Hinton, with a population of 10,000 is 10 kilometres east of Jasper (just outside the park boundary), and 270 km. west of Edmonton. The town was established following the construction of a pulp mill in the 1950’s and several modern coal mines in the 70’s and 80’s. Hinton has developed in two separate areas, about 5 km. apart, known to residents as the “Hill” and the “Valley,” with the pulp mill in between.
The town has excellent recreational facilities including a 25-meter indoor pool, a toddler pool, hot tub and sauna, plus fitness room, racquetball and squash courts, 2 arenas, and a curling rink. There is a golf course, a world-class cross-country skiing facility, a public campground, stock car track west of town, and several tennis courts and baseball diamonds. The town is close to the mountains, and has many opportunities for camping, hiking, downhill skiing, fishing, and hunting (the latter two, not inside the National Park!) The town also has a movie theatre, with a stage for local theatre productions.<BR>
William Switzer Provincial Park
about 30 km northwest of Hinton on Forestry Trunk Road/Highway 40 and 90 km east from the Jasper townsite
William A. Switzer Provincial Park is located on both sides of the Bighorn Highway, between Grande Cache and Hinton. Various campgrounds are maintained on the shores of Gregg Lake, Cache Lake, Blue Lake and Jarvis Lake.
Athabasca Lookout Nordic Centre
Hwy 16, West of Hinton, 2 km, to Hwy 40 North, 18 km
The trails are 10 meters wide with distances of 1.25 km up to 25 km. Includes a 1.5 km lighted cross-country ski trail for evening skiing. The rustic day-use chalet is large enough to accommodate groups up to 50. Included in the centre’s facilities are the Naturbahn, and a 1,000-meter natural luge run.
Hwy 16 West 2 km, Hwy 40 North 18 km
This forestry-look-out, offers the adventurous a view of the Rockies too spectacular to explain. Hang gliders take off here and glide down the landing area several kilometres away.
Brule Sand Dunes
Hwy 16 West 30 km, turn at Overlander Lodge
The trails start at the Community hall, suitable for hikers or off-road vehicle enthusiasts. See the old telegraph poles and the Grand Trunk Pacific Station buried in time from the ever-changing sand dunes. Great view of the Rockies.
Hwy 16 West 2 km, Hwy 40 North 5 km, road past Brule 14 km
The Ogre Canyon is a deeply carved cleft in the mountainside, in a small sliver of land between the first range of the Rocky Mountains and Brule Lake. At the base of the cliffs are sinkholes created by underground streams. There is interesting vegetation inside the canyon.
Hwy 16, West of Hinton, 45 km. Information
The name Pocohontas was given to the “Indian Head” in full head-dress on top of the mountain across Athabasca River, the deserted mining town across from the Indian Head, and the local motel.
Hwy 16, West of Hinton, 1.5 km, to Hwy 40 South, 6 km
Offers a variety of attractions. Hobby-Stock and Street-Stock races and Demolition Derby Days. Season begins in May.
Hwy 16, West of Hinton, 1.5 km, to Hwy 40 South, 48 km
This area has a number of attractions. The Cardinal Divide separates the Athabasca River, flowing north and the North Saskatchewan River. Mountain Park is a ghost town that was mined for coal, and now has a cemetery, a few cement foundations, an old abandon mining shaft, and a campground. Grave Flat Forest Tower has the most breathtaking panoramic view, though the trails and roads are narrow and rough in spots. Whitehorse Recreation Area has corrals and camping sites for hikers and outfitters who use the 36 km trail to Miette Hot springs which can be biked, hiked or horse-back ridden (an overnight trip) or take the shorter 10 km trip to Whitehorse Falls.
The Cadomin Caves are formations caused by time and ground water. Cadomin Cave near Hinton has been closed by Provincial Government Ministerial Order since 2010.