Nitnat Caves (Looper Creek Canyon)

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theshanergy's picture
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Shane
North Cowichan
Nitnat Caves (Looper Creek Canyon)

Exploring in the Nitnat area we were told of some hidden caves to check out. The access is off a logging road, but you could drive down it every day and never know anything was down there. There is a small bridge where I've dropped the pin, which just looks like a small ditch crossing. Look a bit closer however, and you'll see that there is a 100+ft vertical drop, only about as wide as your arm span. This is how you know you're in the right spot!

Park your truck just before the bridge on the right hand side, and look for a very small ingrown path leading down a steep ravine. It's quite short, but very steep so I recommend good footwear (that you don't mind getting wet). At the bottom you'll find the river. Walk along the river heading upstream, and keep a sharp eye out for a crack in the rock on your left. We almost walked past it the first time as it's quite hidden. The crack opens up into some large caves. Don't let my camera flash fool you, it's *pitch black* in there. Bring a flashlight! As you go a bit deeper into the cave, you'll hear water flowing - follow the sound and you'll emerge into the main canyon.

You can get through the caves and peek into the canyon on foot, but to really get into the full dome farther in you need to do some swimming. When we did this it was 30+ deg outside, but it was still ice cold water. You can skirt around some of the water but there are places where you just have to do a ~20-30 ft polar bear swim. It's worth it. The canyon itself is super cool, with towering walls that go up at least 100 feet.

The pictures we took didn't really do it justice, but it's a very cool spot!

GPS file (Google Earth): 
Fatty's picture

Fatty
Nanaimo

Nice

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

That right there is extremely cool, thanks for sharing.

Trackick's picture

Simon
Duncan

Agreed, very neat

BeRadical's picture

BeRad
duncan

sweet, thankyou for sharing

Ryno's picture

Nanaimo

I knew about the canyon but not the caves, cool pictures! the cheewhat giant is also worth seeing.

KitchenRaider's picture

Ian
Vic

holy shit! thats rad!

Craftstorm's picture

Brent
Victoria

Is anyone able to help me find this I look and could not find it

theshanergy's picture
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Shane
North Cowichan

Yea this one is a bit tough to find. I would be up for a trip out there at some point, though I'm pretty certain you wouldn't make it into the main caves at this time of year. I went in the middle of summer and it was COLD. plus the water level is probably fairly high in that canyon right now. Nevertheless, worth a look!

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John
Victoria

Does anyone know how to get to Leech town by truck that doesn't have a gate?

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Bryon
Victoria

Hey there me and a couple of friends were thinking of heading up there tomorrow morning, what are the chances of us getting to the main Cave this time if year , were gonna try anyway but it would be good to know what we'll be up againts.

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Shane
North Cowichan

The cave that you go through is right at the beginning, but it was basically at water level in the summer so it may be partially underwater now. I'd be really curious to see what it looks like this time of year though so if you find it make sure to post some pictures. If I were going right now I would bring a full length wetsuit - the best parts are further up the canyonbut you have to go through some water to get there. I'm really not sure if it would be passable at all right now though.

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sooke

how deep/long are these,any climbing?there's also some near gordon's camp and a smaller one at wolf cr i haven't found....yet

i'd be in for this,once the water level drops

theshanergy's picture
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Shane
North Cowichan

not very long, and it stays pretty much the same elevation throughout (no climbing). it's essentially a little detour next to the river. I'm sure at times it's completely filled with water and the river runs through it. You can walk/crawl through all of it and emerge higher up the river. Separate from the actual enclosed cave part though, the canyon itself is very cool. Better than the cave imo, but you have to do some swimming to get to the good parts.

bad grampa's picture

sooke

there's some similar cool limestone caves/formations on the far side of nitnat village...........louper cr,maybe
have you seen the upana system,worth a day trip,for those who like crawling thru stuff

jas's picture
jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Will make trip out there sometimes in the next month or so.

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Camilbro
Victoria

let us know how it goes. gonna try this on my way to bamfield in a couple weeks.

Vanisle JK's picture

Corey
Langford

The name of that is

It has been known about in the caving community since the early 1970s

Looper Creek Limestone Box Canyon

http://www.canyoneeringnorthwest.com/LooperCreek/Looper_Creek.php

https://bctreehunter.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/canyoneering-101-an-aftern...

There is lots available on google regarding the canyon

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Shane
North Cowichan

Hey that's the spot - thanks for the links and info!

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Jeff Ranson
Langford

Damn now everyone knows about them.
Bring a wet suit

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mike
victoria

Just joined. Sure glad I did. Thanks!

hargreaves_a's picture

Andrea Hargreaves
Langley

Looks wicked!!

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