Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park is located about 2.5 hours north of Victoria. (See map and directions at bottom of post)
What to do at Horne Lake Caves…
Cave Theatre & Museum
Come visit the Canada’s only Cave Theatre & Museum to gain a greater appreciation for caves and what they mean to clean water and healthy trees. Horne Lake Caves is dedicated to increase the depth of appreciation and understanding for visitors to the Park prior to entering the fragile karst and cave ecosystem. The Cave Theatre is funded by the Canadian Cave Conservancy and and operated by the park operator Island Pacific Adventures Ltd.
The best cave tours in Canada! At Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park you can experience the magic of the underground world in the caverns protected within this unique park. The park was established in 1971 at the request of public caving groups on Vancouver Island who were concerned about the potential damage of the caves and the fragile crystal formations they contain. The park offers both self-exploring and guided tour opportunities. Whichever method of exploring the caves you choose, you are bound to be fascinated by this amazing underground world in the heart of Vancouver Island.The caves at Horne Lake are largely undeveloped and kept in a natural state. In keeping with the low-impact theme, none of the caves have permanent lighting or sidewalks and the floors are rocky and uneven. In winter, wetter conditions prevail and the tours are NOT for children under 8. Due to the terrain, the very elderly or those with limited mobility may have difficulty on the trails or in the caves. The temperature inside the caves is cool (8 degrees C or 48 degrees F). Bring warm clothes and sturdy boots or running shoes. Cameras are welcome!
Self – Guided Caving
Lower Cave, Andres Annex and the first 20m of Main Cave are open for self-exploring during park hours: 10:00am-4:30pm daily (Fall/Winter/Spring)
10:00am-7:00pm (Summer Only – June 27th – September 2).
The inner chambers of Main Cave are presently undergoing restoration and are presently closed to self-guiding. These caves offer adventurous visitors a chance to explore rugged and wild caves without a guide. Self exploring in these public caves will involve squeezes, crawls and some moderate climbing with several narrow passages, so be prepared. Helmets are highly recommended and you must have at least two sources of light (unless you like getting stranded in ultimate blackness while waiting for a rescue!). Sturdy footwear and warm layered clothing will help ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone. There are many unmarked natural hazards in these caves. Be extra careful and EXPLORE AT YOUR OWN RISK! We rent helmets with lights for $8.50 +HST and have waterproof cave maps for $1 (a great souvenir!). Please see our office hours.Cave Tours
Touring the caves with a certified guide is truly a unique and unforgettable experience. Learn about cave development, conservation, and cave travel while seeing caves that cannot be visited on your own. Summer: Daily access to all of our caves is available. Our Visitor’s Centre is open for information, helmet rentals, tour registration and information. We offer hourly tours with no reservations required. Peak visitor times are 11-2pm so avoid the crowds by coming earlier or later in the day. Sturdy footwear and an extra sweater are recommended.
Spring / Fall: These are great seasons to visit Horne Lake. Avoid the crowds and enjoy everything we have to offer. Daily tours and self exploring available but RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR SPRING AND FALL TOURS.
Winter: With the rainy season upon us, Mother Nature takes centre stage. The caves transform from a serene environment to a high-energy, wet and wild adventure! Witness the awesome forces that carved these marble caverns into the mountains near Qualicum Beach. Tours and self exploring available but RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Click here to view our seasonal tour schedule. Rains of 25mm or more the day before mean higher water levels.
Check the Weather Network (Horne Lake) or call us for weather updates 250-248-7829.Geocaching
There are a number of geocaches located in the park and surrounding areas. If you would like to learn more about geocaching please visit thier website and have fun!Read more about Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park on the BC Parks website.
From the South (Driving times: Victoria 2.5hrs, Nanaimo 1.25hrs, Parksville 1hr, Qualicum Beach 45mins)
Drive NORTHBOUND on Island Hwy 19. Turn LEFT at exit #75 (1hr north of Nanaimo.) The paved road will turn into gravel – follow the gravel road for 12 kms. The lakeshore will appear on your left hand side and there are blue signs all the way from the highway to the parking lot. The first parking lot at the lake is the Campground Office (Regional Park). Driving 1km further up the road will take you to Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. All driving times are approximate and drive duration will change depending on weather and road conditions, and the location of your departure.