The Abyss Crack trail is also known as the Extension Trail, the Trail runs from the Abyss Crack for 9+ km and ends at the suspension bridge that crosses Haslam Creek. This is a pretty cool trail. The Abyss itself is a long, narrow crack that happened thousands of years ago during an earthquake. The crack is up to 16 inches wide and quite deep. Read More….
Artlish Caves Provincial Park is located northwest of Zeballos on northern Vancouver Island. The park is known for its incredible karst features. The wilderness park has two large cave entrances and the Artlish River runs beneath an old-growth forest environment. The people of Zeballos had for many years fought for the protection of this area and their efforts paid off, the Artlish system and surrounding forests were established as a park in 1996. Read More….
One of my favorite caving adventures is canyon caving. We know of a variety of canyons carved out of limestone by a fairly big flow of water. These are so much fun to climb about in, they are almost prehistoric. The features in these canyons are really beautiful. The caves you can find are pretty cool to visit as well. Read More….
Chicken 2 Cave
The entrance to this cave is pretty awesome, it’s a big entrance that makes one think of a king kong movie setting, quite impressive. I have gone into this cave many times and always enjoy it like the first time. There are no real hazards here and the cave is awesome. There are many cave crickets and cave spiders on the ceiling and walls in this cave, so many that you can feel them dropping on you from above, you have to wonder just what they eat, maybe lost cavers. Read More….
After exploring the Crystal Cave, we hiked around a bit and found several more caves right in the vicinity. It was the start of checking out the area’s caves, we have crawled through at least 20 or more of the local caves here and usually find at least one more on every visit to the area. Crystal Cave is a pretty easy cave to explore, with no real tight crawls, lots of formations, and several ways to exit. Read More….
The Devils Bath is Canada’s only cenote, a cenote is a sinkhole surrounded by rock bluffs and is filled with groundwater. It is connected to the Benson River Cave system via an underwater cave. It is located in the Quatsino limestone karst system, which contains many karst formations and cave systems. When you visit the cenote, you can also see the Eternal Fountain and the Disappearing River, both are located close to the Devil’s Bath. Read More….
The Disappearing River and the Reappearing River is a part of the Benson River that flows underground for about 2 km before reappearing again. The trail into this site is not marked, there has been a washout on the trail route and it’s suggested that you pass this spot by. But if you are adventurous, you can locate the trail, hike in on the short distance that takes you to this incredible place, you will see a river roaring down a canyon and then dropping into a deep hole and disappearing into the mountain, only to reappear some 2 km away. Quite a sight to see. Read More….
The Emilia Creek cavin system is pretty awesome, I can say that it’s a great cave for those who are ready for the next level in caving. There are 3 caves along the creek but the main cave is my favorite, small drops for the first hour, some cool formations, and the cave itself is a good distance. After about an hour in, you will come to a drop that requires repel gear, I have never been past this point. Read More….
North Vancouver Island is a place of waterfalls and rivers, deer and wolves, of birds and seals. A place of majestic forests gently covered in a blanket of mist. A place where dreams come from. A visit to North Vancouver Island must include a stop at the beautiful Eternal Fountain Waterfall. This waterfall is truly amazing and a wonder to see, it flows out of the rock face, drops for about 5 meters, and then disappears back into the mountain. Read More….
Fishy hole Cave
The Fishy Hole Cave is 70 meters deep and has a length of 165 meters. The first time I found this hole, I was heading over to the memekay river and some small caves that can be found there. As I was walking through the forest, I felt a blast of cool air. This quite often indicates there is a hole in the ground close by. I started casting about and sure enough, there it was. Read More….
Fry Lake Cave
I first visited the Fry Lake Cave 59 years ago. It was a beautiful cave then. Unfortunately, this cave is located close to a place where bush parties occur, and it has suffered. As you go into this hole now, the first thing you notice is the broken beer bottles and trash. Then you see that all cave formations that could be removed have been. Read More….
Horn Lake Caves
Vancouver Island has more than 1,000 discovered caves and l am sure there are at least as many yet to be found. For the beginner, the Horne Lake Caves are a great place to get acquainted with the underground. The park was created in 1971 at the request of many spelunking groups on Vancouver Island. They felt this system was too incredible and the potential damage that could arise from being unprotected was too great. Read More….
North Vancouver Island is an incredible place to go caving, one of the best is the Huson Caves. There are over 1,000 known caves on the island with most of them on the North Island, there could be many more just waiting to be discovered. The Huson Cave system is a great place to introduce the public to caves carved out of the limestone rock by the Atluck creek. Read More….
Middle Scallop Cave
The middle scallop cave is quite unique, ceilings are at least 10 meters high yet the walls are quite narrow, so narrow in spots that it’s impossible to turn around. The walls are completely scalloped, hence the name, for the most part, the floor is smooth but scalloped also. This cave is awesome. The memekay river valley has plenty of hidden caves, we are working hard to find all of them, the fun in searching out caves is so much a part of the adventure, and then finally finding the cave you are searching for is awesome. Read More….
There are several caves located in the area of the raging river. They are all incredible but I must say that the minigill cave has to be the best. To enter this cave requires a 35-meter rappel straight down. This alone makes this a pretty awesome cave. Of course, the thing about caving is it’s always uphill on your way out. It’s a tough haul using ascenders to get out. Read More….
The north island is a cavers paradise. Some areas have so many caves that it could take a lifetime to explore them. One of these karst systems that can be found in the raging river valley has some incredible caves. Here you can find the Peat Cave. It’s a beautiful area to visit, high mountains, This is a great cave to explore. Read More….
Raging River Cave
The Raging River Cave is pretty awesome. Its located in the Raging River Valley. You first travel along a deactivated logging road on foot, then it’s a short hike up an overgrown road, and then a hike along a trail that is not very easy to follow. All of this is worth it as the cave is quite amazing to see. Read More….
Caving is a great adventure, climbing down into the earth is an amazing feeling and it can give you quite a rush. Vancouver Island has plenty of cave systems for you to explore and the Upana system is one of the sweetest. The Upana Cave system is located about 17 km west of Gold River, on Head Bay Forest Rd. These caves are just awesome to hike in and you can find everything here in formations and cave life like crickets and spiders to photograph. Read More….
Huson Caves, Photo By Robert Logan
There are over 1000 known Caves on Vancouver Island alone, plus so many more in the Pacific Northwest. Most of these caves are found in limestone deposits.
We love to go spelunking but there are a few things you need to know before entering any cave system, is there any drop offs in this system, are there fast-flowing underground rivers that can be quite a hazard, is there more than one route to follow, there is nothing worse than getting lost in a multi cave system. When you are going into a system, always carry a map of the cave system, carry several sources of light, l like to have a headlamp, handheld flashlight, and l always carry several long-burning candles for an emergency like a flashlight or headlamp failure, and a helmet can save you from some nasty bumps to the head and always bring extra warm clothing as cave temperatures change little through the seasons.
The upanna cave system is located about 17 km west of Gold River, on Head Bay Forest Rd, on Vancouver Island. These caves are just awesome to hike in and you can find everything here in formations and cave life, lots of crickets and spiders to photograph here. There are a number of caves in the Paterson lake area, one of which is so large, it takes 2 days to travel through, requiring a night spent underground. Holberg area has a few very big and deep caves, but be careful here as there is a chance of running into underground rivers. The Zeballos area also has some very beautiful caves, some of these are protected and you need to have a guide to enter. Then there is the horn lake cave system, one of our more famous karst systems, these caves are incredible.
For an even deeper adventure, join a guided tour of the white ridge caves. The White Ridge Provincial Park is located at the boundary of Strathcona Provincial Park’s northwest corner on the Gold River Highway. The park is located 4 km west of Gold River and is accessed off Gold River Highway on the BR 80 logging road.
The Huson Cave system is a great place to introduce the public to caves carved out of the limestone rock by the Atluck creek. The system contains 15 caves that are easy and safe, perfect for the inexperienced caver; no special equipment is necessary. The Little Huson Lake Cave Park is in an incredible area of the island and the canyon has some very special features which are unique to Vancouver Island.
The Cave Park includes the Atluck Creek Canyon. This canyon has a number of interesting beautiful features, there is a wonderful natural bridge that is quite amazing and a large cave entrance where the creek flows underground for 60 meters, this is known as the cathedral cave entrance. The bridge feature is the only one on Vancouver Island.
The park has a number of other minor karst features like scallops that form in the rock walls, they are rippled rock surfaces that have been created by high-pressure water flow.
There are ample areas to camp in the area, with the Huson lake site being the closest, this is a very nice campground with lots of space. There are a boat ramp and picnic tables along with a very large green area.
The beautiful Eternal Fountain waterfall is a spot that all should visit, this waterfall is truly amazing and a wonder to see, it flows out of the rock face, drops for about 5 meters, and then disappears back into the mountain. If the beauty of these falls is not enough for you, then you could drop down to the base of the falls and go behind to discover another waterfall that is completely underground, there is a beautiful subterranean passage that has been sculpted out of red rock, it has been carved out by the passing of the underground river.
The tunnel behind the falls meanders along as it follows the roaring stream on its route through the cave to the end where it drops into a deep sump and disappears. An awesome sight to see, but please be careful as the rock passage can be very slippery.
Along the route, you will also have the opportunity to visit some other incredible spots like the Devils Bath, its Canada’s only cenote, a cenote is a sinkhole surrounded by rock bluffs and is filled with groundwater. The Devil’s Bath is connected to the Benson River Cave system via an underwater cave. Devil’s Bath is located in the Quatsino limestone karst system, which contains many karst formations and cave systems.
You can also visit the Vanishing River and the Reappearing River, a part of the Benson River that flows underground for about 2 km before reappearing again. The trail into this site is not marked, there has been a washout on the trail route and it’s suggested that you pass this spot by. But if you are adventurous, you can locate the trail, hike in on a short trail that takes you to an incredible place, you will see a river roaring down a canyon and then dropping into a deep hole and disappearing into the mountain, only to reappear some 2 km away. Quite a sight to see.
To get to the Eternal Fountain along with the Devils Bath and the Disappearing River from hwy19, turn off onto the Keogh Rd just north of Port McNeil and head south, drive a short distance and you will see a large directional sign with a map of the Alice Lake Loop, this is where you choose your route. The drive is about 100 km, with a driving time of 2 to 3 hours, but you will want to have the whole day, so you can explore these wonders completely.
On your drive, you will have a good chance of seeing bears, elk, cougars, deer, wolves, and any number of smaller forest creatures and if that is not enough, the birdlife here is just incredible. The numerous lakes you will pass have exceptional fishing along with great camping areas, so you could take your time and stay overnight in one or more camp-ground and spend several days here. This would allow you to really get to see the north island and all it has to offer.
So what are you waiting for, grab your camera, fishing pole, some flashlights and head out on one heck of an adventure.