On the Hunt to Find Hoodoos

While I've driven through Edson on numerous occasions on my way to Jasper or BC, I had never really bothered to stop there (other than maybe for gas and a bio-break, the town doesn't exactly scream tourist destination). A friend of mine posted a few amazing hoodoo pictures on facebook and said that they were near Edson, much to my suprise.  It was enough to get me hooked; we love hiking but we go to Jasper so often that we were in the mood for a bit of a change in scenery (whiny, right?).

We did a quick google search and the park is pretty much halfway between Edson and Hinton; according to google, Sundance Provincial Park is about a 45-minute drive from either location. We decided to use Edson as a base as all the pet friendly places were booked up in Hinton.

Once in Edson, we stopped at the info centre to see if they had some more details on how to get to this park as online resources were pretty scarce, unfortunately they didn’t have a lot either but were kind enough to print off a google map search for us.

Big mistake, do not, I repeat, do not use the google map. 

Google maps will send you down a logging road that does not lead you to the park and will waste about an hour of your time. After searching and searching I figured out where we needed to go and from highway 16 we headed north onto Range Road 192 (which then quickly turns into Township road 532A). We followed the road until we hit Emerson Creek Road and then headed west (left) until we came upon the park on our left. These roads are gravel and used mainly by logging and oil & gas trucks, so be warned. We were glad that we brought our Jeep instead of our shiny new car as there were a few times we had to pull over into the ditch to let trucks by. I think you could do it in a car but it would be much slower and not quite as enjoyable.

Here are a few maps from google to help you out:

Once we finally arrived (way, way later than planned) we found an empty parking lot with a clean outhouse and a map of the park. This part of the park has 3 trails: the Lake trail, Skyline trail and the Wild Sculpture trail. Since my main goal was the hoodoos, we headed towards the Wild Sculpture trail. This area is beautiful we started off in a densely forested area, with tons of beautiful wildflower, the first part of the trail was well maintained but looked to be lightly used, you travel over rolling hills with nice views of the lake until about 2km in and then there they are, the hoodoos! The dogs seemed to be even more excited about the hoodoos than we were. Every time we came across one, they would run up and try to climb it and we’d have to holler at them to stay off.

We continued on the path to see a few different sections on hoodoos and eventually hit a fork in the trail where you could decide to continue to the Skyline trail or down to the Lake trail. We didn’t make it too far on the lake trail as it was starting to rain and the overgrown trail was getting pretty slippery; this trail is not maintained past a certain point so is a bit difficult to navigate and was covered with tall grass and branches. After our unsuccessful stint down the lake trail we headed back to follow the Skyline trail; this one has some steep sections and there are parts where you are right on the edge of the cliff giving you great views of the lakes though and some of the hoodoos below.

Overall it was a great little trip and we will definitely be back.

Other places to check out in the Edson Area:
Bench Creek Brewing
We stopped by the brewery for a tasting flight and to buy a few growlers. The have a few seats inside and a nice little patio. They do offer tours on set days of the week, check out their site for more details.


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