Rat's Nest Cave

Canmore Caverns

Useful Information

Location: A 5 minute drive from Canmore, and a short, picturesque hike of less than 30 minutes from Highway 1A gets you to the entrance.
Participants meet their guide at Sobeys, a big supermarket located at Railway Ave and 10th Street in Canmore, Alberta.
Open: All year, after appointment. [2014]
Fee: Explorer Tour: per Person CAD 115, Children (10-15) CAD 105, Children (0-9) not allowed.
Adventure Tour: per Person CAD 145, Children (12-15) CAD 135, Children (0-11) not allowed.
All prices + GST
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave carboniferous limestone
Light: headlamps provided
Dimension: L=4,003 m, VR=245 m, T=5 °C.
Guided tours: Explorer Tour: D=4.5 h, 2.5 h underground.
Adventure Tour: D=6 h, 4 hours underground, 18 m rappell.
Bibliography: Charles J Yonge (2001): Under Grotto Mountain / Rat's Nest Cave, 144 pp 17 maps, surveys and diagrams, 85 B&W 11 colour photos.
Address: Canmore Caverns Ltd, Wild Cave Tours, 1009 Larch Place, Canmore AB Canada T1W 1S7, Tel: +1-403-678-8819, Free: 1-877-317-1178.
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.


1858 caves in the area mentioned by Palliser Expedition.
1950 start of exploration.
1993 tours by Canmore Caverns Ltd started.


Although the cave was discovered in 1858, modern cavers were not active in the cave until the 1950's. The cave entrance must have been open for 3,000 years judging by the amount of ancient animal bones in the entrance cone.

Not a show cave for the faint hearted more like a 3 hour, wild caving trip for the tourist who is prepared to get muddy! The tourist section includes an 18 m rappel and a tight squeeze called the Laundry Chute. Luckily it is a round trip. The cave is exceptionally well decorated and because of the careful way in which it has been managed, is still largely in pristine condition.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

Some bones from the cave entrance have lately been dated with the C14 method. They were determined to be up to 7,000 years old. The cave is known since more than 3,000 years to the natives, the Pelican Lake aboriginals.