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Little Huson Cathedral Cave opening on North Vancouver Island

Little Huson Caves

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Port McNeill

Little Huson Caves Regional Park

Activity:
Walk
Difficulty:
Easy-Moderate
Location:
Port McNeill
Time:
1hr
Distance:
1km

Activity:

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Accessibility:

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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Exploring the Enchanting Little Huson Cave Regional Park on Northern Vancouver Island

Get ready to be swept off your feet – literally! Little Huson Cave Regional Park is a treasure trove of spectacular geological features and wonders waiting to be discovered.

Feel the thrill as you stand at the entrance of the awe-inspiring cathedral cave, carved over a millennia by the relentless power of water. Bask in the serenity of the surrounding canyon, or take a dip in the cool water of Atluck Creek.

This is not just a visit – it’s a journey into the heart of Mother Nature herself. So, grab your hiking shoes and swim trucks and let’s go on an adventure!

Highlights of Little Huson Caves

Looking out of the Cathedral Cave on Atluck Creek in Little Huson Caves Regional Park

Welcome to the breathtaking Little Huson Cave Regional Park, nestled in the picturesque Nimpkish Valley on Northern Vancouver Island. This hidden gem boasts stunning limestone karst formations and a large, unique river cave.

Although the park is home to 15 caves, the reason to visit is the Cathedral River Cave – the giant rock bridge and home to clear green water pools inside Atluck Creek Canyon.

The Trail Down

Walkway and trail to Little Huson CaveFollow the main trail from the parking lot; it’s a short trail through the woods and comes to the land bridge that splits into two. Head to the right a short distance to a wooden platform high above Atluck Creek and a view of the backside entrance to the cave.

Head back along the trail; as you work your way down to the cave, it’s not a challenging walk but when we were there, it was in need of repairs, so proceed with caution to the riverbed.


There is no cell signal on a large part of North Island. Using AllTrials and downloading the map before you drive up will give you confidence during your visit; the Little Huson Caves AllTrails link.


 

Little Huson Cave Hiking trail map

Cathedral Cave

Little Huson Cave openingThis area is magical! If you like refreshing, cold, clear water, take in the unique experience of swimming in front of the large opening. Be careful as there is a current, and it’s not recommended if the water is high.

When we visited, it was easy to walk along the edge into the cavHigh pressure water formed rocks in Atluck Creek Canyon in Little Huson Cave Parke without getting your feet wet, and once we were inside, the opening felt massive, and you could see right through to the other opening 60 meters down river.

Wander around the creek bed; there are wonderful limestone formations to admire, including one that resembles the perfect surfing wave peeling over and frozen in stone, and there are two small caves along the trail to explore.

Little Huson CaveHuson Regional Park

This area was chosen as a public park due to the unique land bridge over the river, and as a visitor, you do not need special equipment to experience the “karst” features.

There are no delicate features that are sensitive to frequent visitors. The large cave can be easily visited by most and is relatively safe and easy to self-guide the area. The other caves in the park are much smaller and made by flowing groundwater, some of which are accessible along the trail.

On your walk back, there are two small breakaway trails that take you to lookouts over upper Atluck Creek Canyon. There isn’t much to see now, but at one point, there was a large natural arch rock formation that collapsed in the 90s

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Getting to Little Huson Caves Regional Park

Little Huson Regional trail from parking lot down to the cave openingDevelopment of this park is rudimentary, meaning the road to get there are active logging roads, all gravel. In some places only wide enough for one vehicle, making it a bit challenging. 

The walking trails are narrow and maintained less than other parks. The signage is minimal and other than a few warning signs of inherent dangers, the district relies on people to use common sense. 

Directions to Little Huson Caves

Little Huson Regional Park parking lotWe made a trip to the caves as we headed home after our weekend in Port Hardy, visiting San Josef Bay and the Dakota Crash Site.
20 minutes off Island Highway (Hwy 19), take the Zeballos turn-off just north of Woss onto a gravel logging road; Follow the signs to
Little Huson Cave Regional Park.

Use google maps to get you started, and then follow the signs to reach the park. 

 

Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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Hiking Backpack
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Adventure Medical Kit
Ultralight and Watertight
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A challenging 2-hour hike to a WWII airplane crash hertiage site with rope sections and lookout points along the way. Take a sombre visit to this protected heritage site as a memorial to the pilots lost that fateful night.
Little Huson Cathedral Cave opening on North Vancouver Island
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Little Huson Caves

Little Huson Cave Regional Park, nestled on Northern Vancouver Island. This hidden gem boasts a large unique river cave and rock formations

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Original Author:

Modified: January 3, 2024
Last Visit: June 11, 2023

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Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

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Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

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Land Acknowledgement:
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

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