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Cody Caves Provincial Park
About This Park
Cody Caves is a unique provincial park located in the Selkirk Mountains above Ainsworth Hot Springs. In the Cody Caves System, an underground stream flows for over a kilometre through ancient limestone.
Know Before You Go
- Care must be taken while driving on the narrow access road. Please read information signs at the highway turnoff before driving the access road.
- Bring your own water; potable water is not available in the park.
Cody Caves Provincial Park can be reached by following a narrow forest road that leaves the left side of Highway 31 at a small gravel pit 3 km. north of Ainsworth. The road is approximately 10 km long and is passable during July and August for two wheel drive vehicles with moderate to high clearance. At other times of year, there may be industrial traffic. Please contact the Park Tour Operator for details. Proceed past the houses and follow the main road marked with directional arrows until the parking area and Cody Caves trail sign. The caves are 0.8 km. (about 20 minutes) up the trail. The access road is unsuitable for large motorhomes, vehicles pulling trailers or vehicles with low ground clearance.
Nature and Culture
- History: In the early 1890s slopes above Ainsworth were frequented by hopeful prospectors looking for silver. One of these men, Henry Cody, discovered the Cody Caves. Later, in 1899, the caves were the subject of a short story written by Roger Pocock for “Argosy” magazine entitled “The Noble Five”. This story described a cave whose inner chambers were walled with gold ore. The caves then grew in popularity and were visited by many locals and curious individuals including, in 1908, the governor General of Canada, Earl Grey. Though they are not walled with gold, the caves do contain an impressive display of calcite formations that can be seen in many areas of the approximately 800 metres of explorable passage. These formations are extremely old and have been growing at an average rate of about one cubic centimetre a century. The cave itself began formation when limestone beds laid down almost 600 million years ago were thrust upward by mountain building forces that occurred around 170 million years ago. Although the Cody Caves are almost unimaginably old and carved from solid rock, they are exceptionally fragile and can be irreparably damaged in seconds. In fact the caves have probably experienced more change in the 90 years since their discovery than in the previous 9,000.
- Conservation: Only guided cave tours for visitors’ safety and for protection of the cave’s features.
- General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
Activities Available at this Park
For public safety and cave protection, Cody Caves are gated and locked. For information on guided tours of the cave, please check Cody Cave Tours.
Bicycles must keep to roadways and cycling is available on existing forest access roads. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Pets on Leash
Pets/Domestic animals are not permitted in the caves.
Pets are allowed in the park, but must be on a leash at all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife and the potential for problems with bears.
Facilities Available at this Park
No established day-use or picnic facilities. This park has a small day-use parking lot able to accommodate up to ten vehicles. A small shelter at the parking lot acts as a shelter to get out of the weather while waiting for party members.
Pit or Flush Toilets
This park only has pit toilets and they are situated adjacent to the parking lot.