Grande Cache is near one of the staging areas for the Willmore Wilderness area, and so was added to my itinerary. The visitor center is one of the first places you encounter as you enter town on Hwy 40 from the south.Their displays include interpretive exhibits on local aboriginal peoples, fur trading,local industry as well as natural history.
The girl at the desk provided me with a hand drawn map that to lead me to Sulphur Gates and the Willmore stagin area! WooHoo!!!
The Aspen Forest trail takes off from right behind the visitor center and is a wonderful way to explore and stretch your legs a bit.
Folding Mountain, an upthrust of grey limestone, dominates the approach to Hinton from the west.
Hinton is a bustling town of about 9000 located on the Yellowhead Highway about halfway between Edson and Jasper. It's primary industries are forestry and coal mining. It is the first town you encounter after leaving Jasper National Park some 35km to the west. Recent downturn in the coal mining industry has affected the economy here but tourism here is also a source of income. Other interesting waypoints nearby are Grand Cache to the north and Cadomin to the south. Cadomin was once a thriving coal mining town in the midst of the Rockies but now is a quaint ghost town with its log cabins. Nearby, there is a large limestone quarry used to supply the Inland Cement operation with raw materials in Edmonton, 300 km to the east. One of the other attractions is the Cadomin Caves, a short hike up the mountainside from the town. Heading further south takes you over the Cardinal Divide, a point where the watershed diverts in three directions; to the east, the rivers flow into Hudson Bay, to the North into the Arctic Ocean and to the west into the Pacific.
Continuing on to Jasper, it's not unusual to encounter magnificent elk like this browsing beside the highway. But keep your distance, specially during the "rutting" season...those huge antlers can do a lot of damage