Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Heart of Timpanogos

I had heard of the Heart of Timpanogos long before I ever saw it. The legend of Timpanogos is a beautiful and romantic story that is told several ways, and I happen to love them all. The Timpanogos caves are just a few miles into American Fork Canyon and are a National Monument. The hike is 1.5 miles up (and obviously 1.5 miles back!) and extremely scenic. The heart of Timpanogos is a stalactite that hangs inside the caves and is backlit with a red light to look even more like a gigantic heart.
Arlo Shelley briefly tells the legend similarly to the way that I have heard it:

"As the story goes, a young Indian princess, Utahna, was to be sacrificed to the Great God of Timpanogos. After Utahna made her sacrificial leap from the top of Mount Timpanogos, the brokenhearted Indian warrior, Red Eagle, laid her to rest inside the cave. The two hearts melded into one and can now be seen hanging deep inside the cave as the Great Heart of Timpanogos, formed through several stalactites. Other accounts claim the great spirits hung Utahna’s heart within the cave and laid her body on top of the mountain as a warning. Looking closely at the skyline of majestic Mount Timpanogos, the outline of the sleeping princess can be seen." (See Source)

Other versions of the legend are available here and here.


Jim said...

Thats a great picture and neat story.

umily said...

That is rad. That really does look like a heart, with all the valves and atriums.

D.C. Confidential said...

I spent 17 years living in Provo and Orem and never hiked up to Mt. Timp. Totally regret that!

This is a gorgeous picture. Nice job!

zentmrs said...

Wow - cool photo and story!

Jana said...

Great story!