Caving Adventures

Join us on a tour of discovery to Rat's Nest Cave under Grotto Mountain: a wild, undeveloped cave with no artificial lights, boardwalks or handrails. Long ago this 4-km long limestone cave system was created by massive volumes of melt water from extinct glaciers. Now the glacial waters have receded leaving glacial deposits, fossil animal bones, pools of sparkling clear water and glistening calcite formations, all of which you can view on our wild cave tours. Caving offers our guests a unique combination of geological, historical and environmental interpretation. Two of our favourite caving adventures are the Adventure Tour and the Explorer Tour.

Adventure Tour

The Adventure Tour begins with a 20-25 minute hike through pine forest to a canyon leading to the cave entrance. Here you change into caving equipment - helmets, lights, coveralls, kneepads & gloves. You will receive a safety briefing prior to starting the tour. Your expert guide will take you on a natural history tour of Rat's Nest Cave, an exciting underground world - etched and sculptured over hundreds of thousands of years - through twisting passages and chambers of stalactites & stalagmites, animal bones and fossils then finally down to the tranquil pool in the grotto. Your six (6) hour adventure (return time to Canmore) includes traversing large and narrow passages, an 18 metre (60 foot) rappel on a "figure-of-eight" rappelling device plus crawling and squeezing through the 'Laundry Chute'.

Adventure Tour: Adult: $130.00/person; Youth: $145.00/person + GST
Tours last approximately 6 hours.

Contact our knowledgeable staff today to discuss making your western experience holiday a reality.

Explorer Tour

The Explorer Tour is similar to the adventure tour but does not include the rappel or Laundry Chute. Allow 4.5 hours return to Canmore.

Explorer Tour: Adult: $130.00/person; Youth: $115.00/person + GST
Tours last approximately 4.5 hours.

Bring 1 or 2 small, wrapped energy snacks such as a granola bar, chocolate bar etc. for taking into the cave and bottled water for when you come out. We recommend either a compact digital or disposable camera with flash for taking photos. Anything you wear or take into the cave will get covered in fine mud, so avoid new fancy clothing or camera equipment. There are no facilities at the cave site, so use the toilets in Canmore before you leave.

Do not expect to carry anything into the cave. You will need to have both hands free at all times. Backpacks are provided for carrying gear in the cave.

The cave is a constant 5C (41F) year round. Why is that? Because caves reflect the mean annual temperature so no matter what the outside weather it's always pleasant inside the cave. Like most alpine caves, it is cool in summer, mild in winter.

No experience is necessary, however participants should be reasonably fit.

Guide, helmet, light, coveralls and other gear provided.

Contact our knowledgeable staff today to discuss making your western experience holiday a reality.

Cave to Canyon Adventure

The day begins with a hour hike through a scenic montane forest to reach the cave entrance. Then after a quick change into your caving gear - coveralls, helmet and light and some light padding for the knees - and a safety talk, you descend into your underworld adventure. You will certainly enjoy your interpretive tour of this amazing cave system as you follow passages etched and sculpted thousands of years ago by running glacier water.

While no special skills are required to join the caving expedition, you should be aware that caving is considered a medium to high level activity and is meant for those who are physically active.

After a picnic lunch, your hike takes you into Grotto Canyon to view the Red Ochre Pictographs left by Native peoples several thousand years ago. Learn about the geological, historical, spiritual and cultural nature of the area as your native guide discusses the various Archaeological explanations, including the Native perspective, of the pictographs.

This program can be tailored to suit all groups and individuals. For those who are nervous about going into the cave, we can spend a full day in the canyon. And for those who feel that they crave something more adventurous than the canyon walk, we can spend a full day in the cave.

The program can also be run over two days. A full day in the cave and a full day exploring two canyons.

Canyon to Cave Adventure:

$195/person + GST includes lunch

Tours last approximately 8 hours.

Available June 15 to September 15.

A full day in the mountains that includes an Explorer tour into Rat's Nest Cave in the morning and an interpretive hike up Grotto Canyon to the Pictographs in the afternoon.

Contact our knowledgeable staff today to discuss making your western experience holiday a reality.

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