Martin Hansen, first discovered the Timpanogos cave
s in 1887 after following a lions track
s in. When he went inside, he shortly discover
ed beautiful cave formation
s, and clear underground pools. The steep mountain side near American Fork
is the setting for the caves, high up in the Wasatch Mountains
There are three caves all connected that make up the Timpanogos caves, earliest explored and named was Hansen Cave, named after Martin Hansen. In 1921, middle cave was discovered by the family of Martin.
Timpanogos is the most significant and beautiful cave of them all, it was originally found in 1914, but was forgotten until it was rediscovered in the summer of 1921. The very next year, Timpanogos caves would become a national monument.
In the middle of the Timpanogos caves, there is a very large formation of linked stalactites that have grown together. It is called the "Heart of Timpanogos". The formation is 5 1/2 feet long, 3 feet wide, and weighs more than 4,000 pounds. Which means what? It is a very big formation.
While the cave has pretty much everything else, it lacks much wildlife as is the same with many other national caves. The most that someone will see in the cave is a rare bat, or maybe a cricket.
A legend is also closely related to the name and is widely believed:
A long time ago there were Indians that lived on Timpanogos. Every year they gave a sacrifice to the Great God Timpanogos. This one year it was to dry for the crops, and the Indians thought the great God was angry.
The Chief had a young daughter, named Utahna who was very beautiful. She was of age to be chosen. All the young girls in the tribe were blindfolded and given an opportunity to choose a pebble from a pottery dish. The young princess, Utahna, chose the black pebble. It was her fate to go upon the mountain.
All her tribesmen were sad and they wanted someone else to go instead. But, she bade her friends goodbye and ascended the mountain, winding her way towards the highest peak.
When she reached the top, she knelt in prayer. Begging for rain, she held her arms outstretched. A handsome young brave named Red Eagle had seen her and followed her. "Please do not jump!" he cried.
She thought he was the Great God of Timpanogos. He led her to a cave. Here they lived together, because they had fallen in love.
One day he was attacked by a bear and injured. Because he was hurt, she knew he wasn't the Great God Timpanogos. She cared for him until he got well. Then she left one morning very early to ascend the mountain.
When the sun was up, she reached up her arms out and leaped to the crags below. The young warrior gathered her broken body in his arms and carried her to the cave. Here the two hearts were made into one, as we can still see the Great Heart of Timpanogos.
If you look closely at the mountain, they say you can still see the outline of Utahna in Mount Timpanogos, where she was found by Red Eagle.