Pocahontas is a campground, an unincorporated area in Improvement District No. 12 (Jasper National Park) within Alberta’s Rockies. It is located on Highway 16, approximately 38 km (24 mi) northeast of Jasper, at the junction that provides access to Jasper National Park‘s Miette Hot Springs.
It is a former coal mining town named after Pocahontas, Virginia, also a coal mining town.
A one-time mining community that produced heaps of poor-quality, smokeless coal for the Allied war effort during WWI, Pocahontas was once the largest settlement in Jasper National Park and home to hundreds of miners. When the market price for coal fell in 1921 the town slipped into a rapid decline, becoming a veritable ghost town nine years later when the 1930 National Parks Act banned mining in the park for good.
All that remains of Pocahontas today are some overgrown ruins, an antiquated superintendent’s home and a set of rather plush tourist facilities, otherwise known as the Pocahontas Cabins. Visitors can amuse themselves on a 1km wheelchair-accessible interpretive trail that meanders around the old mining site, re-creating the days when the government encouraged resource extraction from the park in return for handsome royalties.
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