You don’t need a ticket to do this amazing hike, but if you are lucky enough to snag tickets for the cave tour on the weekend, go for it! Zach and I have actually hiked this trail three times without doing the cave tour – just because it is a beautiful hike. (We did go on the intro to caving tour once, but not the main cave tour.)
Overview: This trail is paved and steep, which means you do NOT want to do this on a hot day with no clouds! I recommend completing this hike by June or waiting till fall.
One of the biggest reasons I hike this trail is just to catch incredible views in a relatively short hike! However, what you lose in length is made-up for with switch backs. Take your time and bring lots of water! (Btw, going up the switch backs is just as hard as going down. Something to keep in mind if you have bad knees.)
Even without cave tickets, you can have some fun with the kids by hunting for the different wildflowers or stones found on this trail. (They have a list inside the visitor center that tells you what plants and rocks to look for on this trail.)
If you want more info on the Cave Tours (length, temp, etc.) then click here. Keep reading for trail details and location.
- If you want a ticket to see the caves (especially on the weekends) make sure you reserve your ticket at least a week in advance! In fact, you can reserve up to 30 days in advance. Otherwise, you may find yourself waiting a good hour or more for the next available tour. The cave tour is about an hour long and costs $4-8 depending on your age. This is the number you would call to reserve: (877) 444-6777.
- The last time we hiked this trail, we decided to head to the exit of the cave tour instead of the entrance. (You will see a trail that branches off when you are close to the top.) There is a cool lookout point with benches if you follow this path (which is a lot less crowded than the cave entrance area). Either way the view is great, but it was fun to mix things up.
- I see lots of kids on this trail, but keep in mind there are steep drop-offs. They have put a chain fence up in some areas, but not along the entire trail.
Length: 1.5 miles.
Difficulty: Moderate (due to ~1,000 foot elevation gain).
Dog-Friendly: No – dogs are not allowed on the cave trail.
Location: From I-15, take Exit 284 and go east on Timpanogos Hwy, which after 7.2 miles brings you to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. From the mouth of the canyon, follow the road 2.65 miles to the visitor center.
- Timpanogos Cave Trailhead: (N)40.443587, (W) -111.705502
- Cave Entrance: (N) 40.439010, (W) -111.708749