Lonely Planet Writer

You can book solitary visits and be alone with nothing but darkness in this enormous Canadian cave

If your idea of hell is being deep underground in a pitch-black cave where nobody can hear you scream … then look away now! If on the other hand, your idea of heaven is descending deep into the bowels of the earth to a place where you can hear a pin drop, then this new cave tour will definitely be just the thing.

Exploring caves in Alberta with just a guide for company. Image by Canmore Cave Tours

Canmore Caves in the Canadian province of Alberta have begun a new tour called Solitude where adventurous travellers can enjoy exploring an enormous cave with only the company of a guide. Lenora Barnes of Canmore Cave Tours said: “solitude is a private tour in Rat’s Nest Cave where you will have the guide and the cave all to yourself for up to four hours of underground time. On this tour, the cave is exclusively yours [for a] customised experience with one of our excellent cave guides.”

Embracing the solitude at Canmore Caves. Image by Canmore Cave Tours

They said visitors could do exactly what they want once underground – pretend they were in their own action movie, meditate in absolute blackness, or even use it for a unique marriage proposal. Cavers can explore every nook and cranny, rappel up and down as many times as they want, and experience the Rat’s Nest’s famous laundry chute – a narrow section where subterranean adventurers have to squeeze and wriggle their way through. They said some people might even be interested in bringing a musical instrument down to record a track in the perfect silence of the cave’s Grand Gallery.

The caves can be hired out for almost any purpose. Image by Canmore Cave Tours

The caves are located beneath Grotto Mountain near Canmore, a town about fifty miles west of Calgary and well known as the gateway to the spectacular Banff National Park. Canmore is also famous for hosting events from the 1988 Winter Olympics at its Nordic Centre, which is still open to visitors almost twenty years later.