We decided if we were going to do this, we’d go big, so we opted for the three-hour, multi-cave experience. It’s just one of the tours offered, that range from one to five hours.
Here’s some of the most impressive things we learned from our epic adventure.
Know what you’re looking at: Those icicle-like formations hanging above you are called stalactites. These take thousands of years to form, and humans can ruin them in seconds. Note: when exposed to sun and “above-ground conditions,” the calcite making up the rock will turn grey and crumble if removed from the caves.
Cave-hunting tip: There are clues above ground that hint at cave systems below, like karst landscapes which means you’ll see water-soluble rock, ancient stream beds, fallen trees because of shallow topsoil, grike or baby caves.
Lean on your guide: If you have a fear related to caves (enclosed spaces, darkness, trying to squeeze through immovable rock, etc.) it's a good idea to take a guided tour. A good guide knows how to get you through tight spots, knows the quickest way out, and keeps you distracted with a commentary of what you’re seeing.
Water features: You’re bound to encounter water at some point (Horne Lake has a four- to five-hour adventure that lets you to rappel within the cave next to the “Rain Barrel” – a waterfall within the cave!) Although the rocks were wet, algae doesn’t grow here, meaning it’s not slippery. Bonus: Caves also have some of the cleanest, freshest water found on earth.
It’s really cool down here: The caves at Horne Lake are a stable 8C degree temperature all year long.
Caving central: Vancouver is home to more than 1,500 caves so you won't have to look far for this underground adventure and find a new state of wonder.