Some like to hike up, some like to hike horizontally, but every once in a while, I like to hike down, down, down…. Outside Banff National Park, the Canmore Caverns make for a great summer day trip very accessible to tourists.
When I was told that I would be tramping through the mud, sliding through small rock portals and wiggling my body through pitch-black chasms, I knew that this was a real adventure. The Canmore Caverns are located 20km from Banff.
Wild Cave Tours provides cavers with a pair of overalls, gloves, kneepads, helmet, and a headlamp. Remember that the cave temperatures never rise over 5°C, making it unique. “Regardless of the weather outside, it’s always the same in the cave, all year long,” the owner Pamela Young told me.
To complete this tour, you definitely have to be in shape, both physically and mentally, prepared to get muddy and wiggle through cramped spaces. The tour lasts some 6 hours and includes a 60 foot rappel through the middle of the cavern! The highlight of the trip.
When caving in the Rockies, always remember to wear plenty of clothing, carry a headlamp and know the way out. An excellent source of information and advice on caving can be found at the Alberta Speological Society. Contact them to find out about current cave conditions and to learn about the rules and requirements for safe caving. If an independent excursion into the pits of the Canadian Rockies doesn’t strike you as a good idea, you might want to call Wild Cave Tours.