Discovery Hike

The Discovery Tour is a 2-3 hour interpretive hike designed to introduce our guests to the incredible history of the Bow Valley. Highlights of the tour include “catch and release” fossil hunting, wildlife tracking, spectacular mountain views and a visit to the entrance of Rat’s Nest Cave where you will see ancient pictographs and bones.


2h - 3h 
Times are approximate


  • Adult: $55.00 + GST
  • Youth: $35.00 + GST (5 -15 yrs)
  • 5 and Under: $FREE*
  • Age

    All ages


    May 15th – October 1st (weather permitting)

    Minimum 2 participants

    ** Please call to make a booking if you have children 5 years of age and under.


    • Sample Itinerary

      • 20 min – Follow guide in convoy to cave parking lot
      • 30 min – Pack up equipment for tour
      • 2 hr 30 min – Fossils hunting (catch and release only!), wildlife tracking, geology, biology, natural history, visit the cave entrance, fun, fun and more fun!
      • 3 hr – return to car at cave parking lot and depart
    • Frequently Asked Questions

      The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Discovery Tour. For more information please watch our information video, or contact us via e-mail or phone.

      How is the Discovery Tour different from the cave tours?

      The Discovery Tour is an interpretive hike to Rat's Nest Cave, and does not venture beyond the entrance of the cave.

      Is there a minimum age?

      There is no minimum age for the Discovery Tour

      What is included and what should I bring?

      We provide all of the equipment necessary for exploringthe entrance to the cave including helmet & headlamp, harness & safety lanyard, and backpack. The backpack will be shared by two people and will not go into the cave.

      You will need to bring good footwear, warm clothing, and a camera (optional). Also, if you ill require medication during the tour it is a good idea to bring 2x what you would expect to use, just in case.

      Footwear must be closed-toe and should have a sturdy tread. Hiking boots or shoes are best, but a sturdy running shoe will also work. Other options include rubber boots or winter boots (in the winter)

      The cave is 5 degrees celsius, so warm clothing is recommended. Imagine what you would wear if you had to spend a few hours in a refrigerator. We recommend long pants, long sleeves, a warm sweater, hoodie or jacket. Synthetic fabrics are best as they will keep you warm even if you get wet.

      Any cameras going into the cave will need to fit into your pockets. We do not allow backpacks in the cave. Small point-and-shoot cameras or smart phones are welcome but please keep in mind that the cave environment is not particularly friendly towards electronics. High humidity and dust can damage equipment, and screens can break if you accidentally sit on it. Electronics are brought at your own risk.

      Is transportation provided?

      No, transportation is not provided. If you do not have your own vehicle we can arrange a taxi to the cave for you at an additional cost. You can use Canmore's public transit to get to our office.

      How hard is the tour?

      Reaching the cave will require hiking approximately 2km, uphill the whole way on a mountain trail. On the Discovery Tour this will be done over the course of about 1.5 hours with lots of stops and breaks.

    Tour Details

    The tour is designed with families in mind as it is suitable for all ages, but it is also a great option for those who just don’t have quite enough time for a full cave tour.

    Meet your guide at the Canmore Cave Tours Office in Canmore (129 Bow Meadows Crescent) – see “Directions button” below. Sign the waiver. Follow the guide in convoy for a 10 minute drive to the cave parking lot where you’ll pack up your belongings and begin your adventure.

    The hike all the way to the cave entrance is moderately strenuous and participants should have a good level of fitness. The hike takes place along a rugged mountain trail, gaining approximately 200 meters in elevation in approximately 1 kilometre. It is important that everyone who will be hiking has appropriate footwear for the hike, and appropriate clothing for the weather.

    ** YOU determine the pace of your tour so if you’re having too much fun hunting for fossils and aren’t concerned about making it all the way to the cave then we’ll hunt for fossils for the whole tour instead.


    Book Now

    Make a Booking Online

    Select a date in the calendar below and choose an available timeselot to book your Discovery Tour. Not all timeslots are available online.


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    (for More Assistance Contact: +1 877 317 1178)

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