Horne Lake Caves has been a favourite destination for school field trips on Vancouver Island for decades. During the many years of our operations here, we’ve guided many thousands of students and teachers on exciting tours through parts of our cave system.
Our knowledgeable and helpful guides greatly value the opportunity to teach about the importance of caves in the wider ecosystem, providing students and their teachers with an exciting day of learning outside of the classroom.
Located just a 30 minute drive west of Qualicum Beach, Horne Lake Caves is the perfect choice for schools across Central Vancouver Island to provide their students with a day of fun and immersive learning. Our guides are experienced in working with younger guests, and take pride in providing a safe and structured environment for students to venture underground.
In addition to our expansive cave system, Horne Lake Caves also features a wide array of above-ground learning opportunities that help students understand more about these threatened and fragile ecosystems. One of these is Canada’s first and only cave interpretive centre, located here at Horne Lake Caves. This facility educates visitors of all ages on the ecology of caves in a fun and engaging way, and provides students with the opportunity to learn about caves in an exciting and structured manner.
Another newer addition to Horne Lake Caves is the Caves Ability Course. An above ground building, this course helps acquaint visitors with the experience of caving in a safe and exciting way. This course is especially helpful for empowering younger visitors who may have fears about caving. Fear of the dark is common among many elementary school aged children, and our Caves Ability Course provides a reassuring and empowering introduction to ‘the real thing’.
A field trip to Horne Lake Caves will feature either 1hr 45mins or 2h 30mins spent underground in the One Cave or Multi-Cave Explorer packages respectively. The One Cave package is the easier of the two options and avoids any crawling or squeezing, making it ideal for classrooms with younger students.
This package begins with a guided one kilometer uphill hike and is led by a naturalist cave guide. During their time spent caving, students will learn valuable information about the geological processes, rock types, fossils, calcite crystals and local flora and fauna of Horne Lake Caves as well as the wider caving world.
More suited for older elementary school students and up, the Multi-Cave Explorer package begins the same way as the One Cave package, but features more time spent underground and with more challenging caving activities such as the “cheese grater”, as well as a fun waterfall climb and Canada’s only cave slide! While more of a challenge than the One Cave package, the Multi-Cave package is also designed to be a very safe and rewarding experience for students.