The New Town of Grande Cache was created by the Alberta Government in 1966 in order to open the area for the development of coal mines. New town status allowed the town to use the Alberta Government as a guarantor for debt.
Construction of the town began in 1969. By 1971 a hospital, schools, stores, and the first homes were built.
The town suffered a boom-bust cycle due to the dependence on a single employer that depended on a single commodity: coal. In an attempt to diversify the economy, additional industries were encouraged to develop in the area. This included a wood chip plant and a federal prison operated by the Correctional Service of Canada. Wilderness tourism is a growing industry.
From Calgary take Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway, to the entrance of Banff National Park. From there the drive is straight up the middle of the Canadian Rockies along the Icefields Parkway, through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. The scenery in this area is amazing. Upon reaching the town of Jasper, head east towards Hinton on 16. From Hinton, take Highway 40 north into Grande Cache. From Edmonton go west on Highway 16, section of the Yellowhead Highway, until Hinton, then go north on Highway 40.
There is a community bus service to Grande Prairie once a week and to Hinton once a month.
There is really only one reason to visit Grande Cache: outdoor activities. The surrounding area provides ample opportunities for backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, and even golf. There are short trails for novice hikers and many peaks that can be reached during a day hike. For longer trips, Willmore Wilderness Park provides several thousand square kilometres of mountain wilderness, accessible only by foot or horse.
- Canadian Death Race. An extreme foot race. From the website it is clear that this is no ordinary race: "You must truly have the curiosity of a cat, the constitution of an ox, and the spirit of adventure, although your friends and loved ones may have a completely different description of your mental health. The course consists of 125 km, three mountain summits and over 17,000 ft of elevation change as well as the crossing of a major river at our spectacular Sulphur Gates canyon at the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur Rivers."
- 1 Plaza Cafe Bistro, Shand Ave (Acorn Plaza Mall).
Grande Cache offers a modest number of hotels, a few Bed and Breakfasts, and three campgrounds.
Dial 911 for a life-threatening emergency. Call Health Link Alberta at 811 for immediate advice if you are unsure whether or not to go to Emergency. Website:Alberta Health Services
- Grande Cache Community Health Complex (Grande Cache Hospital), 10200 Shand Avenue, ☏ . 24 hours. Main hospital, with a 24/7 emergency department.
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (Grande Cache detachment), 9906 Shand Avenue, ☏ , fax: . Mon-Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Grande Cache RCMP detachment
|Routes through Grande Cache|
|END ← Grande Prairie ←||N S||→ Hinton → Jasper via|