Artlish Caves Provincial Park is known for its spectacular and unique karst features (a distinctive topography in which the landscape is largely shaped by the dissolving action of water on carbonate bedrock, usually limestone, dolomite or marble), which are of provincial and national significance.
The remote park features two large cave entrances and an underground river within an old growth forest environment. This area was proposed for protection by the local community for many years before becoming established as a park in 1996.
Although there may be potential for caving opportunities in the future, this area is sensitive and use is not recommended until a management plan is complete.
White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has been linked to the mass die-off of hibernating bats in Eastern North America – it poses a significant threat to bats of the west and British Columbia. There is evidence that humans have accelerated the spread through entering caves with contaminated clothing, gear or equipment. To help prevent WNS from taking hold in B.C., the Province is making investments in bat conservation projects.
To ensure the protection of bats and their habitat in this park, BC Parks strongly advises that personal caving gear that has been used anywhere east of the Rockies not be used in B.C. Also, before entering caves in B.C, cavers and visitors should consult the provincial WNS website, which includes a link to a Decontamination Protocol for Mines and Caves.
Wilderness camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.
Fishing is permitted as per provincial and federal fishing regulations. All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Opportunities for recreational caving exist in this remote park, although the routes to the cave entrances are not marked. Use caution in this area. These caves offer a wilderness caving experience and are suitable for experienced, adventurous cavers only.
Note: Although there may be potential for additional caving opportunities in the future, this area is sensitive and use is not recommended until a management plan is complete.
White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has been linked to mass die-off of hibernating bats in North America – it poses a significant threat to colonies in British Columbia. Please read the White Nose Syndrome fact sheet [PDF] to understand the disease, how to limit it’s spread, and find out what cavers and park visitors can do to help.
Artlish Caves is located northwest of Zeballos on northern Vancouver Island. Just accessing this park can be a serious undertaking. The most popular access is at the west side of the park through Canadian Forest Products TFL 37. This system of roads is accessed via the Zeballos Forest Service road (off Highway 19 just north of Woss). Drivers should be very cautious as the chance of encountering loaded logging trucks while traveling these roads is highly likely.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.