Jun
18
2009

Grande Cache Guide

A guide to exploring Grande Cache's awesome wilderness, including its rivers, mountains and dense forests

Like many North American destinations blessed with an awesome landscape, Alberta’s idyllic mountain towns have gradually turned into overcrowded tourist hubs. Given its rushing rivers, dense forests and unbelievable panoramic views, it’s hard to fathom how Grande Cache has remained off the radar. Check out our list of opportunities that await you in Grand Cache.

Pacific Western Helicopters

Pacific Western Helicopters offers a bird’s eye view of the area, including the Sulphur Gates, Willmore Wilderness Park and the Grande Cache coalmine. Flights start at $98 per person for a 20-minute interpretive tour.

Wild Blue Yonder Whitewater Rafting

After a morning spent working up a sweat, cool off on the water with Wild Blue Yonder. Grande Cache features some of Alberta’s best white-water, ranging from a gentle meander on the Smoky River to the steep and fast-flowing rapids that make Sheep Creek a favourite among experienced paddlers.

Willmore Wilderness Park

Sulphur Gates Recreation Area is also one of the four main access points for Willmore Wilderness Park, 4,600 square kilometres of alpine terrain on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, just north of Jasper National Park.

Willmore is the province’s largest protected wilderness area outside the national parks, and the absence of motorized vehicles or permanent roads mean that the only way to access it is by horseback, mountain bike or on foot.

Sulphur Gates Recreation Area

Take Highway 40 north until you reach the Sulphur Gates Recreation Area. It’s just a short hike from the parking lot to the viewing platform overlooking the ethereal Sulphur Gates—a narrow geological formation flanked by sharp, 400-foot cliffs where the Smoky and Sulphur rivers meet.

Mountainview Family Restaurant

Since no successful outdoor adventure begins with an empty stomach, stop at the Mountainview Family Restaurant in the Grand Cache Hotel for a continental breakfast that includes fresh fruit and a hearty serving of oatmeal.

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