"Heavenly Father . . . is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father's perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate."
Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf
Mount Timpanogos overlooks the valley where DH and I met and where we attended college. Legend has it that an Indian Princess jumped to her death from the top of the mountain after being betrayed by her true love, and if you look closely, you can see the outline of the princess lying along the top ridge of the mountain. The mountain, the famous Timpanogos Cave National Monument, and the canyons on either side are popular places for college students and others to hike and picnic, so of course, our courtship had to include several adventures involving Timpanogos.
The first time we hiked Timpanogos together was on Tuesday, September 15, 1981. The fall semester of school had started, but DH had a fairly light schedule and I was not taking classes that semester, so we hiked the 1 1/2 mile-switch back trail to the caves with very few other people on the trail. During the peak season, and especially on the weekends, the trail is normally quite crowded, and you would be advised to purchase tickets to the cave tour in advance of your hike. That weekday in September, we had a very leisurely day and spent plenty of time resting, enjoying the views, and talking about our hopes and dreams for the future. By then we knew that at the end of October I would be leaving for Colombia for 18 months, so our conversations were somewhat bitter-sweet.
Hike to Timpanogos Cave, July 1983
It was nearly two years later when we hiked to the caves again, this time in July of 1983 either on the 4th of July or on the 24th of July, which is a state holiday honoring the pioneer settlers of the state. We made the hike with my parents, my brother and his wife and two little girls, and my sister and her husband and their baby boy. We were engaged to be married in just a few weeks, and were taking a bit of a break from work and wedding planning to hike and picnic and celebrate the holiday.
A few months later we returned to Timpanogos on a Saturday with friends, also newlyweds, and hiked up the Aspen Grove Trail which passes Stewart Falls, Emerald Lake, and the Glacier. We didn't hike the entire 14.6-mile trail to the top, but stopped at the Lake and meadows, before coming back down by way of the glacier. I'm sorry to say that the others may have completed the trail to the top if I had not been along, but I have never quite wanted to make the very last leg of the trip to the mountain summit as I understand it is quite a narrow ledge, and my acrophobia has always kept me from hiking the entire trail. We did stop and enjoy some of the falls along the way and had a very enjoyable day.
We have been back to Timpanogos several times since then with our own children and other family members, and highly recommend the various hikes, the caves, and the whole area to anyone interested in such recreational activities. If you aren't into hiking, the drive up through the canyons and around the mountain on the Alpine Loop also makes for a wonderful outing. For more information, feel free to check out the following links.