Tonquin Valley – Something for Everyone
seasonal caribou closure
Please note that the Tonquin Valley and the Wates-Gibson Hut are closed annually between November 1 and May 15 for caribou conservation.
Edith Cavell Road - Winter
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
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
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