Spirit in the Mountain

December 15-17, 2017


Spirit in the Mountain

December 15-17, 2017

An unforgettable and unique way to celebrate the winter holiday season and all the cheer it brings. Spirit in the Mountain combines the raw beauty and spectacular acoustics of the cave to create one of the most memorable concert venues imaginable.


Spirit in the Mountain 2017

Spirit in the Mountain is an opportunity for us to bring visitors and community members together for a celebration of the winter holiday season with music (and a little adventure).

Over the course of three nights, three adventurous groups of performers will take their talents deep into the heart of Grotto Mountain to tell their story of this amazing place we call home. Join us on this unforgettable adventure as we transform the raw beauty of Rat's Nest Cave into one of the most spectacular concert venues imaginable with music and a little Canmore Cave Tours festive cheer.

Share the Spirit

Contact us for more information on how to be a part of this great event.

Contact Us

Meet the Artists

The Valley Winds

The Bow Valley's local choir set the bar pretty darn high as the first offical musical performance in Rat's Nest Cave in 2015, and these passionate performers are back at it again this year. Eight members of the choir will journey into the cave to help us celebrate one of the best times of the year, and you're not going to want to miss it!

Watch the video to learn more about this event and where it all began! We want to give a huge thanks to the Valley Winds Choir for their bold and adventurous spirit in being our first ever musical performance in the cave.

The Valley Winds Choir

Elk Run & Riot

Elk Run & Riot is an up and coming folk rock four piece that has been carving out their own unique style of experimental music in the Rocky Mountains of Canada since early 2013. The foundation of songs begin with creative lyrics and catchy melodies. From there Elk Run and Riot deliver intricate harmonies, a tight progressive rhythm section and an electric mix of leads that cover multiple genres of music.

These guys rocked the cave for Spirit in the Mountain 2016 and we are so excited to have them back again this year!

Elk Run & Riot

In the Pink!

Canmore’s premier all-female a capella group with repertoire ranging from ballads to be-bop, In the Pink! has been heard on CBCtv, A Channel, CKUA radio, and CBC’s “Morningside” and have three recordings to their credit. Entertainment guaranteed to dazzle and delight! No instruments required!

In the Pink! members Sue and Lee Ann are no strangers to the cave having directed and performed with the Valley Winds Choir during Spirit in the Mountain 2015. This year we are absolutely thrilled to host all of these amazing ladies for what is sure to be an incredible evening!

In the Pink!

Tour Details

Meet your guides at the Canmore Cave Tours Office in Canmore (129 Bow Meadows Crescent – see “Directions” above). Sign the waiver. Follow the guides in convoy for a 10 minute drive to the cave parking lot where you’ll pack up your caving gear then hike for 40 minutes up a mountain trail to the cave entrance.

Along the trail, your guides will explain the geology of the area; and inside the cave, you’ll get to climb, crawl, slither and get muddy. Soon after entering the cave you’ll go through the “Box” then on to the Five Way Chamber, and finally to the Grand Gallery. After the musical performance the return trip follows the same path out.

Once we’ve reached the Grand Gallery, our performers will get you into the holiday spirit with a 45 minute performance, combining amazing musicianship in a beautiful environment to form an unforgettable experience.

Approximate Tour itinerary

5:00 - 5:45:
Meet guide, sign waiver, pack up equipment for tour
5:45 - 6:00:
Follow guide in convoy to cave parking lot
6:00 - 6:45:
Hike up trail
6:45 - 7:15:
Arrive at cave entrance, safety de-brief and gear up
Let's go Caving!
7:15 - 8:00:
Travel through cave to the Grand Gallery
8:00 - 9:00:
Your Spirit in the Mountain Performance
9:00 - 10:00:
Exit the cave
10:00 - 10:45:
Pack equipment and hike down the trail
10:45 - 11:00:
Arrive at cave parking lot and depart for office.
Elk Run & Riot play Spirit in the Mountain
Elk Run & Riot Played Spirit in the Mountain 2016 and were a huge hit! They hauled 3 guitars and a mandolin into the cave which was a bit of hard work, but oh so worth it!

It's a little chilly in there!

Just a reminder that while the cave is likely to be warmer than the outside temperature, it is still only 5 degrees celsius so bundle up. We recommend bringing warm layers like fleece jackets or hoodies and long johns, and a winter hat to wear under the helmet. Bring more than seems reasonable - your guide will help you decide what will work and what won't.

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Reserve Online

It's as easy as 1-2-3! Simply click "Book Now", fill in your personal details and then make payment via credit card. That's it!

The system will automatically send you a confirmation of your tour with the relevant details and it will even send you a reminder two days before your tour so you don't forget!

Talk to Us!

We're always happy to help answer your questions and choose the best experience. We can also recommend other great activities or restaurants to compliment your cave tour.

Contact Us

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find the answers you need? Log in to Facebook and use our instant chat function below, or visit our Contact Us page for more ways to get in touch.
Is there a minimum age?

The minimum age for a concert in the cave is 10 years.

Is there a maximum size?

Generally speaking, fitness is more of a concern than size. However, all participants must wear a safety harness which has a maximum waist size of 46" (116 cm) and a maximum leg size of 33" (84 cm). If you have any concerns about size please don't hesitate to contact us.

What is included and what should I bring?

We provide all of the necessary caving equipment including coveralls, kneepads, gloves, helmet & headlamp, harness & safety lanyard, and backpack. The backpack will be shared by two people and will not go into the cave. We will also provide you with a Clif Bar energy bar, and a 500mL bottle of water (in a reusable bottle that is yours to keep).

You will need to bring good footwear, warm clothing, a camera (optional) and if you have any dietary restrictions, please bring a snack that you know works for you. 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?

The hike to the cave takes approximately 30-40 minutes and is uphill the whole way on a mountain trail. Most of our guests find this to be the hardest part of the day, but we do take lots of stops along the way to enjoy the scenery.

Once in the cave the pace is quite slow as we maneuver through the passages. This is not a flat walking tour. There are no handrails, walkways or fixed lighting. We climb, crawl, slide and wiggle our way around the cave so it is best to have a moderate level of fitness.Even more important though is your sense of adventure!

Are there rats or bats?

Rat's Nest Cave is named after the nests of Bushy-tailed Wood Rats found in the entrance. This species of super-cute rodents is native to the area and they use the cave as a home due to it's constantly warm temperatures and protection from predators. We rarely see the rats, and if we do there is usually just one.

Bat's are rarely seen at Rat's Nest Cave. The cave is not a hibernaculum (a place where bats hibernate through the winter). We usually only see the occasional bat in the summer as they are passing through the area.

Is this tour suitable for me if I'm pregnant?

Yes, but only up until the end of the first trimester (12 weeks).

It is always advisable to seek advice from your doctor when participating in activities like caving.