Wates-Gibson Hut

Hut Bookings during COVID

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 February 15 for caribou conservation.

Edith Cavell Road - Winter

In winter, the Cavell road stays closed until February 15 for caribou conservation. After Feb 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

At A Glance

General: On the north shore of Outpost Lake in the Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park
Map and Grid Reference: 83D/9 (Amethyst Lakes); Grid Reference: 151354
Hut Elevation: 1,900 m (6,235 ft)
GPS: NAD83 11U 415108 5835479
Lat / Long: 52°39' 48"-118°15' 24"
Open: Closed Nov. 1 to Feb. 15 annually
Rates: See Below

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: Parks Canada
How To Book

Check Availability - Winter 2020/21

(Whole Hut)

Winter 2020/21

Length of stay ACC Member Non-Member
2-night stay $800 $880
3-night stay $1,065 $1,171.50
6-night stay $1,865 $2,051.50

Check Hut Availability - Winter 2020/21

Request a Hut Booking - WINTER 2020/21


Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Propane stove and oven – propane is supplied
Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Wood stove – firewood is provided
Snow melt, Creek

Recreational Opportunities

  • Mountaineering
  • Scrambling
  • Trail Hiking
  • Alpine Rock Climbing
  • Ski Touring
  • Ski Mountaneering


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)

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.

Printable detailed approach description

References and Links

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal, and foam mattresses, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Guests are 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.