The Alpine Club of Canada

Wates-Gibson Hut

Wates-Gibson Hut

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. Tucked away in a corner of the spectacular Tonquin Valley, the Wates-Gibson Hut is a large and well-equipped log cabin in a fantastic destination for both summer and winter adventures. See all of our huts here.

At A Glance

Trail distance: 17 km  
Elevation Gain: 320 m
Trailhead: Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park  
Family Friendly: Yes
Activities: Mountaineering, Scrambling, Hiking
Technical Considerations: Avalanche Terrain

Tucked away in a corner of the spectacular Tonquin Valley, the Wates-Gibson Hut is a large and well-equipped log cabin located on the shore of Outpost Lake. Seasonal Closures affect access to this hut between November 1 – May 15 to protect sensitive caribou habitat.

Capacity: 26
Hut Location: 52.6626, -118.2551
Heat: Wood
Light: Propane
Stove: Propane
Oven: Propane
Mattress: Yes
Open: Summer only

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.

There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.

Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.



Please note that the Tonquin Valley and the Wates-Gibson Hut are closed annually between November 1 and May 15 for caribou conservation.

In winter, the Cavell road stays closed until May 15 for caribou conservation. After May 15 the road is trackset for cross-country skiing. The road is typically open to vehicles from mid-June to October 15.

Tucked away in a corner of the spectacular Tonquin Valley, this large and well-equipped log cabin is a fantastic destination both summer and winter. There are a number of excellent alpine rock and mixed routes in the area as well as some delightful scrambles and many superb hiking opportunities. Something for everyone.

This third version of the Wates-Gibson Memorial hut was built in 1959 after two previous structures in different locations were found to be inadequate for various reasons.

The most popular approach in summer and winter follows the Astoria river trail from the Edith Cavell hostel, a distance of about 18 km. In winter the access road to the hostel is closed, so one needs to add about 12 km to the total distance. Some people will use the hostel as a half-way point then continue to the hut the next day. Contact Hostelling International at (780) 852-3215 for more info if planning to do this. For detailed info on the winter access route one should refer to Chic Scott’s excellent guidebook ‘Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies’.

The potential for ski trips from the hut is huge. With imagination and a sense of adventure, it is possible to spend many winter days doing new trips and returning to the cabin each evening to sit in front of the wood stove and relax in pure comfort! The propane system for lighting and cooking adds to the comfort and convenience that one will experience year round at the hut


Pricing is subject to change without notice.


Pricing is subject to change without notice.

Summer (May 1 to October 30)
There are no pre-set booking schedule for these dorm-style huts. Guests may book and stay for any period.
Overnight rates are inclusive of all fees and charges, including Parks Canada fees.
Beginning summer 2022, Parks Canada Wilderness Pass fees will not be added to your booking.


Sleeping Capacity: 26 in summer, 24 in winter

Bedding: Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag

Cooking: Propane stove and oven – propane is supplied. Pots and pans, dishware and cutlery are provided.

Bathroom: Outhouse

Lighting: Propane lighting – propane is supplied

Heat: Wood stove – firewood is provided

Water Source: Snow melt, Creek



  • Mountaineering
  • Scrambling
  • Trail Hiking
  • Alpine Rock Climbing

Summer Access: The Astoria River Trail begins at the Edith Cavell Parking lot. The trail follows the Astoria River for most of its length, gaining very little elevation over 19 km (5-6 hours). Open to bike travel from May 15 – mid June, and October (annually).

Winter Access: An extra day is added to the approach as the road to the Edith Cavell Parking lot is not plowed in winter. The trip can be broken up nicely with an overnight at the HI-Mount Edith Cavell Hostel.

Quick Description: 5-6 hours hiking via Astoria River Trail.
Elevation Gain to Hut: 320 m (1,050 ft)
Approach Time: 5-6 hours
Approach Description: Printable PDF
Trail Conditions: BC Parks

ACC Members may make reservations up to 6 months in advance. To access this benefit, please LOG IN to your membership account and follow the prompts.

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Non-Members are welcome to make reservations up to 3 months in advance.

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References And Links