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Explore the Hidden World, Caving on Vancouver Island

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Horne Lake Caves Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island, located off the southwestern coast of British Columbia, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. While the island is renowned for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and rugged coastline, it also hides a secret beneath its surface – a captivating underground world of caves and tunnels waiting to be explored. Caving on Vancouver Island offers adventurers a chance to delve into the island's mysterious subterranean realm, discovering awe-inspiring geological formations and unique ecosystems. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the thrilling world of caving on Vancouver Island.

The Diversity of Caves

Vancouver Island boasts a variety of caves, each with its own distinctive features. From limestone caverns to lava tubes, the island offers a wide range of underground environments to explore.

Located near Qualicum Beach, this provincial park is a hub for cave enthusiasts. With over 1,000 caves and passages, Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park offers something for cavers of all skill levels, especially the longest, and only, cave slide in all of Canada is actually in B.C. and it looks like a seriously unique experience.

These thrilling cave slides are nestled inside Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park on Vancouver Island and you'll want to add them to your bucket list, as soon as possible.

The not-so-typical slides were built by the Canadian Cave Conservancy during a restoration plan in 2014, according to the park director of Horne Lake Caves, Myles Fullmer.

They wanted to build a platform that visitors could get across without damaging the crystal lattice network of the ancient calcite formations beneath, which eventually lead to these cave slides

Visitors can embark on guided cave tours that cater to both beginners and experienced cavers. These tours provide valuable insights into the geological history and fragile ecosystems of the caves.

Notable caves within the park include Riverbend Cave, Main Cave, and the newly discovered Help! I'm Lost Cave, each offering a unique caving experience.

Light shining into Horne lake cave Vancouver island

Little Huson Caves Regional Park Situated on northern Vancouver Island, Little Huson Caves Regional Park features an intriguing network of limestone caves and karst formations.

The park is ideal for families and novice cavers, as it offers accessible trails leading to the cave entrances. These caves are more compact and easier to navigate, making them a great introduction to caving.

Upana Caves

Located near Tahsis on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Upana Caves are a collection of rugged limestone caves that have been carved by nature over millions of years.

While some caves are easily accessible, others require a bit more adventurous spirit, with rappelling and crawling involved.

Exploring the Upana Caves allows cavers to witness stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations.

Caving is an exhilarating activity, but it's crucial to prioritize safety while exploring Vancouver Island's caves. Here are some good safety tips,

Equipment Wear appropriate caving gear, including a helmet with a headlamp, sturdy footwear, and clothing suitable for the underground environment.

Leave No Trace Follow the "leave no trace" principle. Preserve the fragile cave ecosystem by not disturbing formations or leaving any litter behind.

Stay Informed Be aware of weather conditions and potential hazards within the caves. Check in with local authorities or caving organizations for the latest information.

Buddy System Never go caving alone. Always explore caves with at least one other person to ensure safety in case of emergencies.

Caving on Vancouver Island is a thrilling and educational adventure that allows you to uncover the island's hidden wonders. From awe-inspiring geological formations to unique subterranean ecosystems, the caves of Vancouver Island offer a fascinating journey beneath the surface of this remarkable island. Just remember to explore responsibly, prioritize safety, and leave the caves as you found them so that future generations can continue to enjoy these natural wonders. So, grab your gear, gather your friends, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable caving expedition on Vancouver Island!

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