Hike Grande Cache summits, stamp your Passport to the Peaks

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Grande Cache's Passport to the Peaks program helps summit seekers find those mountaintop zen moments with an easy to use guide.

Grande Cache, AB – For those who have done it, you know the feeling. That feeling you score when you make a mountain summit completes us zen seekers; you feel accomplished, you feel inspired and you feel like literally you are on top of the world (especially when it comes with an epic view). 

The community of Grande Cache, two hours south of Grande Prairie Alberta, is a zen fest waiting to happen for any hiker, and the team at the tourism board make it easy to score that feeling all summer and fall with their Passport to the Peaks initiative. 

“Passport to the Peaks is an incentive program that challenges individuals to hike to the summit of each of the 21 mountains that surround Grande Cache,” explains Tourism lead for the community Jenny Daubert.

Find your way to the top with Passport to the Peaks

This is such a popular summit spot, one of Canada’s original trail running races has made its home here for over two decades.

“This can be where people new to the area can get into trouble hiking around here, given so many trail runners post their run times to the summit, sure it might have taken them four hours, but for us regular joes out there, its 10 hours,” explains local hiker Richard Yakielashek.

Passport to the Peaks Grande Cache Alberta Darrel Comeau ZenSeeker
Photographer: Darrel Comeau
The Passport program includes info on hikes to help plan your adventure.

Grande Cache is surrounded by trails for every fitness level within eyesight of our beautiful hamlet. I’ve done most, my dad is just turning 70 and we have done three generations hikes. I’ve seen kids on the mountain peaks as young as two,” says Yakielashek. 

Score a Grande Cache summit with your Passport to the Peaks.

The Passport to the Peaks book is pretty accurate to how long it will take, broken out across bronze, silver and gold level of hike ratings. Yakielashek suggests starting with the bronzes’ and working your way up. The gold rated hikes include a bunch of wayfinding and are for those with more experience.

“Bronze hikes from the Passport are really well marked, silver or gold you have to make more of your own path to the summit. Even in the wintertime, that Grande Summit (as featured in this video) we did it six times this past winter and it’s just a few minutes from town.”

Find your next mountain epic with the Passport to the Peaks.

 “The difference between here and other areas, such as Banff, is that the trails here are in their raw natural state and that we do not have the crowds that other well-known areas are known to have. An escape into nature, if you will,” as Daubert explains.

  • Passport to the Peaks Grande Cache Alberta Darrel Comeau ZenSeeker
    Starting the adventure with a stop at the Grande Cache Visitor Centre. / Darrel Comeau
  • Passport to the Peaks Grande Cache Alberta
    At the summit, hikers find Passport stations to stamp their passports. / Darrel Comeau
  • Passport to the Peaks Grande Cache Alberta
    Relaxing by the fire back at the Grande Cache Municipal Campground. / Darrel Comeau

The top hiking tip Yakielashek can offer would be to check in at the Grande Cache tourist centre and get maps and updated trail information.

“Be prepared for an untamed nature experience in the mountains. Trail conditions, the weather and the animals can be unpredictable so always best to stop in at the centre first so you can score the latest information from locals like Daubert and her team.”

Tell ‘em ZenSeekers sent yah!

When you go 

The Passport to the Peaks is a program offered by the MD of Greenview which the community of Grande Cache makes its home within. They offer their own website and Facebook page so you can start your homework from here

The Grande Prairie Tourism Association offers a roundup of attractions in the region on their website, helpful for planning.

Get in on even just watching the Death Race, that takes place every August long weekend; if you dare, sign up and put in a team or be like Jeremy – Seekers’ publisher, who has completed the annual mountain fest solo. You can find the details here on FestivalSeekers.

Last but not least, let us know what you find when you experience Grande Cache this summer or fall by using the hashtag #exploreNWAB.

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