11 Amazing Photo Spots near Hinton, Alberta

Who knew that Jasper’s next-door neighbour was the ultimate year-round photography destination? Well, we did. Grab your camera and let’s go adventuring!

There are endless places to explore with your camera in Hinton—Alberta’s stunning gateway to the Rockies only minutes from Jasper National Park.

Awe-inspiring natural beauty? An adventure to an airplane hidden in the foothills? Unparalleled opportunities for wildlife photography? Hinton’s got it all.

So, here are 11 amazing photo spots you can’t miss within one hour of Hinton’s Green Square!

Joachim Valley Airplane

Yup, you can find an airplane hidden just outside of Jasper National Park. If you enjoy taking in the views of rolling foothills (and finding airplanes!) you’ll love the easy-moderate hike to get there.

20 minutes from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: Take the Joachim Valley Trail 3.8 km. The trailhead is across the road from Jarvis Lake Campground.

Athabasca Lookout Viewpoint

There really isn’t one best time to visit this scenic spot overlooking the Joachim Valley, Brule Lake and the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Our recommendation? Visit every season. You’ll be blown away by the sublime winter views, the vibrant colours of fall, and the spectacular spring and summer scenery.

25 minutes from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: head up Highway 40 (north), turning at the Hinton Nordic Centre. Continue down the road until you see signage and the parking lot for the trail. The climb is a short, moderate-steep uphill (around 20 minutes).

The Beaver Boardwalk

The longest freshwater boardwalk in the world offers an immersive experience unlike any other. Watch the beavers busy at work, choose your own adventure on the connecting trails, and explore all the different docks and lookouts. Whether you only have time for a quick stop, or are looking for a full day of exploring, you can’t miss the Beaver Boardwalk.

5 minutes from Green Square
To get here: head a few minutes up the hill towards Collinge Road, where you’ll find many neighbourhood parking spots. The boardwalk is friendly for all ages and abilities.

Happy Creek Trail Viewpoint

This local favourite offers a stunning panoramic view of the Northern Rockies. It’s the perfect easy-moderate hike or bike ride, and surprisingly close to the centre of town.

5km trail that attaches to Beaver Boardwalk
To get here: use this map of the Happy Creek Trail System. You’ll take Just Get There, The J, and EZ!

The Meadow near Thompson Lake

There’s something peaceful about a trail that winds through tall grasses and wildflowers surrounded by even taller trees, especially when the colours of fall start to settle in.

5 minutes from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: head east on Highway 16 and take a right onto Mcardell Drive. Park at the end of the road, and the trail is just ahead.

The Northern Hoodoos in Sundance Provincial Park

You really can’t miss out on seeing this hidden gem. On the short, lush trail to get to the hoodoos, you’ll pass through extraordinary diverse plant life before arriving at a truly spectacular panoramic view.

1 hour from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: head northeast into Sundance Provincial Park from Hinton’s Valley District by taking Emerson Creek Road for 52 km. Take a right hand turn when you see the Wild Sculpture Trail parking signage.

Kelley’s Bathtub

Countless lakes and ponds are nestled in this stunning area between the foothills and the mountains, but Kelley’s Bathtub might be one of the most serene spots in William A. Switzer Provincial Park.

20 minutes from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: head up Highway 40 (north) for 20 km before taking a left turn into the Kelley’s Bathtub Day Use Area.

Jarvis Lake

Also located in William A. Switzer Park—one of the top places for outdoor adventure in Alberta—is Jarvis Lake. If you’re looking to catch the sunrise from your kayak, this is the spot!

20 minutes from Hinton’s Green Square
To get here: head up Highway 40 (north) for 18 km before taking a left onto Township Rd 515A, and a right when you see signage.

Highway 40 South

Down this road, you’ll see incredible vistas of the Alberta Rockies and plenty of wildlife (especially Bighorn Sheep!)—not to mention numerous hidden streams and waterfalls. In the summer, make it a day trip and explore on your way to the spectacular Cardinal Divide.

20 minutes–1 hour from Green Square
To get here: head west down Highway 16 before taking a left turn onto Highway 40 south.

Brule Road

Hinton is known as the Gateway to the Rockies—and from views like this minutes away from the centre of town, it’s not hard to see why.

20 minutes from Green Square
To get here: head up Highway 40 (north), and turn onto Brule Road. 

Jasper National Park

You don’t have to choose between exploring the scenic spots around Hinton or in Jasper National Park. When Hinton is your basecamp it’s easy to do both, since most scenic spots are an easy drive away.

The Hinton–Jasper drive is the perfect distance for you to pick up your locally brewed coffee and enjoy it on the road to Pyramid Lake, the Sulphur Skyline Trail, Edith Lake, Maligne Canyon, and so much more, which are all conveniently located within an hour of the Town of Hinton.

20 minutes–1 hour from Green Square
To get here: head west down Highway 16.
The Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre is located in Green Square, Hinton’s town square surrounded by local shops and dining options.

Explore Hinton is a local initiative between the Hinton & District Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Hinton to help you #ExploreHinton & the Northern Rockies.

Bring us along on your next adventure by tagging us @ExploreHinton!

Author: explorehinton