Timpanogos caves are amazing. At times they take your breath away as each twist and turn forces another “wow” to be emitted. But we have just seen some even more amazing.
You are “allowed” 90 minutes to hike up to Timpanlogo caves. They are a long way up the side of a mountain. We actually took half that, but the generous allowance meant that the elderly or infirm could make it to…provided they were determined. It takes a lot of effort at any speed to climb from an already high altitude to one some 800 feet higher. Our guide, ranger Nancy was waiting at the top. She was truly excellent, dramatically bringing the cave to life and making sure we were asked as many questions as we in turn asked her.
There has been a decimation of the bat population over the last few years – over 5.7 million died – due to an infection in fungus; so we were not allowed to bring anything into the cave that wasn’t meant to be there, including food and water.
Timpanogos specialises in helictites (very fraglie spiral fries type structures).
On Friday September 25 we entered Lehman Caves, under the leadership of Ranger Steve. He is a softly spoken man and his gentle manner completely suited the cave environment. Within just a few minutes we knew we were somewhere very special. I never thought I would find a cave to rival Plitvice Caves, Slovenia, but Lehman Cave does that and more. It has an incredible array of shapes and sizes within it.
Ranger Steve asked for two volunteers to be candle holders as he turned out all the lights. I stepped forward, along with another man who turned out to be called Tom. So it was that Tom and Martin led our merry band adventurers down into the cave, to explore the recesses by candlelight alone.
These caves are in the Great Basin National Park and they really are a must see. There are two tours – take the longer one if you possibly can.