 3, Box 200, American Fork, UT 84003-9803 (tel. 801/756-5238; www.nps.gov/tica). The visitor center is on the south side of Utah 92. It is open May to Labor Day daily from 7am to 5:30pm, and Labor Day to mid-October daily from 8am to 5pm.

Note that parking at the visitor center is limited for large vehicles, such as motor homes over 20 feet. Although small, the visitor center offers a short film about the caves, a few explanatory displays and booklets, and postcards for sale. A snack bar and gift shop are next to the center, as well as two picnic areas located along the shady banks of the American Fork River. One is across from the visitor center; a larger one, with fire grills and restrooms, is about 1/4 mile west.

Fees & Regulations -- One-hour cave tours cost $7 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 15, $3 for children 3 to 5, and free for children 2 and under; 90-minute "Introduction to Caving" tours, available only to those 14 and older, cost $15 per person. The U.S. Forest Service also charges a $6 per vehicle fee to enter American Fork Canyon, where the national monument is located. Pets are not allowed on the trail or in the caves.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.