Mount Timpanogos is the second highest peak in the Wasatch Mountain Range. It’s also a popular location for many travelers, including those who have kids.
The most challenging part about traveling with children usually is finding things to fill their time and keep them engaged.
You don’t want those things to be too generic, though. Vacation is an excellent opportunity to cement some fantastic childhood memories. So you need to choose activities for your kids that will both entertain them but still be meaningful later in life.
The first activity that comes to mind is hiking, as Mount Timpanogos is the perfect place for it. However, not every kid gets excited about hiking, or they may want to enjoy other activities after they finish walking up the mountain.
To make traveling to Mount Timpanogos with kids a bit easier, here are seven things for kids to do when visiting this popular mountain destination.
Explore Timpanogos Cave
Deep in the heart of Mount Timpanogos lays a beautiful cave of wonders. Part of the Timpanogos National Monument, the Timpanogos Cave is available for guided tours and is by far the biggest attraction in the area.
Your family can take part in a guided tour of the cave. Stops on the tour include Timpanogos Cave (the main attraction), Middle Cave, and Hansen Cave. Each has a unique and spectacular view, so you should do your best to visit all of them.
The tour consists of a 1.5-mile hike to the cave from the Visitor’s Center followed by a 55-minute trek through the cave. The entire trip typically lasts around 3 hours. The temperatures in the summer months are often about 100 degrees, while the temperature in the cave falls to approximately 45 degrees. So plan ahead and bring a light jacket.
The tour guides are well-educated and can bring the wonders of the caves to life with their knowledge of the cave’s geology and history.
Due to the strenuous hike, extreme temperature changes, and rules against strollers, the caves aren’t the best idea for younger children. However, older children often take the tour and love experience.
Become a Junior Ranger
If your child has ever wanted to walk in the shoes of a park ranger, the Visitors Center allows younger guests to become Mount Timpanogos Junior Rangers.
Every Saturday during the tourist season, the Junior Ranger program is open to children of all ages.
Junior Rangers get a free activity book, several activities designed specifically for their age group, and the opportunity to work directly with active Rangers.
Each potential Junior Ranger must complete their activity book and return it to a Ranger at the Visitor’s Center. But don’t worry if your little one can’t finish their activity book while there. They can finish it at home and send it in to receive their very own Junior Ranger badge and patch after your vacation ends.
Ride the Heber Valley Railroad
Filled with a rich history, the Heber Valley Railroad was the central rail for both freight and passengers until a paved highway made the trip to Heber easier.
The Heber Valley Railroad has several trains waiting to take you on a 16-mile historical ride between Heber Valley and Provo Canyon. There are currently two steam locomotives, three diesel locomotives, several traditional passenger coaches, and even a caboose. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome. The train staff can also accommodate individuals with special needs. All trains are heated in the winter. However, you shouldn’t expect any air conditioning in the warmer months.
If you come during the right time of year, there are specialized train rides available, including the North Pole Express, a Murder Mystery ride, and other special events.
Ride the Deer Creek Express
A 90-minute trip on the Deer Creek Express offers a gorgeous view of the Wasatch Mountains.
You and your kids can take a step back in time as you move along the same rails used by visitors to the area over a century ago
The nod to history includes a live-action train robbery, a treat for even the youngest in your family. Be prepared to see some gun-toting cowboys and some real excitement.
This route runs most days from mid-January to the end of August, with a regular departure time of 3 pm, making it a perfect afternoon adventure. You can also purchase food directly on the train, so there’s no need to pack a lunch.
Take the Monday Night Train
Similar to the Deer Creek Express, the Monday Night Train also offers train-centric excitement.
Each ride includes sing-a-longs and several surprises. Show up a little early, and you may get to experience an Old West gunfight.
This train ride is perfect for small groups, families, and couples. Also, know that alcohol is prohibited on this family-friendly train.
Take the Provo Canyon Limited
Those looking to experience more than a short ride can make a reservation for the Provo Canyon Limited ride.
This train ride includes a scenic view of Mount Timpanogos and Provo Canyon. The trip also has a layover at Vivian Park, allowing your kids to stretch their legs a bit.
Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance and can be bought with or without lunch included.
Try a Raft ‘n Rails Adventure
If you and your children want to combine a short train ride with a wet and wild rafting trip, a Raft ‘n Rails adventure.
The train ride takes you through Midway and Soldier Hollow before heading down Provo Canyon. Once you disembark the train, there will be a shuttle to the Deer Creek Campground, where you will begin your rafting leg of the adventure.
The rafting ride takes you 6 miles downriver, with options for both class I and class II sections – allowing individuals of all ages to enjoy the ride. If your kids have never been rafting before, don’t worry. A trained guide leads each rafting trip and ensures the journey is safe.
If you are a bit more adventurous and have older children, you will love the train ride to the drop off near Dear Creek Reservoir.
Once you reach the train’s endpoint, you will be taken by an off-road van to the zipline site. Professional trainers will make sure that you and your children are properly fitted and prepared for the zipline experience. This zipline has called the most beautiful zipline in the world, so it’s well worth the time and money. Your purchase also includes a boxed lunch, so you won’t have to worry about bringing food.
Seven Peaks Water Park
Just a short half-hour trip from Mount Timpanogos, the whole family can enjoy tons of fun activities at the newly reopened Seven Peaks Water Park.
The 17-acre park features 11 fantastic water slides, a 500,000-gallon wave pool, and an area specifically made for young children.
If you’re a frequent visitor to the area, you might want to purchase a Gold pass that provides a full year of access to all of the Seven Peaks parks.
Seven Peaks also offers tons of live attractions throughout the season. Just some of the attractions that were available this season include:
- Sea Lion Splash: the only show available with trained sea lions.
- Royal Tigers Show: an interactive and educational show featuring Bengal and Siberian tigers.
- Extreme Raptors: a fantastic exhibition of some of the world’s birds of prey, including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls.
If you’re taking your kids to Mount Timpanogos, this list of kid-friendly activities is sure to keep them entertained for the majority of the trip.
- Explore Timpanogos Cave
- Become a Junior Ranger
- Ride the Heber Valley Railroad
- Ride the Deer Creek Express
- Take the Monday Night Train
- Travel on the Provo Canyon Limited
- Take a Raft ‘n Rails Adventure
- Go ziplining
- Visit Seven Peaks Water Park
And if none of these options are appealing to your children, this list only contains a small sample of the wide variety of kid-friendly activities that are near Mount Timpanogos.
Whether your kids are looking to take in some rich history or go on an adventure, Mount Timpanogos has something to offer.