Timpanogos Cave National Monument opens May 10
Timpanogos Cave National Monument has entered the web world.
For the first time since the caves opened for tours more than 90 years ago, visitors planning to make the 3-mile round trip hike to and through the caves at the monument in American Fork Canyon can pre-purchase their tickets online.
Cave tours open for the 2014 season on May 10 and will run until September, but tickets can be purchased starting Monday.
Visitors can obtain tickets up to 30 days in advance of their trip via the http://www.recreation.gov website or by calling 877-444-6777. Tickets, if available, can be purchased on the day of a trip at the visitor center. Visitors should plan on three to four hours to complete the hike and the tour.
Ticket prices for 2014 are $8 for visitors age 16 and older, $6 for youth ages 6-15 and $4 for children ages 3-5 or visitors with a Golden Age Passport of Senior Pass. Children age 2 and under are free.
Tickets for the popular Introduction to Caving tours, limited to five people age 14 and older, are also available on the web or via phone.
The visitor center at Timpanogos Cave National Monument and bookstore will open May 5 with operating hours of 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until Labor Day, when the hours will be reduced.
Tour groups limited to 16 people enter the cave every 15 minutes. More than 70,000 visitors tour the caves annually and tours are often sold out, particularly on weekends and holidays.
Ranger-led talks are scheduled each afternoon at the visitor center and are free. Talks are also held at the mouth of the caves four times daily. Monument programs are also scheduled Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 in the visitor center and are free.
While a tour ticket is required to enter the caves, visitors are allowed to hike the 3-mile round trip trail with an 1,100 elevation gain for free.