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Horne Lake Lake Caves Provincial Park is a unique Vancouver Island experience where you can tour caves to view fossils, crystal formations, and wildlife.
The park is currently open, but due to the impacts of COVID-19 some amenities and services may be limited, please check the park website for more details.
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park was honoured by Destination BC with the inaugural "Remarkable Experiences" award and has also been recognized as the "Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC," and the "#1 Attraction in Qualicum Beach," by TripAdvisor reviewers.
This park was established in 1971 to protect and preserve these amazing geological features with their fascinating fossils, crystal formations, and wildlife. Visitors can hike the park's lush trails or participate in a fascinating guided Horne Lake Cave Tour.
Adjacent to Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, Horne Lake Regional Park, is an excellent base camp for your adventures. This mountain jewel boasts crystal-clear water, hiking trails, and spectacular lakefront campsites. Plan your visit to these two must-see parks with our helpful guide:
Choose from several cave tours with time frames ranging from one-to-five hours and with varying degrees of difficulty. The 1-hour Main Cave Adventure (appropriate for ages five and older) includes a ride down Canada’s only Cave Slide. The 3-hour Multi-Cave Experience (ages 8 and older) features a climb up an underground waterfall, while the white-knuckle 5-hour Extreme Cave & Rappel Tour (ages 13 and older) takes explorers rappelling down a seven storey underground waterfall! Tour information and availability is subject to change, so please check with the park for more details in advance of your visit.
Even if you prefer to stay above ground, you may still experience the caves by touring the exhibits at the Cave & Karst Education Centre and getting an immersive introduction to the area at Canada’s only Cave Theatre. Test your problem-solving skills on the Cave Ability Course, which takes visitors through five caving challenges in an above-ground setting. The Phil Whitfield Interpretive Trail Loop is an above ground 2km loop trail that is free to explore. It features fossils and signage that educates park visitors about the formation of caves and karst landscapes.
“ The #1 Attraction in Qualicum Beach. ” TripAdvisor Reviewers
The caves will be cool and damp all year round, with temperatures hovering at about 8 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Fahrenheit). Dressing in layers is recommended, and the longer you plan to be in the caves, the more cool weather gear you will need.
Since cave floors may be rocky and uneven, running shoes, hiking boots, and similar sturdy footwear is recommended. In winter, visitors may wish to wear rubber boots as running water does accumulate on the ground. Hardhats or helmets and flashlights and headlamps are recommended for touring the caves safely and you can rent this gear onsite.
There are two caves which you can explore on your own, but we recommend visitors embark on one of the educational guided tours for a safe and comprehensive experience. Never enter the caves alone and always let a third party know of your travel plans. If exploring without a guide, use extreme caution and remain alert for slopes, slippery areas, and drop-offs.
To protect this incredible natural area, please do not remove or damage rocks or features and “Leave No Trace,” by taking any litter with you. For more information about safely and responsibly exploring the outdoors in British Columbia, please visit AdventureSmart.
There are two pit toilets and two picnic tables available in the day use area. There is no potable water available at the park, so plan to bring your own drinking water. For a full summary of park accessibility, please click here.
Pets are not allowed in the caves. You may not leave your pet unattended while you tour the caves, so please plan accordingly. Leashed pets are allowed on trails in the day use areas and also within Horne Lake Regional Park.
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park is about 26 km west of Qualicum Beach. Turn southwest onto Horne Lake Road via Highway 19 or 19A. You can view or download a park map here.
Adjacent to Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, this neighbouring park offers wooded and lakefront campsites, a network of trails, and river and lake access. Spend the day on the water by renting a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board on site. Horne Lake is a treasured spot for fishing, swimming, and relaxing on the beach.
No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors.Learn More
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