US Trip: Timpanogos Cave

While in Utah we took a day trip to Timpanogos Cave with Phil's sister and brother in law.  It was a couple hours' drive from Park City through a scenic mountain pass.  They limit the number of people through the caves, so we had to book a time slot in advance to make sure we were able to see them.  The time slot is when they let you start the steep hike up to the top of the mountain where the caves are.  It was a very warm hike, but we enjoyed the beautiful rugged scenery along the way. 
American Forks Canyon
Switch backs up the mountains
Halfway up the trail
Koen, Amber, and Colby - Team Blue!
View down the canyon
It took us about 40 minutes to get to the top, where we waited for our turn inside.  Our guide led the group of 16 into the first of three caves and gave us some history of how they were discovered by some locals.  Unfortunately a lot of the stalactites and stalagmites had been removed from the cave many years ago and used as art, on furniture, or to sell.  It was interesting though to see how steep the original entrance was and imagine how dark it must have been inside to those first discoverers. 
The third cave was the grand finale.  The centerpiece of this cave is the massive 5-foot-tall stalactite the weight of an elephant hanging from the ceiling.  It was quite impressive to see, considering most of the rest of the cave ceiling was covered in small little bits that looked like popcorn.   

This thing is 5 feet tall
The last cave brought us around to another side of the mountain, and once out that door we climbed back down to the visitors' center.  The coolness of the caves was a welcome retreat from the hot sun, and it was a really nice day exploring some beautiful country with the family. 
Phil and I on the hike down
Pretty waterfall on the drive back
After several full days of fun, we headed back into Salt Lake. We made a quick trip to the Temple before we flew out.  I figured if I didn't see the Temple and Temple Square I hadn't really seen Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake Temple


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