Cave Tours

Join us year-round, rain or shine, for a Natural History tour into Rat’s Nest Cave - a wild, undeveloped cave under Grotto Mountain; near Banff and Canmore, Alberta, Canada! 

Canmore Cave Tours has been offering tours at Rat’s Nest Cave, since 1992. While we have grown since then our goal remains the same - to offer our guests the most extraordinary, unforgettable experience possible. 

As passionate cavers and cave advocates we feel it is a privilege to share this amazing place with you, and when you join a tour with us you do so as our friend and fellow explorer. We hope that at the end of the day, tired and dirty as you may be, you are brimming with as much excitement and appreciation for the cave as we are.

THE CAVE EXPERIENCE

Rat’s Nest Cave is a special place. In 1987 it was designated a Provincial Historic Resource because of its incredible archaeological significance. It is home to ancient pictographs, 7000 year old bones, and beautiful cave formations. At over 4km long, Rat’s Nest Cave is one of the longest caves in Canada.

The water-sculpted passages of the cave offer us seemingly endless opportunities to learn and explore. At 5 degrees celsius, the cave is a cool but comfortable destination every day of the year, a trait enjoyed by cave residents like bushy-tailed wood rats, and North America’s smallest mammal - the pigmy shrew.

With no lights, handrails or walkways we are left to enjoy the cave in its natural state, just as the original explorers did.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Planning Your Day? Here's the Breakdown.

  • Tour Start Time    Meet your guide at the Canmore Cave Tours office.

  • 20 min                   Follow guide in convoy to cave parking lot.

  • 30 min                   Pack up equipment and begin hiking.

  • 1 hr                          Arrive at cave entrance, safety de-brief and gear up

  • 1 hr 30 min            Let’s go Caving!

  • 4 hr                         Emerge victoriously from the cave - celebratory high-five!

  • 4 hr 30 min           Arrive at cave parking lot and depart

**Times given are the approximate time from the start of the tour

The Explorer Tour may be our shortest cave tour, but it is by no means short on fun and excitement. Your guide will introduce you to the amazing world of caves, spending approximately 2 hours underground crawling past prehistoric bones, investigating our ancient cave formations and even squeezing into places like the warm-up and challenge squeezes (if you so choose of course!).

This is a great option for families with younger members, for large groups, team building or those who don’t have quite enough time for the Adventure Tour. We promise to give you an experience you won’t forget!

The Explorer Tour

TOUR DESCRIPTION 

The How, What, When, Where and Why of the Explorer Tour

Tour Details

Cost: $130.00 Adult - $115.00 children 10 -15

Length: 4 hour round trip. 2 hours under ground

Group Size: 2 - 8 cavers

Minimum age: 10 years

You will meet your guide and the rest of your team at the Canmore Cave Tours Office in Canmore to sign the waiver and collect your caving equipment. You will then follow the guide in convoy for a 10 minute drive to the cave parking lot where you’ll pack up your caving gear then hike for 30 minutes up a mountain trail to the cave entrance.

Along the trail, your guide will share with you some of the incredible history of the Bow Valley. You will discuss how caves are formed, the geologic history of the area, discover and examine some of our local fossils, and much more. Make sure to keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and maybe even signs of a bear or a cougar. Inside the cave, you’ll get to climb, crawl, wiggle and slide your way through water-worn passages. Your route through the cave will include "the Box”, the Five Way Chamber, the Grand Gallery and finally to the Grotto. This beautiful room is the lowest point on the tour, but also one of the highlights with its crystal clear pool and walls covered in stalactites and stalagmites.

The Adventurer Tour

TOUR DESCRIPTION 

The How, What, When, Where and Why of the Adventurer Tour

Our Adventure Tour is our flagship tour and has been recognized as a Canadian Signature Experience. As the longest tour we offer in Rat’s Nest Cave, the Adventure Tour is the complete package. Caver will rappel 18m (that’s 6 Stories!) inside the cave, plus have the opportunity to push your limits in the warm-up squeeze, challenge squeeze, and the Laundry Chute – a section of the cave that adds a little extra challenge but a whole lot of extra fun. Visit the impressive Grand Gallery – the largest known room in the cave, then surround yourself with ancient cave formations in the Grotto. You will spend approximately 4 hours underground on the Adventure Tour and we promise it will be an unforgettable 4 hours!

Tour Details

Cost: $165.00 Adult - $145.00 children 12 -15

Length: 6 hour round trip. 4 hours under ground

Group Size: 2 - 8 cavers

Minimum age: 12 years

You will meet your guide and the rest of your team at the Canmore Cave Tours Office in Canmore to sign the waiver and collect your caving equipment. You will then follow the guide in convoy for a 10 minute drive to the cave parking lot where you’ll pack up your caving gear then hike for 30 minutes up a mountain trail to the cave entrance.

Along the trail, your guide will share with you some of the incredible history of the Bow Valley. You will discuss how caves are formed, the geologic history of the area, discover and examine some of our local fossils, and much more. Make sure to keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and maybe even signs of a bear or a cougar.

Soon after entering the cave you’ll rappel 18 m on a rope (with safety line backup) and then climb, crawl, wiggle and slide your way through water-worn passages. Your route through the cave may include "the Box”, the Five Way Chamber, the Laundry Chute the Grand Gallery and finally the Grotto. This beautiful room is the lowest point on the tour, but also one of the highlights with its crystal clear pool and walls covered in stalactites and stalagmites.

Mile30 Adventures put together a great video featuring Tour Canmore and Caving!

 

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