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AMERICAN FORK CANYON — Mud — and a lot of it — is making it difficult to finish a new parking lot for the Timpanogos Cave National Monument Visitor Center.
But the progress of this project, which began in the fall, is very visible.
Crews tore down the old visitor center and have already moved a section of the highway to better accommodate more visitors to the cave.
“We’ve got a rock fence that will protect both the building and people and then we’ve moved the highway so nobody will be crossing the road as part of their visit to the cave,” said Cami McKinney, Integrated Resources Program Manager with Timpanogos Cave National Monument.
Work on the new building is right on schedule.
“Our building is so close to being completed, and we’re really excited about showing it off to people and having this new … safer building for visitors and staff,” McKinney added.
Because of the construction, not only is the cave closed, but the mile-plus long trail is also closed, even for fitness hikers.
However, the park service announced on Thursday they will be opening for the season on June 19.
Rangers said the increasing number of visitors in recent years will require planning ahead to visit the cave.
“We’re kind of getting to the point where cave tour tickets are not a thing you could just wake up in the morning and go. You need to make a plan, so make sure you get your reservations before you get here,” McKinney said.
Cave tours can now be reserved up to 30 days in advance, so the first few days of the season can be reserved online.