Your Hinton Guide to the Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when the Rockies to the west are more beautiful than ever, the foothills are lightly dusted with shimmery snow, and everything around us starts to feel a little cozier.

As a small yet bustling community just outside of Jasper National Park, we take winter living to another level. From outdoor winter adventures, to cozy local shops, to seasonal events that bring out the whole community and visitors from all over western Canada.

The holidays might feel different this year, but if you’re looking for that special holiday magic you’ll find it in Hinton, Alberta.

Kick off the holiday season at Moonlight Madness

Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 19! Community Moonlight Madness is an annual event hosted by the Hinton Chamber of Commerce to celebrate and support Hinton’s local business community.

At sundown, watch our community ‘light up’ as we turn on the lights all over Green Square at approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 19. If you’d like to watch in-person or from inside your parked vehicle, please follow all provincial and municipal COVID-19 mandates and traffic regulations. We encourage you to follow along on Instagram @ExploreHinton!

An entire winter wonderland in our backyard

Your perfect day starts with a local cup of coffee before hitting the spectacular Nordic Centre ski trails or the Skating Oval at Maxwell Lake. For an accessible winter adventure close to the heart of town, a winter stroll around the Beaver Boardwalk with your camera in tow never disappoints.

With so much to do and explore—in town and just outside—it’s not hard to see why Hinton has become Alberta’s best hidden gem for adventure. Opening times for your favourite trails and skating rinks may vary by season and weather conditions.

Looking to make the most of your winter adventures and spend the holidays in a snow-dusted cabin just outside of town?

Trust us, having your morning coffee alongside a spectacular view of Roche Miette or the frosty foothills is even better than it sounds. Looking for accommodations immersed in the local vibe? We’ve got you covered there, too.

Think outside the box

This year, give your loved ones a gift with that special local touch.

That means local merchandise from your favourite local spots, board games and puzzles for cozy days inside, or the perfect curated gift baskets from local shops. You’ll find this and so much more all over Hinton this holiday season.

Events to make your spirits bright throughout the snowy season

Thursday, November 19: Kick off the holiday season at Moonlight Madness

For over 5 years the Hinton Chamber’s Annual Community Moonlight Madness event has been a chance for Hintonites and those in nearby communities to show their support for local businesses. This one-day event on Thursday, November 19 is proud to support local businesses and serve as Hinton’s unofficial kick-off to the holiday season!

Coming Friday, December 4: The Annual Snowflake Parade

After careful consideration, the Hinton Chamber has decided to move forward with planning the Annual Snowflake Parade, which will be a stationary parade allowing for drive-by viewing and made available online for everyone to enjoy.

Each year, the Snowflake Parade has brought together spectacular floats, fun, music, and dancing from more than 30 different community groups and businesses. It’s a truly magical family-friendly event!

Coming February 2021: The Winter Magic Festival

This annual, two-week long celebration of everything winter is a can’t-miss-it event, bringing together locals and visitors to experience a true winter wonderland.

Activities typically include live entertainment and events, workshops for arts & crafts, outdoor activities like snowshoeing, skating, competitions and even more, concluding with the stunningly spectacular Lantern Festival.

*All events, businesses and attendees must follow all provincial and municipal COVID-19 mandates.

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!

How to support local this season

It’s Small Business Week, which means it’s the perfect time to show some extra local love.

The Wild Orchid Liquor Company
In Hinton, just outside of the Jasper National Park gates, you’ll find a bustling local community filled with local entrepreneurs, experts, artists and passionate community members.

It’s this bustling community-feel that makes Hinton unlike any other town surrounded by world-class outdoor adventure. The shopping, the friendliness, the local expertise, and so much more will have you feeling like a local, even if you’re only here for an afternoon.

It almost goes without saying that 2020 has been a particularly difficult year. So, in honour of Small Business Week, we’ve compiled ways that you can show some extra local love in Hinton, Alberta—the gateway to the Alberta Rockies.

Buy local

King Drug

Did the recent snowfall remind you that the holiday season is right around the corner? Consider buying gifts early, and with that authentic local flair.

Try supporting #HintonFirst by stopping by local boutiques, buying merchandise from your favourite local cafes and breweries, or checking out the many local shops offering specialty goods—from holiday liquor baskets to the latest and greatest board games.

Eat local

Tandoori Kona

The most delicious (and maybe the easiest?) way to support local. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or treat others, or even buy a gift card as a treat for later, there are many ways to explore Hinton’s diverse and delicious food scene.

Support local artists and makers

Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre

Did you know that you can buy local artwork at the Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre, The Old Grind, Hinton’s Farmers’ Market, My Slice of Paradise, and other places around town?

Hinton is home to many talented artists, photographers, woodworkers, and builders—so if you’ve been trying to find that perfect piece, you’ll likely find the perfect thing in Hinton.

Try something new

Being surrounded by outdoor adventure has its perks: you never have to look far to be inspired to try something new.

Haven’t had a pair of skates in 10 years? Always been interested in trying out skiing or snowshoeing? Why not give it a try this season! Stop by Hinton’s local shops for great gear and advice.

Learn from a local

From hiking and trail rides with local guides, to learning essential outdoor skills, to skating and skiing lessons, Hinton’s local experts can be extremely helpful.

Check out Explore Hinton’s list of local tour operators or keep an eye on events through the Hinton & District Chamber of Commerce to see what skills you can learn from locals!

Buy a new membership

Support your favourite local things to do by picking up or renewing your membership!

Show your support for the Hinton Mountain Bike Association, the Hinton Nordic Centre, the Hinton Disc Golf Association, the Northern Rockies Museum of Culture & Heritage, the Hinton Golf Club, and many others who provide awesome opportunities for everyone to enjoy.

We hope you feel inspired to show some extra local love this season.

Share your adventures with us by tagging @ExploreHinton on Instagram and Facebook!

How to eat (and drink!) like a local

Hinton is home to a diverse and emerging local food and drink scene.
If you’re looking for family-friendly options, something special, or an authentic dining experience, you can find it all in Hinton.

Rojo Marron
In Hinton, you can find your next perfect locally brewed cup of coffee, friendly and passionate people, and diverse food and drink options that will satisfy any palate.

While some favourite local restaurants and businesses have been around for more than 30 years, in recent years many locals (both longtime and newer residents) have chosen Hinton as their place to bring new and diverse local options.

This is because Hinton is all about supporting local businesses. Believe it or not, this is something you can feel when visiting Hinton’s local restaurants, cafes, cantinas, shops and breweries.

Wild Orchid Liquor Co.

Let’s start with coffee.

Where you can grab a great cup of coffee in Hinton

The Old Grind
A locally owned and loved cafe located right in the hub of Hinton’s Green Square, The Old Grind is your perfect place to refuel with great coffee and conversation.

Opa’s Bake Shop
Whether you’re looking for a delicious pastry and coffee to go, or a meal that’ll have you feeling cozy and warm, you’ll likely leave Opa’s Bake Shop feeling fed and like family.

Rojo Marron
Rojo Marron is a warm, celebratory cantina serving margaritas, Mexican sodas and a fantastic hot beverage selection alongside a great menu.

Get that hearty meal you’ve been craving.

Where you can find the perfect hearty meal in Hinton

Canadian Steakout
Steak lovers, this is the spot for you. Filling multi-course meals taste so much better after a long day, don’t they?

Tandoori Kona
A recent addition to Hinton, Tandoori Kona offers a large selection of Indian curries, Indian tandoori preparations, breads, rice dishes, and vegetarian options.

Ranchers
This cozy sports bar is a great place to grab some food and socialize in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

Family-friendly, and oh so good.

Where you can find delicious family-friendly options in Hinton

Gus’ Pizza
You’ll likely miss this hidden gem located in Hinton’s Valley District if a local never tells you about it. Signature pizzas, appetizers and entrees are available through dining in, take-out or delivery.

L&W Pizza and Spaghetti House
Family owned and operated for over 32 years, L&W Pizza and Spaghetti House serves a wide range of delicious food with low prices and great value.

Olympia
A Greek-inspired restaurant with a big menu that’s sure to have your favourite. Olympia is a great place to take the family, or even to grab a beer and watch the game!

Take in those mountain views.

Where you can find stunning views alongside great food and drinks

Folding Mountain Brewery
An iconic and exciting mountain brewery just a few minutes outside of Hinton, Folding Mountain Brewery has created an atmosphere where you can enjoy quality craft beer and incredible comfort food, alongside stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.

Stone Peak Restaurant
Stone Peak Restaurant at the Overlander Mountain Lodge provides spectacular views, gourmet dining, and warm hospitality in a cozy, mountainside atmosphere.

Pano Bar and Grill
This newly opened restaurant at the Hinton Golf Club offers you spectacular views of the greens with a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Golfers and non-golfers welcome!

Take-out and take-home options that will make dinner just a little nicer.

What to pick up or have delivered to make dinner just a little nicer or stress-free

The Wild Orchid Liquor Company
Known as “The friendliest liquor store in the world”, the Wild Orchid features a vast selection of wines, beers, and liquors from around the world in addition to highly trained staff that can help you find your new favourite.

Fortune House Restaurant
Whether dining in or taking out, Fortune House Chinese restaurant has a variety of menu options. There’s a good chance they serve your favourite!

Yukon Sausage
Yukon Sausage is Hinton’s local butcher. Known for their jerky, sausages, and cut to order steaks and roasts. They also produce ready-made meals that are quick and easy to heat-and-eat after a long day.

Try some sushi!
A popular option in town, you’ll find great sushi spots in convenient, accessible locations around town—making sushi a great option whether you’re heading out to Jasper or heading home after a long day!

With these options and so much more, there’s something for everyone in Hinton. Even if you’re just visiting, when you eat (or drink!) like a local in Hinton you’ll feel like a local.

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!

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!

How to do more than your standard Jasper getaway in Hinton, Alberta

There’s so much to explore right next door to Jasper National Park. From a thriving local food scene to endless opportunities for adventure, spectacular things await you in Hinton.

Brule Road

First things first: we have a great relationship with our neighbours to the west. You’ll find plenty of Hintonites taking in the festivities at Jasper in January, stretching at the start line for the Jasper Half Marathon, or even tearing up the slopes at Marmot every winter. 

However, if you think Hinton is only a highway stop on the way to Jasper, you are hardly scratching the surface of what you can do and explore in Hinton.

Opportunities for adventure in every season

With spectacular adventures in every direction, Hinton is the perfect place to make your basecamp. Every season, you’ll be amazed at what you can do right in town and just outside. The best part is, you can soothe your sense of adventure without feeling like a tourist.

It’s hard to beat a morning kayak on Jarvis Lake in the summer, with a lunchtime picnic at Kelley’s Bathtub, and an afternoon trek to the stunning Athabasca Viewpoint—all within William A. Switzer Provincial Park, only minutes away from the Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre.

In the winter, your perfect day starts with a coffee at The Old Grind before hitting the spectacular Nordic Centre ski trails or the Skating Oval at Maxwell Lake.

Jarvis Lake

A thriving and diverse local food scene

A homemade poutine at the base of a mountain. Farm fresh ingredients alongside local art. Authentic cuisine served by locals. The cheesiest pizza you’ll ever taste. This is what it’s like to eat in Hinton.

Hinton is home to a thriving food scene, which is something you’ll miss if you never stray far from the highway. Even if you’re trying to make it from A to B before your check-in or tee time, you’ll be happy to have made your Hinton stopover for a bite to eat.

Rojo Marron

Unique photo ops that just might surprise you

If you’re looking to take a dramatic landscape shot, experiment with nighttime star-gazing photography, observe unsuspecting wildlife from a safe distance, or show your friends that you found the airplane along Joachim Valley Trail, it’s never a bad idea to have your camera handy around Hinton.

Some of the most awe-inspiring photo spots you’ll ever see are only a short drive from the Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre in Green Square. If you found your new favourite scenic spot over the summer, consider checking back throughout the seasons to see how the colours shift year-round—there’s never a wrong time to explore our four-season destination.

Joachim Valley Trail

Your perfect place to stay the night: from cozy cabins to lakeside camping with mountain views

Let your staycation experience surpass your expectations. From comfortable and casual camping with your best friends and family, to traditional accommodations in the heart of town that will have you relaxed and ready for the day ahead of you, to cozy cabins that will have you inspired to redecorate your home.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime kind of staycation, consider embarking on a multi-day trail ride through the pristine Willmore Wilderness Park, or planning a backcountry getaway.

We all need to find the right place to rejuvenate ourselves—luckily, you can find every kind of accommodation in and near Hinton, only minutes from the Jasper National Park gates.

Jasper East Cabins
Jasper East Cabins

A thriving outdoor recreation scene filled with endless adventure

We’ve got you covered, no matter the season. Our famous Beaver Boardwalk, the world’s longest freshwater boardwalk, connects with miles and miles of trails on the perfectly named Happy Creek Trail System, meaning you can truly choose your own adventure on the trails.

In town, treat yourself to one of the best mountain biking destinations in Alberta, a day on the green with incredible views of the Northern Alberta Rockies, or the most scenic game of disc golf you’ll ever play (which can be played all-year long!).

Just outside of town, and only 20 minutes from the Explore Hinton Visitor Information Centre, you’ll find the Hinton Nordic Centre—your hub for winter adventure—with beautifully maintained ski trails only a short distance from Jarvis Lake, where its winter beauty rivals its scenic summertime views.

The Overlander Trail

That extra something special you won’t find anywhere else

If you only stick to the highway when passing through town, you’ll miss out on the local treasures you truly won’t find anywhere else—from a locally-owned pharmacy that doubles as a board game lover’s paradise and old-fashioned soda shop, to a wine and spirits store that will have you feeling like a local the moment you enter the store.

This is why Hinton is more than your typical mountain town. It’s made special by the passionate people who live and work here, and make it a great place to be.

Hinton’s Beaver Boardwalk

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!