Difficulty Rating

It is important to understand the challenges and difficulty ratings for the tour you are choosing. It’s just as important to consider the other members of your party before you make your booking.

Also be familiar with What To Wear for your cave tour.

NOTE: If you are the person making the booking, you have an obligation to communicate this information to all others in your party.

Riverbend Cave Explorer Tour (easiest)

Challenge Rating ✦✦✧✧✧
  • ages 5+ only
  • approx. 1 hr. 45 min. duration
  • good footwear and long clothing recommended – No flip-flops or crocs
  • cave temperature is 8 degrees Celsius (46 deg. F)
  • no backpacks allowed in cave
  • please arrive 30 min. early to gear-up and sign Liability Waivers
  • includes a moderately strenuous UPHILL trail for 1km. (25 mins.), broken up by 5 informative stops
  • steep metal stairs at the entrance to Riverbend Cave
  • explorers must navigate in the cave over loose and slippery rocks up to 1 metre high
  • tours usually include a short “lights-out” session
  • return to Visitor Centre via a steep downhill trail
horne lake caves

Multi – Cave Explorer (moderate)

Challenge Rating ✦✦✦✧✧
  • ages 8+ only (except on Private Tours)
  • approx. 2.5 hrs. duration
  • solid footwear and long clothing recommended
  • cave temperature is 8 degrees Celsius (46 deg. F)
  • participants will likely get wet on days with moderate water flow
  • no backpacks allowed in cave
  • please arrive 30 min. early to gear-up and sign Liability Waivers
  • includes a moderately strenuous UPHILL trail for 1km. (25 mins.), broken up by 5 informative stops
  • steep metal stairs at the entrance to Riverbend Cave
  • Participants will negotiate some tight passages, downhill slides and ladders, short climbs (up to 2 metres high), lots of cave scrambling and travel over WET, loose rocks and slippery walls
  • a steep downhill trail leads to additional caves
  • Main Cave has a narrow, vertical entrance squeeze
  • option to climb three short waterfalls (each approx. 2m. high)
  • to descend from top of waterfalls, participants must negotiate a ramp, a cave-slide and 2 ladders
  • tours usually include a short “lights-out” session

IN Fall/Winter – Although not required, you’ll be more comfortable when the water levels are moderate if you bring:

  • waterproof or rubber boots with warm socks
  • rain gear or nylon outer shell
  • thin hat under helmet and gloves (available for purchase at the Visitor Centre)
  • AVOID JEANS or other cotton clothes
  • complete change of clothes for afterward
  • a fun attitude

Achilles Challenge (more challenging)

Challenge Rating ✦✦✦✦ 
  • Ages 13+
  • approximately 4 hrs duration
  • Tour Must Have At Least 2 Participants to Run (Max of 6)
  • please arrive 30 min. early to gear-up and sign Liability Waivers
  • requires recent rappel experience for your own comfort and safety 
  • cave temperature is 8 degrees Celsius (46 deg. F)
  • warm clothing required (2 layers min.). Avoid cotton jeans or shirts. Recommend nylon or poly-pro pants, shirt, sweater / jacket
  • good solid footwear  like running shoes or boots is MANDATORY. No flip-flops or crocs
  • nice to have kneepads, gardening gloves and a warm hat or toque in case you get cold
  • no backpacks allowed in cave
  • bring an energy bar or easy to eat snack that fits in your pocket
  • includes a moderately strenuous UPHILL trail for 1km. (25 mins.), broken up by 5 informative stops
  • steep metal stairs at the entrance to Riverbend Cave
  • explorers must navigate in  the cave over loose and slippery rocks
  • explorers must pass through 3 crawl passages, about the same size as crawling under a picnic table bench.
  • the guide will drain a submerged section of the cave (a crawl known as “the siphon”) in order for explorers to crawl into the second half of Riverbend Cave
  • this trip requires negotiating 2 different rope stations starting with a downclimb of 5.5 metres (17ft), and then climbing down a 15ft Cable Ladder. 
  • Returning to the surface requires re-tracing your steps back up all the vertical drops, back through “the siphon” and the crawlways
  • tours usually include a  short “lights-out” session
  • return to Visitor Centre via a steep downhill trail
  • max. harness size: WAIST =114 cms. (45 inches). THIGH = 69 cms. (27 inches)

Max Depth Adventure Cave Tour (most challenging)

Challenge Rating ✦✦✦✦✦ 
  • Ages 13+
  • approximately 5.5hrs duration including 30min outdoor rappelling demo/practice prior to tour. 
  • Tour Must Have At Least 2 Participants to Run (Max of 6)
  • please arrive 30 min. early to gear-up and sign Liability Waivers 
  • cave temperature is 8 degrees Celsius (46 deg. F)
  • warm clothing required (2 layers min.). Avoid cotton jeans or shirts. Recommend nylon or poly-pro pants, shirt, sweater / jacket
  • good solid footwear  like running shoes or boots is MANDATORY. No flip-flops or crocs
  • nice to have kneepads, gardening gloves and a warm hat or toque in case you get cold
  • no backpacks allowed in cave
  • bring an energy bar or easy to eat snack that fits in your pocket
  • includes a moderately strenuous UPHILL trail for 1km. (25 mins.), broken up by 5 informative stops
  • steep metal stairs at the entrance to Riverbend Cave
  • explorers must navigate in  the cave over loose and slippery rocks
  • explorers must pass through 3 crawl passages, about the same size as crawling under a picnic table
  • the guide will drain a submerged section of the cave (a crawl known as “the siphon”) in order for explorers to crawl into the second half of Riverbend Cave
  • this trip requires negotiating 5 different rope stations starting with a rappel of 5 metres, (15 ft.), climbing down a 5m. (15 ft.) cable ladder followed by a 8 metre (25 ft.) traverse line then a 20 metre (65 ft.) rappel, always secured by rope.
  • Returning to the surface requires re-tracing your steps back up all the vertical drops, back through “the siphon” and the crawlways
  • tours usually include a  short “lights-out” session
  • return to Visitor Centre via a steep downhill trail
  • max. harness size: WAIST =114 cms. (45 inches). THIGH = 69 cms. (27 inches)