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Caves, Canyons, and Kayaks: Eco-Friendly Vacation Ideas

July 8, 2019
3 mins
A dad paddles a little boat while the son sits up front and tries to fish

Tired of overly commercial tourist destinations and love the outdoors? Caving, canyoneering, and kayaking could be the theme of your next vacation. From family-friendly supervised adventures to wilderness challenges, you can travel within Canada or abroad and find caves, waterways, and canyons offering one-of-a-kind experiences to make memories that could last a lifetime.

Canyoneering and Caving in the Rockies

Banff and Lake Louise are the starting point for two destinations that attract outdoor adventurers from around the world. Bow Valley Canyon Tours offer a choice of adventures near Banff and Jasper. Tour difficulty ranges from beginner to intermediate and advanced for ages 12 and up.

Canmore Cave Tours offer a chance to explore an undeveloped cave near Banff and Canmore. Rat's Nest Cave, where the tours operate, has been rated as Canmore's top destination for several years. From hikes and interpretive tours to vertical and horizontal caving courses, Canmore Cave Tours offers an experience for every level of ability.

Kayaking in British Columbia

The west coast is a world-renowned destination for kayaking and spectacular scenery. Haida Gwaii appears on nearly every worldwide list of top kayaking destinations. This series of islands off B.C.'s northern coast feature the temperate rainforest. They are home to countless inlets where you can haul out, relax, and explore island scenery.

If you're in Vancouver, you have dozens of locations to kayak on the city's waterways, from Stanley Park to English Bay. Granville Island features shops and a market along with kayak rentals. Traveling inland, Penticton on Lake Okanagan offers all levels of kayak tours, from more advanced paddling to a popular wine and cheese kayak tour around the lake.

Canyoneering and Paddling in the States

Ocean kayak enthusiasts can travel to the States and visit California's Channel Islands, a very different landscape from B.C.'s temperate rainforest. Island Packers provides tours to several of the islands, which are a national park and marine preserve. Kayak around unspoiled inlets and snorkel to view rich marine life fed by the icy Humboldt current.

Zion National Park in southern Utah is one of the world's top canyoneering destinations. The early sport of canyoneering developed in the region's slot canyons. Zion Adventure Company and others offer guided tours for all ability levels and ages. Three major caving destinations are all within a day's travel from Zion, including Mammoth Cave, Mossy Cave, and Moqui Cave. Mammoth Cave is one of the largest caves of its type, formed by a lava tube and running water about 2,000 years ago.

Every Canadian province offers opportunities for outdoor adventures, whether they're on the water, in a canyon, or below the earth. Choose your adventure and be sure you're covered with travel insurance.

If you're taking a road trip, be sure you have the best car insurance policy for your needs as well.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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