Pinto Creek Canyon Natural Area

A T-shaped site north of Hinton, this area supports a unique population of Rocky Mountain Goats which are normally only found in the Rocky Mountain Natural Region.

Facts On Pinto Creek Canyon Natural Area; (Government of Alberta, 2001) [1]

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

This site is home to Alberta’s only population of Mountain Goats outside of the Rocky Mountain Natural Region. These goats are very sensitive to disturbance, especially during the kidding period from May 1 until July 31. Visitation during this period should be limited to minimize stress on newborn kids during their first three months of life. Moose, White-tailed Deer and Elk frequent the area, as well as a variety of foothills bird species.

Pinto Creek has eroded a deep canyon through the relatively soft sandstone hills in this area, and ongoing stream erosion has maintained a series of steep cliff faces along parts of the valley. These discontinuous cliffs provide ideal habitat for the area’s Mountain Goats. There are also hoodoo formations in the area.

The area’s cliffs consist of loose sandstone and rocky outcrops surrounded by a forested plateau of lodgepole pine and white spruce. Labrador tea and mosses dominate the understory. On well-drained slopes above the cliffs, grasses such as bluejoint and hairy wild rye grow and shrubs such as buffaloberry and wolf willow are common. Aspen is abundant along the cliff edges and in the steep gullies that separate the cliffs.

Pinto is Spanish for colour and the name Arthur St. Cyr of the Dominion Land Survey gave this creek while surveying in the area [2]. This site is close to but not adjoining Wildhay Glacial Cascades Natural Area.

Pinto Creek Canyon Site Map (Government of Alberta)
Pinto Creek Canyon Site Map (Government of Alberta)

Site Statistics

Site NamePinto Creek Canyon
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Upper Foothills
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)325/01
PASite ID (Map Ref #)592
Site # (Parks Website)562
Total Area1232.19 ha. (3044.69 ac.)
Recreation Activitiesnone noted
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Pinto Creek Canyon


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Information & Facilities – Pinto Creek Canyon Natural Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2022-12-03).

  1. Alberta Government Fact Sheet (2001), Pinto Creek Canyon Natural Area]
  2. Aubrey, Merrily K., ed. Concise Place Names of Alberta. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006, p. 255.

Further Reading

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