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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Wikipedia Description: Timpanogos Cave National Monument
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a cave system in the Wasatch mountains in American Fork Canyon near American Fork, Utah, in the United States. After a fairly difficult 1.5 mile hike on a paved trail up the side of a mountain, the cave opening is accessible. Tours are run when the monument is open from May through October.
There are three main chambers accessible in the tour: Hansen Cave, Middle Cave, and Timpanogos Cave. Many unique and colorful cave features or speleothems can be seen. Among the most interesting are the helictites, which are like hollowed straws of rock. They are thought to be formed when water travels through the tube and then evaporates, leaving a small mineral deposit at the end. Other speleothems found in the cave include: cave bacon, cave columns, flowstone, cave popcorn, cave drapery, stalactites and stalagmites.
Martin Hansen discovered Hansen Cave in the late 1800s, reportedly while tracking a mountain lion high up the side of American Fork Canyon. Unfortunately, many of this cave's features and formations were damaged or removed over a number of years.
The man who was given credit for discovering Timpanogos Cave was named Vearl J. Manwill. He came with the Payson Outdoors Club in 1921. The club might have come because of rumors of a hidden cave that no one could find. After doing the tour of Hansen's Cave, they all went different ways to try to find the rumored cave. Vearl went up above Hansen's, alone. After a little way, he found a crack, and looked in. He called the rest of the club to come look at what he had found.
That fall, George Heber Hansen and Wayne E. Hansen, Martin Hansen's son and grandson, were hunting on the other side of the canyon. While using binoculars to try to find deer, they came across another hole in the mountain, in between the other two caves. In a few days they came back, with 74 year-old Martin Hansen. Martin was the first human being in the cave, now called Middle Cave.
Fortunately, Middle Cave and Timpanogos Cave were discovered in an era where their formations and resources could be protected. The National Park Service, which oversees and preserves the cave complex, has continued to develop new ways to retain its natural features, including limiting lighting in the caves to retard growth of invasive organisms.
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