Hinton, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1958, population 9640 (2011c), 9738 (2006c). The Town of Hinton is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on the south bank of the Athabasca River, 285 km west of Edmonton. It began as a coal-mining town and railway town in the early 1900s and was named for the manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, William P. Hinton. In 1957 North Western Pulp and Power Ltd - now Hinton Pulp - opened Alberta's first pulp mill in Hinton, and a new town blossomed. The mill remains the town's largest employer. Coal has also remained a cornerstone of the community's economy. However, of 3 mines in operation in the 1970s and 1980s, only one is in operation today.
Tourism has increased in importance with the town capitalizing on its many outdoor attractions including a championship cross-country ski trail and the Beaver Boardwalk, featuring Hinton's wetlands and wildlife. The town is located 27 km east of Jasper National Park. The annual Föhn Festival is a celebration of Hinton's multiculturalism.
Hinton's history is rich and includes a memorable tragedy. In February 1986, 23 people died in a collision between a passenger train and a freight train 10 km east of here. The town's history is showcased in many different areas including storyboards, a forestry museum and the Natural Resources Interpretive Park.