Whether your goal is to challenge yourself and push your limits or to enjoy the sights, sounds and unique beauty that the cave has to offer, your story begins here:Go Caving
Whether your goal is to challenge yourself and push your limits or to enjoy all of the sights, sounds and unique beauty that the cave has to offer, your story begins here:
The Canmore Cave Tours team are thrilled to share an exciting new project with you. As of April 2019, in partnership with the Alberta Speleological Society, we have embarked upon the resurvey of Rat’s Nest Cave; a project that we hope will shed new light on a fascinating and important part of Alberta’s history. As one of the longest caves in Canada it still has potential for significant new exploration and research contributions in the realms of geology, biology, anthropology, ecology, and more. Resurveying the cave is the first step in what we hope will be a long journey of new discovery and we invite you to join us for that journey!
Tim and Whitney have been adventuring together since their first date. Living in the mountains benefits a lifestyle centred around hiking, kayaking, and most recently, caving. Pushing boundaries, facing fears, and finding patience are all a part of their journey through both life and the cave. Keep reading to see how the adventure-lovers fared.
We think caving is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, but then we are pretty enthusiastic about life underground overall. So don't just take our word on it. Here are some thoughts from some of our newsest cavers to inspire you!
"My husband and I both look back at this and agree this was one of the highlights of our vacation..."Read More
“AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE”
Reviewed By: Mo89564
Mar 27, 2017:
My husband and I used Canmore as a base for exploring Banff, but since I was curious about the area and the things to see/do, the Canmore Cave Tour (Grotto Mountain/Rat's Nest Cave) popped up when I was researching the area.
I decided to book this after I saw the pictures and read other people's experiences. We met our guide at the office in the morning that was very personable but clearly knew her stuff and was passionate about caving. We were in a group of about 8 which was nice - small, but nice to talk to others and everyone definitely looked out for each other during the experience.
Hiked up to the entrance and went in! This was where the awesomeness began. It is a physical and mental challenge - but so rewarding. You'll be crawling through sections, rappelling down into the dark and learning about the history. You'll be seeing things that very few people get to see. My husband and I both look back at this and agree this was one of the highlights of our vacation - and we're comparing this against the heavyweights known as Banff and Jasper.
Advice to anyone considering this:
-You don't have to be in pristine physical condition, but you should have a good base. It is a physical activity and you will be using muscles that you don't know you had.
-The squeezes weren't claustrophobic to me as a 5'8 135 lbs. female. My husband is 5'11 190 lbs and had no problem. A guy on our tour was even bigger than my husband, probably over 6'0 and 200 lbs and had no problems maneuvering. Your guide will give you the honest truth whether you're able to do things and if you can't or are apprehensive, you don't have to! But challenge yourself. You'll be surprised and it is a lot easier than you think.
-Enjoy that room with the stream running through it. It blows my mind what is underneath the ground that we walk on now that I've been under it.
-After your tour, buy the "Rat's Nest Cave" book by Charles Yonge. I meant to buy it once our tour was finished, but completely forgot and ended up getting the book through Amazon. It's full of history and science but has much more value. I personally keep it on my coffee table and when my friends/guests come over, it's a convenient excuse for me to segway into to how awesome the cave tour was and reminisce about being underground. That's how much I loved this tour. There are very few opportunities in this world to experience this kind of thing - don't let them pass you by.
"Had a great time exploring the Rats Nest Caves with Canmore Cave Tours. "Read More
Reviewed By: Kristen B
Sept 4, 2016:
Had a great time exploring the Rats Nest Caves with Canmore Cave Tours. Our guide was excellent and we would recommend tackling the mountain to everyone who's interested in a good time and a little bit of a challenge.
We did the 6 hour adventure tour and we were not disappointed in the least.
We're already planning a return trip for the Christmas Carolling (if available) and will be coming back again in the spring with new adventurers who are interested in going based on our experience and exciting tales.
"I've been on several tours in the Bow Valley area and this is by far the best tour I've been to, hands down."Read More
“BEST TOUR IN THE BOW VALLEY AREA!”
Reviewed By: Michelle L
Feb 13, 2017:
I've been on several tours in the Bow Valley area and this is by far the best tour I've been to, hands down. Our tour guide, Max, was super friendly, knowledgeable, a great communicator with each member of our diverse group, and seemed genuinely interested in what he does.
We started the Adventure tour by meeting at the tour office at 10:15 a.m. Once we were given an introduction and gear, we drove our separate cars to the trail-head (about 5 min drive from the office). The hike up is about 30 min and continuously uphill, but the guide is really good about taking several breaks in between to allow people to catch their breath. Once we got to the end of the trail, we removed layers as needed and dropped off our bags.
The tour lasted a full 4 hours underground. We rappelled 16 stories to get to the base of the cave, crawled through several optional crevices, explored in the dark, and learnt a lot about the formation of the cave. The options to crawl through small spaces was my favourite part. Some spaces were so small that you had to lay down and use your forearms and legs to drag yourself through them.
Overall, incredible tour. Worth every single penny. Great for the adventurous. If you're doing one tour in Banff/Canmore, do this one over any others.
Tips: Clothing (winter): wear several layers. The hike up can be cold but the cave is 5 degrees Celsius. You'll have the opportunity to delayer before entering the cave. Wear thick socks and hiking boots (or some sturdy winter boots that are good for walking). You are provided an full body coverall, knee pads, and gloves, so take these into consideration as well.
You need to be in good/average physical condition to hike to the cave and be okay with being on your hands and knees. You don't have to crawl through the tiny spaces if you don't want to because there are other paths available.
Food: You are given a cliff bar and water bottle to keep. Since you will be crawling a bit, you do not bring your backpack or water bottle down with you. I advise bringing a small snack that can fit in your pockets to bring with you into the cave. There are no washrooms in the cave (duh), so make sure to go beforehand.
"We went to Canmore for my birthday and came across Canmore Cave Tours in our search for something fun to do. We were not disappointed!"Read More
“EXCITING CAVE ADVENTURE!”
Reviewed By: David M
Aug 20, 2016::
We went to Canmore for my birthday and came across Canmore Cave Tours in our search for something fun to do. We were not disappointed! I am claustrophobic and had no problem in the cave. It's very open in most areas with only a few parts that need to be crawled through. It's a great workout and you will feel it the next day for sure.
Our guide Scott was very knowledgable and was happy to answer every question we threw at him. He made the experience very comfortable and we never felt unsafe.
Highly recommend this experience!
We believe the souvenirs you take home are just as much a part of your experience as your time in the cave so you won't find the standard gift-shop fare here.
We have partnered with some of our local artisans and asked them to help tell the story of the cave through their eyes, and their craft. You won't find these little pieces of Canmore anywhere else in the world.