365 Canadian Sights | Day 299: Caves Week – Upana Caves

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 | Image from Flickr/Province of British Columbia via CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

We’re back on Vancouver Island because that’s where all the caves are (no really, it’s got a huge percentage of Canada’s caves).

Thanks once again to karst, this cave complex offers potentially dozens of sights to see.

With 15 known entrances, the Upana Caves honeycomb this area after water ate through the limestone. Outside some of those entrances are massive, while inside the caves and passages spread out.

The caving system doesn’t have an official operator or anything, local cavers have kept the area in shape since 1975. Some walkways are in place, but exploring them should be done with some degree of caution. They are caves, of course.

This is in one of the more remote areas of Vancouver Island, though the caves aren’t too far from a road. They’re located just outside of Gold River (about 30 minutes). The small village isn’t really close to anything, though, with Campbell River an hour-and-a-half away via logging roads. A vehicle that can handle some logging roads is absolutely necessary.

Once there, it should be noted it’s not an organized place in any way, really, so finding all the caves and knowing what exactly you’re getting into isn’t always easy.

TripAdvisor rates the caves pretty good, though there aren’t many reviews. The Campbell River tourism association has this webpage about it, which has some useful info. 

Photos • FeaturedGallery 1Gallery 2Gallery 3

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