Many people flock to Vancouver Island to experience its beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and lush forests. However, the area is also home to some unusual and spectacular topography.
With over 1,000 known caves, Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of caves on the continent. In fact, it is often referred to as the "Island of Caves."
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park is located in Central Vancouver Island and offers a number of fascinating caves to explore. From crystal formations to ancient fossils to waterfalls, these cavernous formations offer a natural underground wonderland. The park itself spans 158 hectares, and also offers a network of trails through the lush rainforest. Visitors may have the opportunity to view birds, bears and deer, and eagles feast on trout during the fall.
Though the park has two small caves visitors can explore on their own, a guided tour of one of the larger caves offers more variety and a chance to learn about the cave’s unique geology and history. On one of the tours, participants will also have the opportunity to enter the "smiling buddha room."
The "smiling buddha room" is a favourite of visitors because of how much the natural rock formation looks like a serene buddha - he even has his own reflective pool. The spot is popular with photographers, as buddha's reflection is artfully displayed in the water below.
Have a look at some of the photos from this famously photographed formation.
Horne Lake Caves: Smiling Buddha Room
Never attempt to go caving alone. Likewise, be sure to check current weather, terrain, and wildlife conditions prior to embarking on a hike. In addition, make sure that you know your physical limitations, tell someone where you are going, bring enough food and water, wear appropriate clothing, and never hike alone. Don’t attempt dangerous poses for photographs.
Visit Vancouver Trails online for a detailed list of safety tips and things to consider before your next hike.