Caves, Pacific Northwest
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.
There are some things that important to know before you enter a cave system, is there any drop offs in this system, fast flowing underground rivers can be another hazard and just plain getting lost in a multi cave system so always carry a map of the cave system, carry several sources of light, l like to have a head lamp, hand held flash lights and l always carry several long burning candles for an emergency like a flashlight/headlamp failure. A helmet can save you from some nasty bumps to the head and always bring extra warm clothing as the islands caves temperatures changes little through the seasons.
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.
There are fifteen entrances into the system that are known of. The length of the cave passages put together is about 450 meters. The individual caves vary from about the single room size right up to passages of considerable length made up of multiple rooms. You can hike the caves by yourself or take a guided tour with a spelunking club. These caves are quite beautiful and well worth the hike but bring warm clothing as even in the summer months, its chilly in the cave