Caverne Laflèche Caves


Useful Information

Location: Val-des-Monts north of Gatineau and Ottawa.
To get to the Laflèche Caves from Ottawa, cross the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge and head north on Highway 5 towards Maniwaki. Go east on Highway 50 and take Highway 307 towards St-Pierre-de-Wakefield (over the junction with Highway 366). A large sign to Laflèche Caves soon appears on your left.
Open: General Tour: mid-MAY to AUG daily 9-16. SEP to mid-MAY Wed-Sun 9-16. Reservation essential.
[2003]
Fee: General tour: Adults CAN$12, Children (13-19) CAN$8, Children (5-12) CAN$6, Family (2+2) CAN $32, extra children CAN$5.
Wild caving: per person CAN$45.
[2003]
Classification:  Karst cave
Light: headlamp provided
Dimension: T=3-7°C.
Guided tours: General Tour: L=403m, D=90min.
Wild caving: L=3.2km, D=180min.
(English Français - French)
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Corporation de la Caverne Laflèche inc., 255, route Principale, Val-des-Monts, Quebec J8N 4B7, Tel: +1-819-457-4033, toll-free 1-877-457-4033, Fax: +1-819-457-4327. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:07:11 $

History

 
1865discovered by Joseph Dubois who followed a bear into a hole.
1923Zéphyr Laflèche opened the cave up to the public.
1937-1958managed by Zéphyr Laflèche, a Hull business man, until he retired at the age of 81 years.
1958Caves owned by M. Gaétan Dagenais.
1973Caves abandoned. Surface buildings turned into a Motel.
1995Caves reopened with new entrance tunnel.
2002A new staircase installed. It is 20 meters high and links the upper and lower sections of the cave.

Description

A General Tour is a guided tour with commentary for groups of up to 25 people. They are available seven days a week from mid May to the end of August. From September to mid-May they are open Wednesday to Saturday. Headlamp, helmet and battery pack are included.

The Wild Caving Tour is with an experienced caver directing a group of four people. The brochure describes these tours as giving "privileged access to galleries inaccessible and forbidden to the general public". Horizontal crawling is involved, as is liability insurance. Coveralls and caving hats with headlamp and battery packs are included. Individuals aged 12 and up are accepted.

When the caves were abandoned in 1973, vandals destroyed many of the spectacular speleothems, stalactites and stalagmites were smashed and the interior dulled by smoke from a large fire in the early sixties when a man wanted to dispose of some car tyres. He underestimated the wind flow and died. But, fortunately, the cavern was not forgotten and, in 1995, was cleaned and re-opened. There are about 400 meters of dry galleries, tunnels and in 2002 the chambers on two levels beneath the hillside, where connected via a new 20 metre high staircase allowing the visitor to experience a through trip. The cave is inhabited by bats and the odd porcupine can sometimes be found.

No matter how cold or drizzly outside, the caves stay at a constant, cool temperature, making it an intriguing destination for an early spring day.

Tour tips: Children are welcome and will delight in caving.


Revised text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.


See also


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