The worst hike I’ve ever been on is not difficult by common definition, but I’m not common unfortunately. Many people would find it shocking that one of the most popular hikes in Utah is the worst hike I’ve been on, but it is. Timpanogos cave sees approximately 70,000 people each year, but needless to say I was not the happiest guest that day. Don’t take that entirely negative the cave is definitely one of the most amazing natural creations in the world, but the hike is not. While relatively easy despite the elevation gain the asphalt that you walk on and the crowds make the hike slightly unpleasant. The cave while beautiful in ways most of us have never even imagined, it’s not a dream trip for anyone who has stability issues.
The trail is 1.5 miles and steep at points, however it is paved and relatively wide making it easily accessible to most. I had never noticed it before and I was quite surprised at how many people walk up and down this trail for exercise daily. While I have a hard time walking on uneven ground the black pavement in the sun was no picnic to either. The trail switch backs most of the way up the side of the mountain which is preferred to going straight up I’m sure.
There are also several places to stop and rest which makes this one of the most family friendly hikes that many will ever encounter. So if you are asking right about now why I call this the worst hike I’ve been on I can answer in one word, Monotony. The constant pounding on pavement is not fun for me, and the heat reflected by the black pavement is not fun for anyone with a heat intolerance either. I love the inside of Timpanogos cave, but walking across a tiny bridge squished in with a large group of people is not preferable when what would be a small bump for some can knock me over completely. If I could ever have a personal guided tour through the cave without worrying about ruining the entire trip for those along with me I would jump at the chance.
The guides through the cave are amusing and knowledgable and most have worked there for quite some time. They chat with the groups and go out of their way to involve children in the trip. It is always fun to see someone who is excited about their work and the guides in Timpanogos are shining examples of people who love what they do for a living.
Maybe it’s my need to go climbing through trees and mud but the hike to Timpanogos somehow takes away from what I find when I get to the top. I’m a huge fan of leaving nature alone and the trail to the cave is anything but. I understand that they paved the trail so more people could get to the cave but I feel as though they have taken away from the natural beauty by doing so. I went several times as a kid and my husband and I both wanted our kids to see the cave, but from now on I think we’ll go tromping through something a little wilder instead 🙂