The Alaska Highway: Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson


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Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson

A brewing stormThe Alaska Highway begins at Mile Zero in Dawson Creek and travels through northern BC, the Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska. Construction of this military supply route started in February 1942. Employing over 10,000 soldiers and 16,000 civilians it was completed in eight months and twelve days. After the war the Canadian Government took over the highway but it took more than two years until the general public could travel it.

From Dawson Creek the highway meanders 75 km (47 miles) through farmlands and past the Kiskatinaw Provincial Park to Fort St. John, through mountains and past lakes to Fort Nelson. Mile Zero starts at the junction of the Hart/Alaska/49/2 Highways. You may wish to stop at the Peace River Valley Viewpoint, go boating on the Peace River from the Taylor Landing Provincial Park or camp at Peace Island Park

Taylor:
Taylor is situated in a scenic valley on the Peace River at Mile 35 on the Alaska Highway. Named for Herbie Taylor, the first settler in the area, Taylor is now an important oil, natural gas, agriculture and forestry centre.

Peace Island Park:
On the banks of the Peace River, this is the home of the World's Invitational Gold Panning Championships

Fort St. John:
Located at Mile 47 on the Alaska Highway, Fort St. John is a booming city with a strong economy in oil, gas, agriculture and lumber. The North West Company built Rock Mountain Fort on the Peace River near here in 1794, making it the oldest European settlements in the province. This area has an interesting First Nations history and at nearby Charlie Lake archaeologists recently uncovered artifacts of the Paleo Indians who lived here over 10,000 years ago.

Monument to Alexander Mackenzie:
This monument pays tribute to the first European explorer of the area. It is located on Mackenzie Street in Centennial Park.

Fort St. John - North Peace Museum:
Featuring a reconstructed schoolhouse, trapper's cabin, pioneer and First Nations artifacts, the museum is located behind the large oil derrick on the Alaska Highway.

Charlie Lake:
At Mile Zero, 7 km (4 miles) from Fort St. John is the turnoff to Beatton Provincial Park and Charlie Lake Provincial Park. Both provide good fishing for walleyes and northern pike, water sports and camping. North from Charlie Lake is the junction for Highway 29 (13 km or 8 miles from Fort St. John) which leads to Hudson's Hope and Chetwynd.

Wonowon:
This is Mile 101 on the Alaska Highway, 85 km (51 miles) north of Fort St. John. During WWII this was a military checkpoint. After leaving Wonowon you will pass through densely treed wilderness and past stunning viewpoints.

Pink Mountain:
62 km (38 miles) north of Wonowon at Mile 143 is Pink Mountain. The views of the mountains and wildflowers are beautiful from this 1100 m (3608 feet) vantage point. The highway then descends 5 km (3 miles) into the Beatton River Valley. Excellent whitefish, grayling and pike fishing is possible at the Sikannie Chief River Bridge (Mile 162) 29km (18miles) beyond Pink Mountain.

Buckinghorse River Provincial Park (Mile 173):
Located 23 km (14 miles) north of the Sikannie Chief River Bridge at the edge of the Rocky Mountain Foothills, the park offers over 30 camping sites, tourist services and good grayling fishing. North of the park is Trutch Mountain which once held a highway pass at 1,260 m (4,132 feet). Today the highway follows the scenic Minnaker River Valley.

Prophet River Provincial Recreation Area (Mile 217):
This densely wooded park is located 73 km (45 miles) north of the Buckinghorse River Park. There are over 35 campsites, natural springs and good wildlife viewing. Tourist facilities are available in Prophet River (Mile 217), 15 km (9 miles) from the park. 66 km (41 miles) from Prophet River is the Andy Bailey Provincial Recreation Area; turn east off of the Alaska Highway and travel for 12 km (7 miles) Jackfish Lake to fish for northern pike. The Muskawa River Bridge (Mile 307) is the lowest point on the Alaska Highway.

Fort Nelson (Mile 300 on the Alaska Highway):
First established as a North West Company fur trading post in the early 1800's, Fort Nelson today relies on lumber and natural gas. The BC Railway northern terminus is located here. Near Fort Nelson the Muskawa, Prophet and Sikanni Chief Rivers meet to create the Fort Nelson River which leads into the Laird River.

Fort Nelson Historical Museum:
The museum features exhibits on the construction of the Alaska Highway, the Hudson's Bay Company, trapping and the history of Fort Nelson and is located at the north end of town.

Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park:
Located 160 km (99 miles) southwest of Fort Nelson, this wilderness park has no road access. Fly-in, hiking and horseback treks and tours are available.

Continue Your Journey North on the Alaska Highway North

 

 

 

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The Alaska Highway: Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson