Zag into Grande Cache for uncrowded, hidden Rockies treasures


Walking through the narrow crack in a giant, house-sized boulder—a crack just large enough for the average human to pass through—it’s as if you’ve entered another world. Grande Cache is neither Rivendell nor the Shire, but it’s on that scale. Standing atop nearby Sulphur Gates (pictured above), as the water rushes through an Asgardian portal, the sense of epic is magnified even further. 

Hiking, mountain biking, quadding, paddling or just soaking up the many vistas, Grande Cache lives up to its name. This is a place of surprising grandeur, with "hidden treasures" off the typical, beaten path of the Canadian Rockies, full of mountain adventure.

Keep reading to see how you could win your own #ExploreGrandeCache adventure worth $750.

WATCH: why #exploreGrandeCache, for visitors

Watch Discover Grande Cache - Where Adventures Peak on YouTube.

Grande Cache is a hamlet with a reputation that precedes it, thanks to its famous ultramarathon the Canadian Death Race. Split Rock (pictured above) and Sulphur Gates are just two of the area’s many mountain highlights, in a place where mountains, lakes and trails are everywhere. A population of just 3500 or so people, and 21 mountains surrounding the community, ensure there’s space for everyone. 

Admittedly, I’m biased when it comes to Grande Cache. I came here to run the Death Race, visiting at least a couple times a year between 2010 and 2015, and making occasional visits ever since. 

But spending the bulk of my time on the trails, I only recently realized how many other great things there are to do here in Grande Cache.

Grande Cache AB summit Grande Mountain Jeremy Derksen ZenSeekers
Photo: Jeremy Derksen
View from the peak of Grande Mountain, with the town of Grande Cache to the left below.

Here are some of the highlights which you can distill into your own DIY adventure, whether you’re extending a Death Race weekend stay or just escaping the crowds in a chill mountain spot. 

A 2-day weekend itinerary for Grande Cache 

Right off the top, two days isn’t enough to scratch more than surface here. But it will give you a taste that will probably leave you wanting more. So go for two days and accept that you’ll just have to come back, or plan a longer trip. 

DAY 1: trails & tees with mountain views 

Morning: Early ups on the trails is worth it. For the ambitious, test your mettle on a summit. For the moderate, you can cruise relatively gentle hills out to viewpoints that will wow you.

Grande Cache AB trail run trio mountain view Jeremy Derksen ZenSeekers
Photo: Jeremy Derksen
Friends enjoy a hike along the Sulphur Trail.

The simplest way to pick your objective? Grab Grande Cache’s Passport to the Peaks, which outlines numerous hikes, with difficulty ratings and a rewards system. (For more about the program, how it works and why it opens up a new world of hiking in the Alberta Rockies, read this story.) 

Where to hike in Grande Cache
With so many to choose from, here are just a few popular areas for hiking options. 

Sulphur Gates Provincial Recreation Area 
*includes both the Sulphur Gates and the trail to Split Rock

Wilmore Wilderness Park

Waterfall hikes in Grande Cache

Lunch: pop in to aptly named The Coffee House, where fresh coffee, pressed sandwiches and handmade soups will restore your strength for an afternoon adventure.

Afternoon: how about an easy round of golf? The Grande Cache Golf & Country Club is open to the public with affordable rates and nine holes of majestic mountain views that rival those of the famous Fairmont courses of the Rockies. 

Grande Cache AB golfing Jeremy Derksen ZenSeekers
Photo: Jeremy Derksen
Nine holes of mountain views await at the Grande Cache Golf & Country Club.

Late afternoon: apres at the golf course, on its big west facing patio, will hit the spot. 

Evening: retire to a cozy berth in town, or if you like being a little closer to nature, try Pierre Grey's Lake Campground.

DAY 2: summits & shores 

Fuel up with coffee and IRL face time at The Coffee Shop again, a friendly locals’ spot where you’ll soon be welcomed into the town flow. From there, pop in to the Grande Cache Visitor Centre for a lay of the land, before ascending it. 

Morning: ready for the big objective? Hike the summit of Grande for an epic view over the valley. 

Or, if you prefer the motorized style of travel, Grande has a wide and well-maintained forest service road that is an moderately easy up-down for quadders, with enough excitement to keep you adrenalized. 

Grande Cache Passport to the Peaks Alberta Darrel Comeau ZenSeekers
Photo: Darrel Comeau
Forestry service roads offer multi-use access to several peaks in the area.

Afternoon: paddle Grande Lake just five minutes from town. Bring a rod if you’re into that, the lake is stocked and the boat launch is easy access for whatever boat you like to float. Soak in the sun and the surrounding mountains on these wide open waters.

Photo: Jeremy Derksen
Paddling the laidback lakes of Grande Cache is a great way to end an epic adventure.

Go ahead, dip your toes in—that pristine water is fine. After a weekend of big summits, this is the perfect way to wind down. 

This is the season to zig when everyone else zags, instead of following the traffic going west, turn north up the scenic route to Alaska (Hwy 40) and get lost in the incredible beauty of Grande Cache.


Grande Cache invites visitors to experience the less-travelled path and extraordinary outdoor experiences and adventures. 

Driving times & directions 
Edmonton - Grande Cache: 5h west via Hwy 16 to Hwy 40 
Grande Prairie - Grande Cache: 2h southwest via Hwy 40 

Check out the Grande Cache visitor website for more inspiration. 

Choose your own adventure at


Win an #exploreGrandeCache getaway with $750 Greenview Dollars to spend on your dream Grande Cache experience. ✨Prize...

Posted by Municipal District of Greenview No. 16 on Friday 17 May 2024


More things to do 

  • Outdoor activities range from thrilling adventures to serene personal experiences: endless trails for biking & hiking, paddle sports such as white-water rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding. 
  • On the quieter side, golf, fish, walk the Labyrinth or backpack in the renowned Willmore Wilderness Park. 
  • Bring your camera for wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities around every corner.

Grande Cache invites you to visit and 'get lost' in the incredible beauty, in a wilderness adventure, and in discovering one of the most welcoming and scenic communities in Alberta. 

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