365 Canadian Sights | Day 297: Caves Week – Grotto Mountain Cave/Canyon

 | Image from Flickr/chris c via CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

Caves aren’t just solo sights, necessarilyl, and can be part of a complex spot.

Grotto Mountain is alike some sort of amusement park for hikers.

I’ve slotted it here in the caves week because of two caves: Rat’s Nest Cave, which has an absolutely awful name but, with 4 km of area explored, also has a lot of cave and the other one.

Unfortunately I don’t ahve a lot of info about the other one, aside from the fact it’s up one end of Grotto Mountain Canyon. I can’t really find a name for it other than Grotto Mountain Cave or Grotto Mountain Canyon Cave, and there aren’t any copyleft photos of it, so you’ll have to look it up yourself, but it’s essentially a big hole in a cone shaped geological structure on one side of the canyon, which has slopping walls at that point.

Rat’s Nest Cave is obviously the more popular spot for spelunking, and tours are regularly taken down (in warmer seasons) to explore the area.

Now, in addition to the caves, Grotto Mountain is, in and of itself, a decent sight. It also has the aforementioned canyon, which is a tight little area carved out by a stream. It dries up at points so hiking up the stream bed is interesting, in particular when people have spent time creating stone stacks.

There’s also some waterfalls nar the canyon, which, when frozen look awesome and are climbed.

That, all that, is why I describe it as an amusement park for hikers.

Canmore is only 10 minutes from the canyon trail entrance which is just west of the town at the foot of the mountain. As for the Rat’s Nest Cave, I’m not sure of the particular location, but a tour operator in Canmore runs trips out to it. They can be found here. They aren’t cheap though, with tours starting at over $135.

It’s also about an hour outside of Calgary, so this could be a day trip, if a bit of a long one.

Rat’s Nest Cave tours actually score extremely well on TripAdvisor; despite the price they’e still the top thing to do in the town, according to the website. It’s also a historic site. For more information about the canyon, click here for the Tourism Alberta site, or here for a blog about a winter hike up the canyon, with directions.

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