Sunday, October 4, 2015

Timpanogos Cave Hike

Last weekend our family hiked to Timpanogos Cave with friends. It has been over 15 years since I had hiked to the cave. The fall colors made the trail especially beautiful. 

There was some road construction at the bottom of the canyon that delayed us getting on the trail on time. By the time we had picked up our tickets and the kids had all gone to the bathroom we were 15 minutes behind schedule. 

We pushed the kids to keep a steady pace and were able to make it to the entrance to the caves with a few minutes to spare. The hike up was 1.5 miles each way with several steep switch backs at the very end. The elevation gain is 1,100 feet. Todd was a good sport and carried Stella on his shoulder for the last part.

The weather was nice. It was warm but we were on the shady side of the mountain on our way up. The temperature on the trail was 90F, inside the cave it was 45F.

The cave tour is four three different connected caves.  The first cave, called Hansen cave, was discovered in 1887 by Martin Hansen while tracking some cougar footprints in the snow. Several years later his grandchildren were hunting in the area and happened to spot another opening in the rock. They went back and told their family and grandpa Hansen, then 74 years old, hiked with them to the cave opening they had discovered. Martin Hansen was the first one of the group to enter what is now known as Middle Cave.

Timpanogos cave was discovered in 1913 but its exact location was lost until 1921 when Vearl Manwill, who had heard about it rediscovered it. The three caves have been connected by man made tunnels.

The formations are amazing. A lot of them are named after food: bacon, ice cream, soda and straws. We were all hungry after all that walking and mention of food.

The hike down was a lot more fun. We actually got to enjoyed the views instead of looking at our feet the whole way.

 Emilia took several pictures with our camera which turned our really pretty and other that were very silly. It's fun to see the hike from the eyes of a child.