Accommodations and Food
I recommend giving the regular motels a miss and staying out of town at one of the following two accommodations. Halfway between Hinton and Jasper, Overlander Mountain Lodge (780/866-2330 or 877/866-2330, www.overlandermountainlodge.com, $159–219 s or d) has an inviting wilderness setting and energetic hosts with plenty of suggestions to keep you busy through the day. Choose from regular guest rooms in various styles, cozy cabins, or a large, three-bedroom log chalet. Mountain charm continues through to the dining room, where Canadian specialties anchor a seasonal menu.
Black Cat Guest Ranch (780/865-3084 or 800/859-6840, www.blackcatguestranch.ca, $115 s or d) is another nearby mountain retreat. All of the rooms have private baths and mountain views. Horseback riding is available during the day, and in the evening, guests can relax in the large living room or hot tub. A meal package is adult $46, child $33. To get to the ranch, take Highway 40 north for six kilometers (3.7 miles), turn left to Brûlé and continue for 11 kilometers (6.8 miles), then turn right and follow the signs.
Apart from the fast-food restaurants that line the highway from one end of town to the other, Hinton has little to offer the hungry traveler. The Husky Restaurant, as usual, serves filling meals at good prices; it’s open 24 hours. If gas-station dining isn’t your style, try Tokyo Sushi (Black Bear Inn, 571 Gregg Ave., 780/865-2120, $8–16), a modern, family–style restaurant with good value Japanese food.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition