AMERICAN FORK — Timpanogos Cave will reopen for tours Memorial Day weekend for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, park officials said on Wednesday.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument officials said the park will resume public cave tours on May 28. The park has an annual tour closure during the winter months that traditionally ends in May. The park lists mid-May through mid-October as when it offers tours, weather permitting.
That changed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The monument reopened its trails for fitness use last May but began offering virtual tours of the cave instead, citing guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local health officials.
In the absence of in-person tours, park rangers also offered a series of wildlife, science and behind-the-scenes videos throughout the summer.
Visitors will once again be able to check out the awe of Timpanogos Cave National Monument beginning next month with some safety modifications in place. Masks covering both mouth and nose will be required throughout the entire cave tour, as well as at the cave entrance and exit, inside its visitor's center and restrooms.
Mask will not be required while hiking the cave trail as long as visitors can remain at least 6 feet apart, officials added. In addition, visitors can now purchase e-tickets that are delivered directly to their phone or other mobile devices without the need for any paper tickets.
"We are happy to welcome visitors back to the park caves but this plan really depends on the support and cooperation of all of our visitors this summer, especially compliance with the mask requirement inside the dark, wet cave system," said Superintendent Jim Ireland in a statement. "If everyone works together, we hope to safely continue tours throughout the summer."
Park officials said since tours regularly sell out, anyone planning to take a tour of the cave is encouraged to purchase tickets up to 30 days before they plan to visit. Officials added that attending during non-peak times is also "strongly encouraged" since holidays and weekends can get busy during the summer months.
Tickets will be available online through www.recreation.gov.