Climbing & Caving
Rock climbing (Don Weixl photo)
Ranked among the most significant and spectacular in the world, the caves of the Vancouver Island region number more than 1,000. Some have been explored and charted, but most remain undeveloped. New caves and unusual land formations are being discovered all the time.
Northern Vancouver Island offers some of the best caving in western Canada.
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
Located deep inside the Beaufort Mountain Range, Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park offers guided and self-guided family tours, as well as camping and freshwater marine activities.
Lower Cave, Andres Annex and the first 20m of Main Cave are open year round for self-guided tours. Exploring these caves can require moderate climbing skills and the navigation of small passages and narrow crawlways. Helmets are recommended, and can be rented for a minimal fee.
Alternatively, taking a tour is perhaps the best way to experience this site. Guides can lead you safely to otherwise inaccessible features while they explain the geology as well as the history. Tours at Horne Lake Caves range from a fun, family-friendly, hour-long exploration of the Main Cave to an intense, five-hour trek suitable for adults.