It costs $3.00 to get in to American Fork Canyon (2002)
If you have a National Parks Pass, they will waive the entrance fee, but you have to tell them that you are going to Timpanogos Cave.
$6.00 to get a pass for the tour guide. (I would pay $12 to not have the guide, but I understand the guide is more like a security guard protecting the fragile rock structures).
The last time I hiked Timpangos Cave I was about 3 or 4 years old.
Timpanogos Cave was discovered in 1887 because all the lower trees had been chopped down in the canyon. A guy named Martin Hansen was looking for wood and had to climb half a mile up the ridge to get to what was left.
Once there noticed some cougar tracks and followed them to the cave. Martin's cave section was so terribly looted, that the people that discovered the second cave, kept it a secret.
Along the way up, you come to this little tunnel which is part to the earthquake faultline.
The tourguide makes the entrance. From here you get a 10-15 minute introduction
and get-to-know-you-better session. You might want to bring your No-Doz.
Inside the anticlimactic Hansen Cave. I asked the tour guide how long the tour would take.
Her response was something like "You ain't going no where, Mwa Ha Ha Ha!"
This scientist was scraping fungus off the stalactite to find out it's DNA.
Depositing roughly 1/4 inch every century = A long time.
Looking up at the drip nodes above us.
Do you know what these drip nodes remind me of? - Upside down Bryce Canyon.
What do they remind you of?
This limestone formation looks like something from the movie "Alien".
Timpanogos Cave is famous for this very rare phenomenon
The case isn't closed on how these form.
My Hypothesis: This type of cave formation occurs when minerals are not just diposited on the bottom tip,
but diposited at the connection to the wall, and the bottom tip,
with a likelyhood that at the connection, there are little vessels where the water slowly flows.
Kind of like those 4rth-of-July extruding snakes that grow out of the road like black chalk pasta.
But upside down in extreme slow motion.
The 4,000 pound "Heart" of Timpanogos.
The tour guide gave an emotional speech about the legend surrounding Timpanogos,
which involves a indian squaw turning into Mount Timpanogos.
You might want to bring your cowboy boots and a fresh Kleenex for this one.
Stalactites and Stalagmites
A dripping wax formation
Lemme out of here!
American Fork Canyon
American Fork Silver Lake
Timpanogos Summit September
Timpanogos from I-15
Timpanogos from the Pfeifferhorn