SUED BY YOUR OWN MOTHER? THE DUNSMUIRS MAKE YOUR FAMILY LOOK NORMAL. Take a trip through the Victorian era and visit our beautifully restored mansion and the lives of the fabulously wealthy and complex Dunsmuir family. And perhaps bring your family?
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The Upana Caves near Gold River number over a hundred, most of which are found in the Quatsino Formation. You can explore some areas on your own, but guided tours are always recommended to access any of the deeper caves in the network.
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and warm, fingers wrapped tightly around your mug. Mmmm…) Self-guided caves are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in winter, and you can rent a helmet with a light at the visitor centre. Maps are a buck. Be sure to reserve for fall and winter tours, as they don’t run hourly like they do in summer. Fall tours include the 90-minute Family Cavern Tour of Riverbend Cave, as well as adventure tours ranging from three to five hours (this last one has cavers rappelling down a sevenstorey waterfall, later exiting the cave via a cable ladder. Whew!). Winter adventures are limited to the Family Cavern Tour and the three-hour “Wet and Wild” tour. NO, THANKS: I’LL STAY ABOVE GROUND
If you prefer to stay on the surface, the self-guided Phil Whitfield Interpretive Trail loops you past the cave entrance, as well as a number of karst surface features, such as sinkholes and limestone walls. The Cave Karst and Education Centre features geological information, plus a museum, cave theatre, and fossil display to help you bone up on your cave knowledge without getting your shoes wet. 34 SALT