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Nitinat Caves

Nitinat Caves are the earth's gift to the people who appreciate the underground world's beauty; they are also known as Looper Creek Canyon. The caves are a series of small and not very deep caves. The inside of the caves are polished, which is a valid sign that water used to fill the chambers fully for thousands of years, and it still does. Nitinat Caves are one of the most beautiful caves in the world. The beauty of them is not only for the breathtaking entrance. There is a sight of moss-covered rocks forming a gap, but the caves lead to a canyon with gem green water perfect for swimming. As tempting as it seems, swimming in the canyon can be difficult because the water is very cold, which means the cave's inside is too.
The crack that opens up into the large caves is truly spectacular, especially when the sun rays go through the gap and shine on the moss-covered rocks. The view is like a movie picture. Nitnat Caves are on the list of a few caves that offer you beauty and great scenes while you're exploring the underground.


Nitinat Caves Location

Nitinat Caves are located on southern Vancouver Island, between Bamfield and Port Renfrew. You can find the caves near the east side of Nitinat Lake, which is a vast and life-giving lake. The caves are in the middle of an abundant forest and close to a river that derivates from the lake, and it's possibly the source of water to the caves. This part of Vancouver Island is not very populated, and the natural environment is somewhat intact. The area has lots of lakes close together, like Hobbiton Lake, Squalicum Lake, and Doobah Lake, but the biggest lake is Nitinat Lake. All these lakes provide opportunities for watersports. Some rivers like the Nitinat River, the Caycuse River, the Cheewhat River, and the Klanawa River are also nearby.


How to Get to Nitinat Caves by Car

Access to Nitinat Caves is possible by driving to Looper Creek Canyon.

From Nanaimo:
The fastest route to get to Looper Creek from Nanaimo is via Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 S. It is 136 km (84.5 miles) and takes about 2 hours.
Take Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 S, Cowichan Valley Hwy/BC-18 W and Youbou Rd to N Shore Rd in Cowichan Valley I. It takes about 106 km (65.8 miles). Follow N Shore Rd, Cowichan Main and Mainline Carmanah to Rosander Main in Cowichan Valley F. After 29.8 km (18.5 miles), you will reach Looper Canyon.

From Victoria:
Getting to Looper Creek from Victoria is via Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N. It is 155 km (96.3 miles) and takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Take Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N, Cowichan Valley Hwy/BC-18 W and Youbou Rd to N Shore Rd in Cowichan Valley I for 125 km (77.6 miles). Follow N Shore Rd, Cowichan Main and Mainline Carmanah to Rosander Main in Cowichan Valley F for 29.8 km (18.5 miles) to reach Looper Canyon.


The Hike to Get to Nitinat Caves

Unfortunately, there is no designated trail to Nitinat Caves. You would have to ask the locals or hire a guide to take you to the caves. Nitinat Caves are in a hiking area called Looper Canyon but finding the entrances could be tricky. If you look hard enough, you may find a vertical gap in a cliff, which is the entrance. You can start the hike after parking your car by the bridge, then find a very small and easy-to-miss path leading down a steep gorge. It's not a long hike, but it is steep, which calls for suitable footwear. At the bottom of the gorge, you'll see the river. Follow the river and head for the upstream. Pay close attention to the surroundings to not miss a crack in the rock on your left.


History of Nitinat Caves

The area used to be home to the Ditidaht (meaning "people along the way" or "people along the coast" in their language). The Nuu-chah-nulth people have lived on the land for more than 5 thousand years. They now reside on the west coast of Vancouver Island.


Things to do around the Nitinat Caves Area

Nitinat Lake is a world-class spot for water sports. Also, the lake's surroundings are so scenic and beautiful; it makes anyone relax just by seeing it. Windsurfing or kiteboarding, with the winds coming from the Pacific Ocean and the large diameters of Nitinat Lake, lures surfers worldwide. Fishing could be very rewarding in Nitinat Lake. There is a decent chance that everyone with the proper license will not leave the lake empty-handed. Swimming in the canyon where the caves lead could be the experience of a lifetime if you don't mind cold water. Paddling on the blue salty waters of Nitinat Lake is sensational. The beautiful view and the tempting water are the perfect combinations. The Looper Canyon hiking area offers great trails for hiking or walking, or running. You could even bring your dog and walk with it.

The Best Caves Near Nitinat Caves

Nitinat Caves

Nitinat Caves

Nitinat Caves Activities

Swimming

The Nitinat lake is an excellent spot for swimming, and it's warmer than the canyon's water.

Wildlife viewing / Bird watching

The most common spotting of wildlife in the area are Bald eagles, Rosevelt elk, and black bears.

Fishing

When you go fishing in the lake, you will probably catch one of these fishes: cutthroat, Chinook salmon, or steelhead.

Hiking

Since the caves are very close to a hiking area, you can spend your time walking in the picturesque surrounding and enjoy yourself.

Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Surfing

Each year kite surfers and windsurfers from all over the world have a journey to this beautiful lake. Nitinat Lake kiteboarding would be a great experience.

Camping

Nitinat Lake Recreation Site is the closest and the only campground in the area.

Biking

Nitinat Lake Rec Campground offers cycling tours for those who'd like to ride their bike in this fantastic area.

Sunbathing

The lake's beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming in the lake and lying in the sun afterward.

Cave exploring

Nitinat Caves, a series of small and not very deep caves, with its beauty, can be a proper choice for caving adventures.

What you Can Expect to Do Near Nitinat Caves

Bamfield Whale Watching

Bamfield Whale Watching

Nitinat Triangle Kayaking and Canoeing

Nitinat Triangle Kayaking and Canoeing

Pacheedaht Beach Kayaking

Pacheedaht Beach Kayaking

Camping in Pachena Bay Campground

Camping in Pachena Bay Campground

Nitinat Lake Kiteboarding

Nitinat Lake Kiteboarding

Nitinat Caves Outline

Specifications

Climate

Timing

1. The distances are estimated from Looper Canyon.
1. All the climate data are on average.

What you Can Expect to See Near Nitinat Caves

Bamfield

Bamfield

Somerset Range

Somerset Range

Sarita Falls

Sarita Falls

Nitinat Caves

Nitinat Caves

Seymour Range

Seymour Range

Pelham Range

Pelham Range

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Nitinat Lake

Nitinat Lake

Cowichan Lake

Cowichan Lake

Planning for Nitinat Caves

Suitability

Camping & Resort

Services

Tips


1. The distances are estimated from Looper Canyon.
1. The distances are estimated from Looper Canyon.
2. More services, including a restaurant, campsite, and a food store, are in the area, run by the Ditidaht First Nations.

What Do You Think about Nitinat Caves?