Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

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Timpanogos Cave National Monument

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Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a cave system in the Wasatch mountains in American Fork Canyon near American Fork, Utah, in the United States. The 1.5 mile trail to the cave is steep at several points, but paved and wide, so the cave opening is accessible to most. Tours are run when the monument is open, usually from May through October depending on snow conditions.

There are three main chambers accessible in the tour: Hansen Cave, Middle Cave, and Timpanogos Cave. Many colorful cave features or speleothems can be seen. Among the most interesting are the helictites, which are like hollowed straws of rock. They are thought to be formed when water travels through the tube and then evaporates, leaving a small mineral deposit at the end. Other speleothems found in the cave include: cave bacon, cave columns, flowstone, cave popcorn, cave drapery, helictites, stalactites and stalagmites.

Martin Hansen discovered Hansen Cave in October 1887, reportedly while tracking a cougar high up the side of American Fork Canyon. Unfortunately, many of the features and formations in this chamber were damaged or removed before the cave was made a national monument.

The man credited with discovering Timpanogos Cave was named Vearl J. Manwill. He came with the Payson Outdoors Club in 1921. After doing the tour of Hansen's Cave, they went different ways to try to find the rumored cave. Vearl went up above Hansen's, alone. After a little way, he found a crack, and looked in. He called the rest...
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