Now, this was a fascinating find! A short (about 2 km, one way) hike west from the Heart Creek parking lot near Canmore, Alberta leads you to this gigantic cave carved out of the base of Mount McGillivray. My hubby and I headed out there a few weeks ago to check it out.
There is plenty of speculation about the purpose of this huge excavation, but it seems that a private enterprise called The Rocky Mountain Vault and Archive Company started digging it out in the late 1960’s, presumably so that they could rent space to individuals and corporations to store documents (in the event that the Cold War took a nasty turn, perhaps?). You can read more about their ambitious plans for the site here (it was slated to become operational in 1970) – but there doesn’t seem to be any information about why they never finished the project. At any rate, it’s an amazing place to visit (and fortunately, there weren’t any creepy Hallowe’en masks hanging from the ceiling when we went – my heart wouldn’t have been able to handle the fright).
Looking towards the entranceway from inside the vault.
As we might say in Maine, that is some story. I wouldn’t want to be there at Halloween, either. Too scary for me! 😉
It’s really off-the-wall, isn’t it? So bizarre!
I never knew about this. Do you walk the opposite way from the parking lot as you would to do the Heart Creek walk?
Yes. Head west over the flood-damaged creek bed and follow the Trans-Canada Trail markers (if I recall correctly, there are two) until you get to an obvious junction. There will be another TCT marker on the right – don’t go that way. Head left instead – you’ll arrive at a series of switchbacks up a hill. Partway up, you’ll see the bunker is carved into the mountain. Bring headlamps or flashlights and watch your heads – there are wires and rebar sticking out of the ceiling.
Thanks! New adventures to be found!
You find a great place but it’s beter not to go there at night.You never knew what can happen.
I definitely wouldn’t want to go at night…way too spooky!
Interesting. I wonder how big it’s dug out to. Not the sort of place I’d explore too far, even without halloween masks!
It’s actually much deeper than I originally thought, with anterooms shooting off to the one side. And it’s dug out to about 6 feet in height, so I was able to stand upright without conking my head on the rebar on the ceiling.
What an interesting story. It would be good to find out why they never completed the task.
It’s the strangest thing! I wish I could find out more information about it, but I’ve combed all the references I could track down on the Internet and there isn’t much.
What a shame!
I love this sort of secret place, right in your own backyard!
It’s fascinating! I had never heard about it until this year and we’ve lived here for two decades. 🙂
How incredible that in these modern days there is no answer as to why it was never completed. What a mystery!
It’s so odd…there seems to be very little information about it.