Heading west from Edmonton toward Jasper, Hwy 16 is a long and fairly monotonous drive through rolling wooded hills and past ranches with what appear to be a bazillion cows. Hinton is a small, rough-around-the-edges town carved from the bush. It's here that you'll get your first true view of the Rockies. The pervasive logging industry keeps the majority of the town's population gainfully employed.
Just northwest of Hinton lies the tiny settlement of Grande Cache. There's little of interest in this small industry town – only a few overpriced hotels aimed at expense-account-wielding natural-resources workers. However, the drive along Highway 40 between Hinton and Grande Cache is spectacular, with rolling forested foothills, lakes and abundant wildlife.