OUTDOORS & ADVENTURE

Timpanogos Cave to Close on Labor Day For Construction to Begin on New Visitor Center

Aug 17, 2018, 9:43 PM
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AMERICAN FORK CANYON, Utah – Timpanogos Cave National Monument will close several weeks early this year, to allow construction work to begin on a new visitor center.

The cave will close for the season after Labor Day and later that week, a “temporary” visitor center that has been in place for 27 years, will be torn down. The modular building was brought in to replace the original visitor center that burned down in February 1991.

“We thought this is one of the places they had to see,” said Anu Venkitaraman, who wanted her out of state friends to take in the unique experience visitors enjoy at Timpanogos Cave.

“Check out this beautiful mountain and see the hike and then get to see the caves that are marvelous, we are very proud of Utah, glad we could share it with them,” she said.

And by next summer, tourists will be welcomed in a brand new visitor center, built in a safer place.

“The new building will sit roughly where the road is right now,” said Jim Ireland, superintendent of the National Park Service monument.

Keeping visitors out of the path of where rocks and even boulders have fallen off the mountain.

“What we have learned in the past 50 years is that rocks frequently fall from that cliff and occasionally strike the building and so we found a safer location about 100 yards up the road,” he added.

Another safety improvement will be to adjust where visitors will park, to hike to the cave.

“Right now, State Road 92 runs through the canyon with parking on both sides of the road we will bring all of our parking on both sides of the roads so we don’t have pedestrians crossing the road or cars backing into traffic,” Ireland said.

Rangers say interest in Timpanogos Cave continues to grow each year, attracting tourists from around the globe.

“For a long time, it felt like this was a local attraction, but we are part of the National Park Service system, one of 400 units and we get people from all over the world and we are glad to have a new facility to welcome them,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, the $3.9 million project will be finished in June of next year, and that is when the cave will reopen and likely stay open late into the fall season. Due to safety concerns, the trail leading to the cave will also be closed to hikers during the construction.

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Timpanogos Cave to Close on Labor Day For Construction to Begin on New Visitor Center