Grande Cache is a hamlet in the western central area of Alberta. It is a lesser known destination compared with places like Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise, yet it has a beautiful view of the mountains and hiking trails for all skill levels. It is less than a two hour drive from Grande Prairie, Hinton and Jasper and about four hours from Edmonton.
Our family recently spent 7 nights camping at the municipal campground in town and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The sites are surrounded by trees. There is a playground, and the bathrooms are clean. The mountain views are stunning.
Right off the highway, Grande Cache Lake is a gem of a destination. Swimming or paddling in the lake with the mountains in the background is an excellent way to spend a vacation day. There is a small playground as well as picnic tables here, and it is dog friendly.
We did a couple of hikes with our daughters who are 8 and 6. They did Muskegg Falls with my husband, and we did Twin Falls, Sulphur Gates and a quick visit to the “Crack of Doom” together as a family.
Twin Falls had some tricky parts. As we approached the bottom of the falls, we had to hold on to a rope to go up the edge of the cliff. Once we arrived, it was beautiful! We spent about an hour playing in the water at the base of the falls and having a picnic lunch. We did not go to the top of the falls as it seemed very steep, but we saw others up there. We did see a black bear on our walk back to the car!! When you are hiking in Alberta, always make sure you are being bear aware! Always make sure you know what to do before heading out hiking. My daughter yelled out “BEAR,” and the bear jumped into a tree. My husband took the bear spray out of the holster just in case, but the bear quickly ran away. Needless to say, we walked a little more quickly back to the car!
Sulphur Gates is an easy-to-follow, well-kept trail, but it is an uphill climb. There are different lookout points along the way with each one further up than the last. There are railings to hold on to at difficult portions. The view from the lookouts is unbelievable! So much beauty in this area of Alberta. They say this trail is “the best scenery for the least effort.”
The “Crack of Doom” is literally only 5 minutes from the parking lot, but both kids really enjoyed seeing it! It’s a GIANT rock that is split completely down the middle, and you can walk between. Worth pulling in to see for sure!
There are many more long and difficult trails, but due to the heat and the age of our girls, we did not try any of the tricky ones. My husband did hike the Grande Cache mountain one afternoon. Some of our other favourite parts of Grande Cache are their indoor pool which has a waterslide, lazy river and wave pool and getting ice cream at Yum Yums!
This is a fabulous destination for any family who loves to camp and enjoy the outdoors!
Kristin is a former teacher who now homeschools her two daughters, age 8 and 6. She has lived many places in Canada due to both her teaching and being an RCMP wife. She blogs at From Kristin and is passionate about helping mothers feel equipped to educate their children. She does homeschool consulting to help those starting out or struggling to choose a curriculum. She loves reading and travelling and actively posts on her instagram.