[Caroline Hinman with baby camel], 1926, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Caroline Hinman fonds (V282/III/B/PS-9)
Caroline Hinman (1884-1966) of New Jersey regularly hosted tours throughout the Canadian Rockies “off the beaten track” from where the bulk of visitors tended to go. Her first introduction to the Rockies was with the Alpine Club of Canada in 1913 and she was so enamoured with the terrain and the simplicity of trail life that she dedicated at least the next 25 years of her life to sharing it with others.
[Six women posing for the camera], ca. 1924, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Caroline Hinman fonds (V282/III/B/PS-136)
[Untitled], 1926, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Caroline HInman fonds (V282/III/B/PS-99)
During the summer months she arranged trips from the eastern United States by train north into Canada and eventually west into the Rockies, from where they would be met by guides and pack trains and the real trip into the mountains began. By her own admission Hinman wanted to share the serenity and adventure she found in the Canadian Rockies with young ladies – she herself never married nor had children, so dedicated was she to sharing the hidden corners of the world with others.
In the winters she was equally busy planning trips to the far-flung corners of the globe: Egypt, the Sudan, the Sahara, Sicily, India, China, Japan, and Russia, just to name a few. No matter where she wandered, Hinman saw to every detail before stepping out her front door. She meticulously planned every step of the travel route, secured accommodation at luxurious hotels (or, if there were no hotel options, then the next best thing), and planned smaller excursions along the way. Her ultimate goal for every destination was to provide an experience for her guests they would otherwise not be offered by the standard tour operators of the day.
[Unidentified woman standing on her horse's back], ca. 1926, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Caroline Hinman fonds (V282/III/B/PS-118)
[Unidentified woman feeding a camel], 1926, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Caroline Hinman fonds (V282/III/B/PS-32)
Not all of Hinman’s trips to the Canadian Rockies were strictly on horseback; she also offered summer trips along the newly completed motor car road between Banff and Jasper. Guests stayed in the Canadian Pacific hotels and travelled in glass-domed buses and trains. So long as Hinman's trips enabled her to visit the high clean airs of the mountains and escape the hustle and bustle of city life, she was happy to inject elements of modern travel into her ramblings through the Rockies.
Caroline Hinman fell in love with the wild places of the Canadian Rockies when she first laid eyes on them. While she remained a life long resident of New Jersey, she was a stalwart advocate for the benefits of clean mountain air and the peace to be found off the beaten track.