|Location:||Saint-Elzéar, Québec, Canada.|
|Open:||JUN to mid-OCT|
|Fee:||Adults Can$37, Children Can$27.|
|Guided tours:||L=200m, VR=35m, D=4h, 75min underground.|
|Address:||La Grotte de Saint-Elzéar, 198, rue de l'église, C.P. 84, Saint Elzéar, G0C 2W0, Tel: +1-418-534-4237, +1-418-534-4335, Fax: +1-418-534-2626. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1976||discovered by snowmobilers.|
|1990||opened to the public.|
Canada's youngest show cave was discovered as recently as 1976 and located on the remote Gaspé Peninsular, just 15 minutes from the sea.
Over the last half a million years this amazing cave has survived all sorts of cataclysms, including earthquakes, volcanoes and the passing of glaciers, whilst other caves in this part of North America have collapsed during periods of glaciation. The cave contains the two largest chambers in Quebec, the Grande Salle, 20 m by 14 m and La Salle des Ours which is slightly smaller. It is well decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, gours and dams. Steel stairways and paths with hand rails facilitate the visit and help protect the speleothems.
Visitors gather at the Cavern's Museum in Saint-Elzéar. This facility also serves as an office to manage other caves in the area. These are not as important as La Grotte de Saint-Elzéar, but they offer the visitor much of interest in other ways.
The tour begins with a journey in a four wheel drive all-terrain vehicle for an hour on forestry roads, then on mountain roads. The first stop of the safari is at 500 m asl. Here, the visitor is shown the spectacular Bay of Chaleurs. A short drive leads to the end of the road. Here a 10 minute walk leads to the cave entrance. After a guided tour of the cave and a break for refreshments, it is fasten seat belts for the wild drive back to the Museum.
Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.