Hinton has plenty of affordable ways to spend time with your loved one, with lots of outdoor activities, specialty businesses that provide unique and one of a kind gifts and experiences it’s bound to be a Valentines you won’t soon forget.
If your not into being outside in the cold and your looking for a way to stay warm, try out the climbing wall at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre. For couples it can be a great way to put trust in your partner. Plus you can hit up the sauna and hot tub afterwards.
The Hinton Nordic Center is abundant with trails, cabins, and beautiful scenery. The tracks are always freshly set waiting for you to gear up and head out exploring. Spending time here can be an all day experience, with loads of firewood to keep the cabins warm, grab a grazing box from Mountain Grazing Co. and bring it along for the perfect ski date.
A great date night can be spent out at Folding Mountain Brewing, with an amazing atmosphere and selection of in house made beers it’s a place you don’t want to leave.
If you are looking for the perfect floral arrangement or unique gift Just Bee Cause is home stunning floral arrangements, plants and some gifts to choose from.
If you are looking for a unique date idea, The King Drug Soda Shoppe will bring you back in time it it’s nostalgic space, they have a huge selection of games to play, as well as snacks, and sweets to enjoy while you play.
The Path is home to a small and intimate theater that plays the newest releases, as well as independent films. It also hosts local performances, it could make the perfect date night. Be sure to check their website here to see events, and here for the upcoming movies.
If you are looking for a fun and challenging way to spend part of your day book in at Air Play to solve a series of clue to escape from their first Escape Room. It takes place in 1925 and prohibition is in full swing. You and your team of investigators we be leading the charge against illegal liquor sales. Your mission is to identify and bring down the boss of the operation. You must identify the boss and simultaneously diffuse the bomb in order to ‘escape’ the room.
Check out these great Valentine’s Day offers from a selection of local businesses!
The next time you plan a trip to Hinton, be sure to pack your ice skates. Hinton is host to 8 accessible places to carve up the ice, feel the cold on your face, and enjoy some fresh air.
Hinton Golf Course – The Hinton Golf Course 18th hole pond transforms every winter into one a rink with one of the best views in town, fully lit and such a treat. It can be a bit windy at this location, so be sure to bundle up and bring everything you need to stay warm.
Erith Park – This location is host to not one but two rinks, one that is fully boarded in for a great game of shinny, and a smaller little area perfect for the beginner. Erith Park has a large field and playground so even if you have family members that are not interested in lacing up their skated there is plenty to do. There is a public bathroom at this location.
Maxwell Lake – Community created and maintained, nestled into one of our cherished locations in town, this rink was originally created be Hans and Netty Van Klaveren, they put their hearts into creating a loop to share their love of speed skating with the community.* It quickly grew to be a well loved location to spend time in the winter months for locals and tourist alike. Located within the Happy Creek Trail System, there is so much to explore while spending time here. There are bathrooms located near the lake as well as the entrance to the Beaver Boardwalk so you can happily bring a meal and some hot beverages from a local business to enjoy.
*Please note this location is kept up by locals so if it need clearing feel free to bring a shovel and be part of keeping the magic of this loop alive.
The Pond at Eaton – This little pond is hidden away within the Eaton Sub Division, tucked into the woods, cat tails growing through the ice, and cleared by locals within the area its a very cute little pond to lace up and spend time on.
Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Center – Our local area hosts 2 arenas, with public skating throughout the winter season. If you looking for a way to get out on the ice but away from the elements, while being able to explore the additional assets of the arena this maybe the place for you. Your daily admission gains access to the pool, climbing wall, and racquetball courts, as well as access to the Hinton Public Library.
The Pretzel– This location offers a unique experience, Hinton’s local campground is flooded, leaving a continuous loop to skate through the trees.
Rotary Park – Tucked away from the wind this location is right along the Hardisty Creek and Rotary playground. It provides shelter from the wind, and it great for beginners.
Brule, Alberta – Located outside of Hinton a 20 minute drive will bring you to the cute community of Brule. This rink is fully boarded and is perfect for a game of shinney. Across the road is a park including a woodstove and shelter to warm up in between games. Brule is surrounded by the mountains, and historical areas to explore while spending time here.
There are 35 km of beautifully groomed trails for skating and classic skiing. Located at the lower parking lot is a large rustic lodge with a wood stove to warm up, as well as fire pits outside if you prefer the fresh air. The upper parking lot will lead into a large area of trails that are K-9 friendly as well as a stunning look out area and cabin located just off the Connector trail.
Day Use ski passes and Memberships can be purchased online here or at the self-registration kiosk in the main lodge. Remember to bring your email as proof of purchase when you visit our Hinton Nordic Centre. If you are wondering what the current ski conditions are like? They can be found here.
The lower(main) parking lot is home to the main lodge, fire pits, sledding hill and biathlon range. The lodge has ample space, with lots of tables and seating to enjoy a meal. The wood stove will keep you warm with a large woodpile located outside the lodge so you will never be chilly.
The Nordic Center is a place to spend time as a whole family. There is a small sledding hill located near the main lodge. Be sure to pack your sleds, the hill is an ideal size for all ages, with ample space at the bottom to safely slow to a stop before the trees.
There is a snowshoe trail that runs from the upper (K-9 loop) parking lot to the Lookout Cabin. There is a trail leading from the main Main Lodge (but this trail doesn’t really go anywhere), and thirdly the trail from the Telemark Parking lot to the ridge viewpoint. You can also explore on the old Luge track. Check out some of the trails here. Please note that day use fees still apply to use the trails so be sure to make your payment into the self registration box at located in the lower level Main Lodge.
We are happy to share that many of the trails are in fact K-9 friendly. With this comes insuring you have complete control of Rover. Be sure your pup has excellent manners if you are allowing it to be off leash. If not, please make sure to leash up and enjoy the trails that way. Also please do what is needed to insure that the Nordic Center stays dog friendly by cleaning up after your pooch.
The Hinton Nordic Centre is operated by the Hinton Nordic Skiers. It is a non-profit, volunteer run, cross country ski club. Funding relies primarily on Nordic club memberships, day use passes and a great deal of volunteer effort – so Please Support The Club!
Hinton is home to countless kilometers of trails to explore with you furry friends. There are trail systems located in every area of town. Check out the trail map here. Many of the trails are off leash, but with that comes insuring you have complete control of Rover. Be sure your pup has excellent manners if you are allowing it to be off leash. If not, please make sure to leash up and enjoy the trails that way. Also please do what is needed to insure that the off leash trails can stay dog friendly by cleaning up after your pooch.
Dogs are allowed West of the Boogie trail on trails accessed from the upper parking lot. Dogs are allowed on K-9, Creekside, Connector, Cruiser, Windy Hill. Marathon trails and Killer5. The Boogie, Lit Hill (S turn to the stadium) and all the trails and area around the lodge will remain as No Dogs Allowed. For the Map Details on Dog Friendly trails click here.
Our team spent a couple days touring around the Hinton area. We’ve found some spectacular sights and experiences that we would love to share with you! Prepare yourself for some exciting travel itinerary ideas that you can take advantage of this summer season!
On our first day adventuring in the Hinton area we visited the Cadomin Coal Mine. Which is about a 40 minute drive down Highway 40 South. It was a jaw dropping scene; truly a once in a lifetime experience that gave us the of feeling traveling back in time to the Alberta Coal Mines heyday. We went through a tunnel and the view went from entirely green and plush forest through a tunnel to an immediate sight of the blackest hillside I’ve ever witnessed.
On our way back we stopped at Gregg Falls, which is just off the side of the Highway. Many people cliff jump into the river; although the drop isn’t far the water is deep. Parking is not very well marked, so it’s definitely a hidden Hinton gem. You can purchase a postcard from our experience at the falls at the Explore Hinton Visitor’s Information Centre!
We then visited the historical Gregg Cabin off the highway down a long gravel road. On our adventures down Highway 40 South we saw many elk, deer, bighorn sheep and even the tail end of a moose! The wildlife sightings along Highway 40 South are much more common than its Northern counterpart, as it is less frequently travelled.
We spent our afternoon venturing up Highway 40 North, first renting kayaks from Switzer Park Watersport Rentals on Gregg Lake. Calling back and forth to the loons across the lake and with the warm sun on our backs we paddled to the islands on this incredibly shallow lake. On the way back we stopped at Kelly’s Bathtub for a short walk and a swim. There is even a small beach area for families to enjoy with incredibly scenic views of the lake inlet.
For dinner we visited Folding Mountain Brewery, where we sat down to an absolutely scrumptious meal and a cold brew. After a full day of adventuring, returning to the Rocky Mountain View Bed and Breakfast, we lounged outside around the fire on a set of vivid red chairs watching the sunset over the horizon.
The Rocky Mountain View Bed and Breakfast was an amazing stay! The view from breakfast on our deck was spectacular; situated right on the side of the mountain, we could see an amazing mountainous skyline for miles in the distance.
Next, we decided to rent a set of discs from the Explore Hinton Visitor’s Information Centre to play a round of Disc Golf. This is a unique experience in the community. It’s a great way to burn off some excess energy. People of all ages can enjoy this adventure in the midst of a forested Hinton hillside.
Afterwards we ventured across the road for a nice walk along the Beaver Boardwalk and Happy Creek Trails to visit the beaver who lives there. Beavers are most active around sunrise and sunset, so if you want a chance to sight one of these iconic Canadian species that’s the best time to take this adventure. Hinton’s very own Beaver Boardwalk is the longest freshwater boardwalk in the Canada and is a spectacular adventure.
We enjoyed a nice lunch and coffee at The Old Grind at the Green Square before exploring around the shops. We stopped in to return our disks at the Visitor’s Information Centre and purchased a postcard to write back home to our families about our amazing experience.
At the Visitor Centre we heard about the Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage and decided to spend our afternoon there. We learned about some of the fascinating history of the railway system of the Hinton area. We even got to study an interesting timeline detailing events from time immemorial to present day. This is a great experience for families with young children, there is an incredibly realistic toy train that travels over small bridges and tunnels.
After the Museum we ventured down to the Hinton Valley District for dinner at Rojo Marron. This Mexican restaurant had imported Jarrito’s soda and excellent coffee. Around the corner we saw the five pin bowling alley and spent our evening at the Underground Bowling and Rec Room before returning exhausted back to our room at the Rocky Mountainview Bed and Breakfast.
The next day we booked a morning tour with Remote Helicopters. What a spectacular experience that was! As a first time helicopter rider it was an exhilarating experience. We started out at the Jasper-Hinton Airport and spent 20 magnificent minutes flying over Folding Mountain and the Athabasca river valley. It was an experience like no other to view the miraculous mountain ranges and abundance of natural lakes from above. A once in a lifetime experience that was definitely worthwhile!
Afterwards, we drove up the long windy mountainous road to Miette Hot Springs. Soaked in the hot water heated naturally from the mountain springs. The spectacular scenic views from the outdoor pools in the midst of the mountains was a beautiful sight that I will never forget. We even took a walk to visit the ruins of the old pools, which was really neat to see the history of the iconic Miette Hot Springs.
We have felt indescribable joy to be fortunate enough to have many fantastic adventures here in Hinton. It has been such a unique and wonderful experience to enjoy the culture, history, landscape and attractions here. We will always remember our days touring in the Hinton area with reverence and elation in the years to come.
Are you thinking about a change of scenery during the most wonderful time of the year? Dreaming of snow-capped mountains, magical forest trails, cozy shops and restaurants, and making memories with your nearest and dearest? Hinton is ready to welcome you for a holiday season you’ll never forget. Here are our top 10 reasons to spend Christmas in Hinton.
1. All the magic of Christmas in the mountains, without the hustle and bustle
Christmas is a time to unwind and focus on our family and friends. When you are free from sitting in traffic and waiting in lineups, you can do just that. Our picturesque town boasts a slower, calmer pace, perfect for soaking in the beauty of the season.
2. Find gifts they’ll truly treasure
Forget the big box stores – Hinton’s shopping districts are lined with the kind of mom-and-pop shops that you might find in a modern Norman Rockwell painting. Step inside, and you’ll find gifts that will delight and surprise, as well as warm and friendly service.
3. Leave the holiday cooking to the pros
‘Tis the season for holiday menus, and we’re here for it. These special dishes come but once a year, so live like a local and enjoy them while they last! Take a tour of the restaurants in Hinton and Jasper East to experience some of our finest culinary feasts.
4…and wash it down with a seasonal libation
While Hinton’s restaurants boast some incredible dishes every Christmas season, there’s also an emphasis on beverages. Whether you’re headed to a local cafe to warm up or are looking for a seasonal cocktail to complete your meal, you’ll find something to sip on that will put you in a festive mood.
5. Deck the halls
Whether you’re enjoying a staycation here in Hinton or staying at a home away from home, our local shops are ready to add some Christmas spirit to your space. From understated to all out, find stunning decor that celebrates the season.
6. Santa sightings
The man in red himself loves to visit Hinton at Christmas. Find him and his team of helpers at different locations around town leading up to the big day, and give him a jolly send off at the Snowflake Parade!
7. Cross country skiing you’ll tell your friends about
The Hinton Nordic Centre is a local gem for cross country ski enthusiasts. As if the 35 kilometres of expertly groomed trails wasn’t enough, the centre also features a biathlon range and a large, cozy day lodge. Work off that extra turkey, or bring the whole family for a day of outdoor fun.
8. A magnificent winter wonderland just steps from your door
One of the best things about Hinton is that no matter where you are staying, the beautiful and rugged outdoors is within a short walk. With this type of convenience, you can strap on snowshoes and hit the trails, or take a morning meander through the woods with your coffee, all at a moment’s notice. Winter in Hinton’s wilderness is something everyone should experience!
9. There’s a fireplace waiting just for you
Sometimes when you come in from the cold, the best thing is to bundle up in a blanket by the fire, listen to it crackle and share stories about your adventures. There are plenty of opportunities for fireside chats, with cozy fireplaces in some of our restaurants, at the Hinton Nordic Centre, at Jasper East and even a backcountry wood stove in William A. Switzer Provincial Park.
10. Make memories during a holiday season you won’t soon forget
From skating on an outdoor rink, skiing or snowshoeing under the moon and tobogganing to visits with Santa, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, and singing Christmas carols, Hinton is the perfect setting for a beautiful Christmas. Be sure to remember your camera to capture these special moments, and help make the memories last a lifetime.
With crisp, sunny mornings, rows upon rows of yellow-leafed trees against the Rocky Mountains and a changing landscape to get out and experience, there’s no doubt that fall is one of the most charming seasons in Hinton – some even say it’s their favourite season of all. Don’t let the shortening days get you down – there’s lots to get excited about in Hinton when fall comes around! We’re sharing our top tips to help you make the most out of this gorgeous season.
Dress the part
The key to a great day during the fall? The right clothes. Temperatures in Hinton during autumn can vary greatly, sometimes hovering around freezing for part of the day before soaring into the low 20s. Layers are your friend during this season. Find your next favourite cozy scarf, trendy hat or fall jacket at one of the local boutiques. For a day on the trails or the lake, drop by one of our outdoor outfitters for the technical clothing you need to feel just right all day long.
Take a back road
Venture just outside of Hinton in any direction and you’ll be delighted to find a network of roads that will give you a first class ticket to the beautiful fall colours, as well as an opportunity to see some wildlife, and maybe even a glimpse into the area’s past. Pop your favourite playlist on your phone or seek out some music by local artists as you cruise around beneath the mountains.
Is there anything better when it starts to get cool outside than coming into a warm restaurant with friendly service and pulling up to a nice, warm, hearty meal? Indulge your craving for soups, stews, pasta and more this time of year – our restaurateurs are excited to serve you!
Go fly a kite
Fall is a season of simple pleasures. Hinton experiences some pretty blustery days at this time of year making it a great season to get out with your friends and family to fly kites! This is a local tradition that is as much fun for adults as it is for kids. Choose a kite at one of our local retailers and head out to the closest field (we recommend Mary Reimer Park or Green Square) for some big smiles all around.
Hit the water
If you love the colours of fall, treat yourself to some time on the lake, where you can see the reflection of the changing leaves glistening on the water. Bring your lifejacket, rent a kayak, and paddle out onto one of the lakes in William A. Switzer Provincial Park for an autumn experience you won’t soon forget! We recommend an early morning paddle for the most calm, quiet water and the best reflections.
Capture your memories
The bright colours, cozy clothes and rosy cheeks that come with fall make extra special photos. Hire a local photographer to capture the memories you make here in Hinton with family and friends – professional photos of your time together are some of the best souvenirs around! If you capture your own memories during your trip, Hinton’s local framing shop can help you print and preserve your images for life.
Rainy days come for everyone – even in Hinton, where we often have a sunny climate. If the rain makes you want to spend the day wrapped up under the covers, read on for ways to make the most of the drizzly weather – there’s lots of fun to be had right here in town!
Get your climb on
Kickstart your rainy day with a heart-pumping, fun and challenging workout. Head to the valley to the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre to check out one of Hinton’s greatest indoor recreation opportunities – our bouldering wall! This climbing wall stands 12 feet tall and encompasses three walls of a converted court. Test your strength and gain some new skills in a safe and dry environment, and be sure to try the treadwall, a wall that moves, giving you a full body workout as you climb on a 12 degree angle.
Stories have a way of transporting us from our (wet, gloomy) reality to somewhere entirely different. They put us in another person’s shoes, help shift our perspective and ignite our imagination. The Hinton Municipal Library is jam-packed with stories that will do just that! Conveniently located in the valley just around the corner from the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre, the library offers books, audiobooks, magazines and DVDs on loan. Find a corner to sit in and enjoy an hour or two of a great story, or borrow a book or movie to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Did you know the library also has board games available for use in the library? Bring some friends and escape the rain with a round of Monopoly, Scrabble, and more!
Play with clay
Is there anything more mesmerising than watching someone turn a clump of clay into a beautiful bowl, mug or pot? If you’re curious about how it’s done or are longing to try it yourself, stop by the Athabasca River Potters Guild. Chat with local artists as they work on their craft, and learn more about how you can become a part of this community. The guild offers classes for both youth and adults. Once you have some skills under your belts, memberships are available for the guild giving you access to the building and equipment, and a whole year’s worth of rainy day fun.
Experience the trails differently.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t let the weather get in the way of your time outside (or if you’re starting to experience a little mid-day or mid-week cabin fever), grab your raincoat and waterproof boots and head out to your favourite trail.
There’s something magical about experiencing a familiar trail in the rain. The colours are more vibrant, the leaves hang differently on the trees, and the air smells amazing. You may even have the entire trail to yourself! If you’re looking for inspiration on rainy day places to explore, try the Beaver Boardwalk or the Joachim Valley Trail – there’s even a hut at the end to warm up in!
Thinking of heading to the mountains for your next adventure? Known as the Gateway to the Rockies, Hinton, Alberta has an expansive natural playground for you to discover right in its backyard, and all the comforts you could ask for in town. Whether you’re a solo traveller in search of new experiences, a couple here for a quiet getaway or a family in search of some fun, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for when you stay and play in Hinton.
From simple home bases for your stay to luxury retreats, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodation in Hinton. Book a room at one of our easily-accessed hotels along Highway 16, or choose from a wide array of bed and breakfast rental options in Hinton. If you are planning a vacation surrounded by nature, head to Jasper East to find cabins and a lodge nestled amongst the mountains.
Food & Drink
Kickstart your day with a made-to-order breakfast from one of Hinton’s many restaurants and treat yourself to a specialty coffee from one of our awesome coffee shops. We recommend ordering a picnic lunch as well and packing it with you, allowing you to make the most of your time here – plus, a meal eaten outside just tastes better! Hinton boasts a wide variety of restaurants serving up cuisines and cocktfrom all over the world – there’s truly something that everyone will love.
When it comes to supper, you’ll have plenty of dine-in or take-out options. Hinton is also home to several grocery stores, a farmers market, and a top-notch butcher if you’re craving a meal of your own creation.
Hinton is one of Alberta’s best kept secrets when it comes to outdoor recreation! If you’re here to explore on foot, William A. Switzer Provincial Park offers kilometres of trails for hikes of varying difficulty, and the most incredible views of the Canadian Rockies. This park also offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. In the winter, the Hinton Nordic Centre is a hub of activity as cross country skiers gather to enjoy the best tracks the area has to offer.
Did you bring your bike? The Hinton Mountain Bike Association maintains an extensive trail system just outside of town. Head to their website to plan your ride! These trails make for fantastic local hikes as well – just be sure to watch out for cyclists, and share the trails. Hinton is home to several bike shops with expert mechanics ready to serve you. Drop in for a tune-up, browse their stock, and chat with the staff – you just might learn a thing or two!
Soak in the sunshine while you play a round of golf at the Hinton Golf Club, or try your hand at a different type of golf – Hinton’s disc golf course offers 18 baskets, and discs are available on loan from the Tourist Information Centre.
You’re going to love Hinton’s fabulous mix of independent retailers. From clothing and jewelry to home decor and sporting goods and everything in between, our local businesses offer something for everyone. There are two main centres of shopping in town – the valley shopping district and the Green Square shopping district on the hill.
No matter what season you’re here to stay and play in, there’s bound to be a celebration. From the iconic Wild Mountain Music Festival and it’s smaller cousin, the Autumn Festival, to Canada Day celebrations, The Fohn Festival, and our annual Winter Magic Festival, be sure to mark your calendars and share in the fun.
Come see why Hinton is one of the most exciting places in Alberta to visit. Enjoy your stay, and have fun!
Just south of Hinton, Alberta lies a treasure trove of pristine natural attractions to explore and discover. These gems are some of the area’s best kept secrets due to their secluded nature and quiet beauty. Ask a local where the best swimming hole around is, and they will likely point you towards Gregg River Falls.
Located 30 kilometres south of Hinton along Highway 40, Gregg River Falls offers a sparkling pool of cool, clear water amidst ancient rock formations in a quiet setting that makes for a fun and relaxing day trip. At this local favourite, the Gregg River takes a short drop, and you’ll find places deep enough to swim, as well as a shallow shoreline that’s perfect for just getting your feet wet!
Follow Highway 40 towards Cadomin, and keep an eye out for local wildlife – big horned sheep, grizzly bears and moose can be seen along this route. At 30 kilometres, watch for parking on the left side of the highway. Follow a short, rocky path to the edge of the river, and get set up for a few hours of fun!
The wide, flat rocks along the shore of the Gregg River are great spots for a picnic lunch – just be sure to load up on sunscreen, as you will catch lots of rays here! For an option with more shade, walk to the far end of the site where you’ll find some protection under the trees.
Feeling adventurous? It’s time to make some memories! There’s nothing like leaping off the rocks near the falls into that cold mountain water on a hot summer day. Splash around and spend some time relaxing under a real life waterfall! If you’re not up for a full soak, wade up to your knees along the shore. With a blanket, a good book, and – of course – snacks, it’s easy to enjoy a full day here under the sunshine from spring through fall.
Gregg River Falls is a great spot to bring the family, and four-legged family members are welcome here, too! There are no lifeguards on duty, so strong swimming skills are a must and PFDs are recommended for children.
There are no facilities at this spot – part of the charm of spending time in the backcountry – so come prepared to pack out everything you bring in, including your garbage. Garbage left behind is hazardous to the local wildlife, soil and water. Respect the area, take care, and have fun!