Exploring Miette Hotsprings and Hinton, Alberta

Both my son and his wife were off work for my free day in Hinton, and they suggested Miette Hot Springs down in Jasper National Park as the main destination. Any hot springs sound good to me, particularly one high in the Rockies on a back road.

I’m extremely pleased to see the kids in Hinton now. Although I’d love to see them come back to the Yukon, it does suit them perfectly.
Hinton, Alberta
There’s a fee for using any Jasper Park facilities, but Steve has an annual pass so we got waved through the Yellowhead Highway gates.
Jasper Park gate - Hinton, Alberta
Ashlar Ridge dominates the view for a few miles on the climb up to the springs.
Miette Hot Springs Road, Alberta
Looking up the Fiddle Valley. I love roads like this.
Miette Hot Springs Road, Alberta
Especially in a car like this! 🙂
Miette Hot Springs Road, Alberta
The setting of the hot springs pool is spectacular. The natural hot springs water flows from the mountain at 54°C (129°F) at a rate of approximately 800 litres per minute, then is cooled to 40°C (104°F) as it enters the hot springs pools. This is the hottest spring in the Canadian Rockies. As well as the 2 large pools seen in this photo, there are 2 small cool pools.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
A closer look at the highest mountain towering over the pools.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
Aftre spending an hour in the pool, we decided to make the short hike up Sulphur Creek to the historic “aquacourt” and the source of the hot water.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
Construction of a road and an aquacourt, with facilities similar to those found at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, began in 1934 as a depression unemployment relief project. Several hundred men worked on the construction, which took 4 years to complete.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
It’s great to be able to visit the ruins to see what was accomplished in this remote location almost 80 years ago. The original plans called for a much more elaborate complex, but this is still impressive. The trees at centre left of the first photo are growing in what was the pool.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
It’s a short walk to the actual springs – as well as the primary spring, there are 2 smaller ones that you come to first.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
The primary spring can be seen coming out of the rock in the centre of this photo.
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
As we headed back to the car, we were caught in a heavy rain shower that was cold enough to have a bit of snow in it! Rachel had brought her towel, but Steve and I were just wearing t-shirts – brrr! 🙂
Miette Hot Springs, Alberta
The area highways are very heavily policed, by 4 services – local RCMP, regional RCMP highway patrol, provincial sheriffs and a private contractor – as this guy in front of the unmarked highway patrol car found out.
Police stop on the Yellowhead Highway
The weather changed often during the day – this very heavy rain storm passed to the north of us.
Rain storm on the Yellowhead Highway
I asked where the best restaurant in Hinton was, and Rachel replied that although it’s quite a drive south of Hinton (and expensive), she dreams of the Overlander Mountain Lodge. Dinner (in my case, New Zealand lamb) was as good as the view 🙂
Overlander Mountain Lodge, Alberta
After dinner, it was suggested that we work off a bit of that food with a walk at the Beaver Boardwalk back in Hinton near their house. It is excellent!
Beaver Boardwalk - Hinton, Alberta
There’s a total of 3 kilometers of boardwalk and trail winding around this large beaver pond, which has been created by many beavers with many dams.
Beaver Boardwalk - Hinton, Alberta
The main beaver dam, the largest of the beaver lodges, and one of 2 observation towers. Although beavers are often seen here close up, and I thought we came at the perfect time, we didn’t see any.
Beaver Boardwalk - Hinton, Alberta
This large cougar warning sign illustrated the very real danger – only a few days before, a dog was badly injured by a cougar not far from this spot (read about that attack here).
Cougar warning signs - Hinton, Alberta
I like all dogs (well, most dogs), but have a particularly soft spot for Leah, Steve’s sweet old lady. We had a good cuddle or two just like in the old days.
I love this old dog

The visit was far too short, but tomorrow I had to head up Highway 40 to the Alaska Highway – it would take 3 more easy days to reach Whitehorse.


Comments

Exploring Miette Hotsprings and Hinton, Alberta — 6 Comments

  1. Neat blog. We stayed at a B&B in Hinton back in 1999. A really nice couple run it and we kept in touch for a while. I would like to know what happened to them. We bought an annual pass when we were in Canada. It is kind of expensive compare to an annual pass in the US and they don’t give “old folks” 🙂 much of a break. (Of course it was well worth what we paid for it). Once you hit 62 in the states you can get a lifetime permit to the national parks for $10. At least there is some advantages to getting old. 🙂

  2. I’m having a big blog catch-up; your ‘little’ trip to collect the lovely new car (red is my No. 2 car colour) sounds like someone else’s “Trip of a Lifetime” – so much to see, and you can stop, detour, etc., endlessly. I am very pleased your NZ Lamb was a good meal. Lamb is expensive here, but I love the taste of lamb when I get the chance. I can never get over the solid, was-is-and-always-will-be look of your mountain faces. The Beaver Dam is very interesting – how many beavers live in a dam this size? We don’t have beavers, but I have been on an island in the Rideau lakes and seen slender trees lying beside their stumps with the picture book beaver tooth pattern.

    Best Regards, Marie G.

  3. Thanks for all your comments, Marie – I’m pleased that you’re following along. We found lamb to be quite cheap in New Zealand compared to what we pay (my meal at the lodge was $42). A large beaver lodge like that will typically have 6-12 beavers in it.

  4. Nice to come across your blog and the post on Hinton and Jasper area. I grew up in the region and delight in revisiting it in any way I can. Will be visiting there this summer and although I’ve known about the Beaver Boardwalk I’ve never walked it. Will definitely do so this year.

    Cheers!

    • Welcome, Kristi. It’s great to be able to rekindle some good memories for people. The Beaver Boardwalk is an extremely cool addition to the community, as you’ll see – have a great trip!