Grande Cache, Alberta Canada

Discover Grande Cache, Alberta: A Gateway to the Rockies

Grande Cache, Alberta is a picturesque hamlet nestled in West-Central Alberta, Canada. Administered by the Municipal District of Greenview No. 16, it's situated on Highway 40, approximately 145 kilometres northwest of Hinton and 435 kilometres west of Edmonton. Overlooking the Smoky River and located at the northern edge of Alberta's Rockies, Grande Cache serves as a gateway to the Willmore Wilderness Park.

The History of Grande Cache, Alberta

The New Town of Grande Cache was incorporated on September 1, 1966, with the aim of opening the area for the development of coal mines. The town began construction in 1969, and by 1971, a hospital, schools, stores, and the first homes were built. Grande Cache received town status on September 1, 1983.

The community experienced a boom-bust cycle due to its dependence on a single employer that relied on a single commodity: coal. To diversify the economy, additional industries were encouraged to develop in the area, including a wood chip plant and a federal prison operated by the Correctional Service of Canada. In recent years, wilderness tourism has become an increasing industry.

In September 2018, due to a reduction in population and subsequent loss in tax revenue, the town was no longer financially sustainable. Residents voted to dissolve the town into a hamlet under the jurisdiction of the Municipal District (MD) of Greenview No. 16. The dissolution came into effect on January 1, 2019, rendering Grande Cache a hamlet in the Municipal District of Greenview No. 16.

The Geography of Grande Cache, Alberta

Grande Cache is built on a plateau just below the subalpine level of the Rocky Mountains. The town site is surrounded by three valleys: the Smoky River to the north, the Sulphur River to the west, and Victor Lake and Grande Cache Lake to the south. To the east of town is Grande Mountain.

Climate in Grande Cache, Alberta

Grande Cache experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc). Summers are usually mild, but can also be cool or warm depending on the movement of different air masses in the area. Winters are very cold and snowy, lasting from November into March, and sometimes even later.

Demographics of Grande Cache, Alberta

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Grande Cache had a population of 3,276 living in 1,238 of its 1,533 total private dwellings, a change of -8.3% from its 2016 population of 3,571. With a land area of 35.21 km2, it had a population density of 93.0/km2 in 2021.

Attractions in Grande Cache, Alberta

Grande Cache boasts a variety of attractions including the Grande Cache Recreation Centre, Grande Cache Golf and Country Club, the Great Canadian Death Race, Willmore Wilderness Park, Grande Cache Tourism & Interpretive Centre, and the Sulphur Gates Provincial Park.

Infrastructure in Grande Cache, Alberta

Grande Cache is home to the Grande Cache Institution, a medium-security prison.

Transportation in Grande Cache, Alberta

Grande Cache is connected to Grande Prairie and Hinton via Highway 40. There was a community bus service once a week to Grande Prairie and Hinton, but as of November 6, 2020, bus service has been cancelled until further notice. Grande Cache Airport is 24 km outside of town. There are no scheduled flights into Grande Cache Airport, and the airport closed as of January 2017.