Hinton is a town of almost 10,000 people (2016) on the Yellowhead Highway in the Alberta Rockies region of Alberta. Hinton sells itself as a gateway town to the Rockies, and also for its beaver boardwalk and surrounding parkland. If you're driving through, a coffee stop in the town, and a stretch along the boardwalk is a good opportunity for a driving break.


Beaver boardwalk

Hinton is a small town in the Athabasca River valley, 80 km (50 miles) along the main Yellowhead Highway from Jasper National Park. For those driving through there are a good range of services on the highway, a fast-food, a few motels, tourism information and a park. A couple of blocks back from the highway is the town proper, with some shopping and cafes.



While a native smallpox camp occupied a site along Hardisty Creek in 1870, the hamlet was established in 1911 and named for William P. Hinton, vice president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The Hinton coal mine opened in 1931; a pulp mill opened in 1955.

Grand Trunk's ill-fated expansion westward bankrupted the line as the more valuable southern route through Calgary (along what is now Trans-Canada Highway 1) had already been claimed by rival Canadian Pacific Railway and a short-lived third national railway (Canadian Northern Railway) covered much of the same territory. Canadian National has operated the line since 1923. At 8:40AM on February 8, 1986 a CN freight train passed multiple red (stop) signals and jumped a switch to enter the mainline, colliding with a passenger train near Hinton and killing twenty-three; a historic plaque marks the crash site (near Carldale Road east of Hinton).

Hinton, mile 978 west of Winnipeg, remains as a flag stop on Via Rail's Canadian train. The town is one of two staging areas for expeditions in the Willmore Wilderness Park (the other being Grande Cache) and is home to the Wild Mountain Music Fest, a weekend long show hosted by the Entrance Ranch.

Get in

Hinton downtown

By car


Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) runs through town. Travellers to Hinton can take Highway 16 going west from Edmonton and going east from Prince George and Jasper. Highway 40 (north-south) runs west of Hinton.

By bus


By train

See also: Rail travel in Canada

By plane


Get around


By bus

  • Hinton Transit. One local route with hourly service will likely be of little use to visitors, no Sunday or holiday service, reduced service during summer and Spring Break. $3/ride or $8/day.

By plane

  • 3 Hinton/Jasper-Hinton Airport (YJP  IATA) (19 km SW of Hinton on Hwy 16), +1 780-865-4474.    
    • Air Jasper, Jasper-Hinton Airport. Charter flights and freight service, custom sightseeing tours of Maligne Lake, Columbia Icefields, Mt. Robson, Amethyst Lake, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park or Glacier National Park.
    • Highland Helocopters, Jasper-Hinton Airport, +1 780-865-7081.
    • Peregrine Helicopters, Jasper-Hinton Airport, +1 780-865-3353. Charter helicopter serving forestry and wildlife management teams. Helicopter tours include sightseeing and heli-hiking.
  • 1 Alberta Forest Service Museum (Hinton Training Centre), 1176 Switzer Dr, +1 780-865-8200. History of Alberta’s forestry industry. Open year-round. Free.
  • 2 Northern Rockies Museum, 225 Gregg Ave, +1 780-801-2643. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Museum of the local area. Located in a former Grand Trunk Pacific train station, the oldest surviving building in Hinton, was in service from 1911 until the 1980s. It has bern moved across the Yellowhead Highway from the current VIA Rail shelter.
  • 1 Beaver Boardwalk. Walk around the Maxwell Lake with lots of evidence of beaver dams and lodges. Early morning or evening you may even see one. The timber boardwalk connects to waterside gravel paths around the area. Easy to spend an hour or two here.


  • Old Entrance Trailrides, Old Entrance, Highway 40 North, +1 780-865-4760. Guided trail rides for up to 4 riders along the scenic Athabasca River valley and eastern slopes of the Rockies.


  • Mary Reimer Memorial Rodeo, Mary Reimer Park in the Valley. One weekend, free camping, Family Fun Night with open air family dance on Friday, rodeo events on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Wild Mountain Music Festival, Entrance Ranch (7 km north on Hwy 40), +1 780-865-0849, . third weekend of July. Three-day music festival with an eclectic range of performers from the local music scene and across Canada.
  • 1 Gus' Pizza Place, 346 Hardisty Ave, +1 780-865-4232.
  • 2 Fortune House Chinese Restaurant, 150 Athabasca Ave, +1 780-865-2999. Tu–Su 11AM–10:30PM (closed Mondays). Chinese and Western food. Located in the valley beside the Roxy Theatre.
  • 3 L & W Pizza & Spaghetti House, 414 Carmichael Ln, +1 780-865-4892. Daily 10:30AM–11PM.
  • 4 The Old Grind, 175 Pembina Avenue (Hill Shopping Centre), +1 780-865-1934. Counter service for breakfast and lunch. Great range of espresso drinks, and a choice of six brews.
  • 5 Royal Garden Restaurant, 296 Smith St, +1 780-865-1111. Chinese and western cuisine, all-you-can eat luncheon smorgasbord.
  • 6 Stone Peak Restaurant (Overlander Mountain Lodge), 27010 Hwy 16 W, Jasper East (just before Jasper National Park west of Hinton), toll-free: +1-877-866-2330. Warm, log décor, gourmet cuisine, seasonal specialties, plus mains like salmon with brandy cream and lobster; Oka cheese and sun-dried tomato stuffed chicken; AAA Angus steak; and bison tenderloin with Cabernet sauce, truffles and foie gras. Breakfast, lunch (Jul-Sep) and dinner.
  • 7 The Soda Shoppe, 145 Athabasca Avenue (turn off from highway as you first come into the town), +1 780 865 2645. Old—school pharmacy with an attached 50's—style diner serving specialty hot dogs and classic milkshakes


  • 1 Ranchers Sports Bar & Grill, 438 Smith Street (Hinton-Jasper Esso Travel Centre), +1 780-865-9785. Restaurant 6AM-10PM daily, lounge 4PM-midnight or later.
  • 2 Timberland Hotel, 114 Park St (Hill Shopping Centre), +1 780-865-2231, fax: +1 780-865-6190. Hotel, bar and liquor store.









Brûlé is 16 km (10 miles) northwest of Hinton on Highway 40.

  • 2 Brûlé Sand Dunes (access from Highway 16 west of Hinton). Recreation area with network of trails that are popular among ATVers, equestrians, hikers and bikers. Watch out for old telegraph poles and the Grand Trunk Pacific Station, which is said to be buried in the sands.
  • 3 Ogre Canyon. Canyon with towering cliffs, meandering streams and sunken sinkholes. Ogre Canyon Falls.
  • William A. Switzer Provincial Park, Hwy 40, north of Brûlé, +1 780-865-5600. In Alberta's upper foothills region, camping, orienteering, camping, fly fishing, kayaking, swimming and wall climbing. Cadomin Caves, a multi-chamber cave system 2,791 m (9,150 ft) in length, allows exploration and caving with permission from the Alberta Speleological Society, but the cave remains wild and proper equipment and experience is necessary. The caves are a bat habitat and are thus closed from September to April.
  • 6 West Range Cabins (Horseback Adventures), Township Road 502, +1 780-865-4777. Backcountry equestrian camp with private sleeping cabins, shower house, hot and cold running water and solar lights. Ride the high country for 2-6 days as part of an all-inclusive guided horseback vacation to Jasper and Solomon Creek Wildland Provincial Parks. Cabin-tent combo rides to the Moosehorn Valley available for up to 8 days in length.

Go next

Routes through Hinton
VancouverJasper  W   E  EdsonEdmonton
Prince George / Kamloops via  Jasper  W    E  EdsonEdmonton
Grande PrairieGrande Cache  N   S  → becomes  David Thompson Country

This city travel guide to Hinton is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.