Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
AMERICAN FORK CANYON — Daily tours of Timpanogos Cave begin Saturday, May 10, and are expected to run through late September. Tickets will also be sold over the phone through a nationwide toll-free number and in person at the park.
Beginning May 5, the monument visitors center and bookstore will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the remainder of the season. Tour groups enter the cave every 15 minutes, weather permitting, and each tour is limited to 16 people, regardless of age.
Visitors will now able to reserve tickets up to 30 days in advance through the National Recreation Reservation System, online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777, toll free. The website will be available 24/7 and phone sales available 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
There will be a straight $1 per ticket service fee regardless of when or how they are purchased. The service fee will cover the contract costs for the improved system. New ticket prices are $8 for visitors age 16 or older, $6 for children ages 6-15, $4 for children age 3-5, and ages 2 and younger are free. Seniors (age 62 and over) with a Golden Age Passport or Senior Pass are $4.
Grotto talks will be offered at the cave entrance four times each day for those waiting for tours as well as those just out for a hike. In addition, evening programs are each Friday and Saturday evening in the visitor center at 7 p.m., free of charge, Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The 3-mile, round-trip hike to the cave is considered strenuous, climbing almost 1,100 feet in elevation from the parking lot to cave entrance. The hike and the cave tour takes approximately three to four hours. Afternoon temperatures on the trail often exceed 100 degrees, while the average cave temperature is a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Light jackets, plenty of drinking water and sturdy walking shoes are recommended.
Trip planning and safety information are available at www.nps.gov/tica.
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