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Timpanogos cave remains closed, won’t reopen Monday

First Published Sep 09 2013 09:05AM      Last Updated Sep 09 2013 06:40 pm

photo courtesy of Tonii Humphrey Debris is seen blocking the road after a slide at Timpanogas cave over the weekend

Rangers with Timpanogos Cave National Monument announced the cave trail won’t reopen Monday as they had hoped.

Employees said rangers were still clearing the trail of rocks about 8:30 a.m. Monday, a souvenir left from Saturday’s storms that caused debris and rock slides.

Rangers had hoped to complete clean-up efforts by noon on Monday, but after climbing up to a large steel mesh curtain above a set of concrete and steel walls, they found it was full of debris from Saturday afternoon storms and would not effectively stop further rock falls until it was cleaned. That was expected to take much of the afternoon, according to Jim Ireland, Timpanogos Cave National Monument superintendent.



The cave trail is expected to reopen Tuesday.

State Route 92 in American Fork Canyon is open to traffic, and the monument’s Swinging Bridge Picnic area and visitor center are open.

The park was closed to the public all day Sunday as crews cleaned up the mess.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said SR-92 reopened about 7 p.m. Sunday, but he said crews will be along the roadway in the next few days making additional repairs so motorists are asked to use caution.

About 150 visitors to Timpanogos Cave National Monument found themselves suddenly stranded Saturday afternoon by Utah’s heavy rains.

Gleason said about 50 to 60 feet of rock and debris broke off about half-mile below the cave entrance, blocking the roadway and preventing the people from leaving.

The park said rangers had to assist about 150 visitors down the trail to the visitor center where they took shelter until the Utah Department of Transportation could clear enough debris to open a lane to canyon traffic. The visitors were allowed to leave about 11 p.m.

Anyone who had purchased tickets for Monday can call 801-756-5238 ext. 800 to reschedule or receive a refund.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribjanelle

 

 

 

 

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