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Great Northern Circle Route

Alaska Highway, Stone Mountain Provincial Park

(Albert Normandin photo)

Transportation & Maps

Great Northern Circle Route

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10+ days, 3194.68 km (1985.08 mi)

Hikers along a trail in the Ancient Forest, Prince George (Northern BC Tourism photo)
Hikers along a trail in the Ancient Forest, Prince George (Northern BC Tourism photo)

This spectacular road odyssey travels through the untamed wilderness and geological wonders of BC's magnificent north. Bountiful fishing opportunities and plentiful wildlife viewing are complemented with numerous natural and historical attractions.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Prince George Railway Museum, JF Bergeron photo
Part 1
Prince George

370.03 km - about 4 hours 38 min

Start your journey in the vibrant, modern city of Prince George. This outdoor playground has more than 120 parks and plenty of indoor attractions. Discovery is the theme at The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre in Fort George Park, which features galleries about paleontology, First Nations, history, nature and more.

Admire modern, contemporary artwork at the Two Rivers Art Gallery or visit the vintage railway collections at the Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum. Nearby, tour Huble Homestead, a fully restored early 1900s homestead and trading post.

Drive north on Highway 97 to scenic Pine Pass. Stop at breathtaking Bijoux Falls before heading to Chetwynd.

WAC Bennett Dam, JF Bergeron photo
Part 2
Hudson's Hope and Dawson Creek

165.99 km - about 2 hours 4 min

Head north on Highway 29 to Hudson’s Hope, and visit the WAC Bennett Dam to learn about one of the largest earth-filled structures in the world. Backtrack to Hudson’s Hope – known as the “Land of the Dinosaurs” – and peruse the dinosaur fossil and footprint collection at the Hudson’s Hope Museum.

From Hudson’s Hope, one can continue northeast on Highway 29 to Fort St. John. This stretch of highway runs parallel to the spectacular Peace River for more than 70km/43mi. (Note: Map shows this option.)

Alternatively, backtrack south to Chetwynd and detour south to Tumbler Ridge. Head out on a “Dinosaur Trackway Tour” to hike to dinosaur footprints. Backtrack north to Highway 97 and head east to Dawson Creek.

Mile 0 at Dawson Creek
Part 3
Dawson Creek

74.34 km - about 0 hours 57 min

Overnight in Dawson Creek – Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway – and visit the local art gallery, which is housed in a renovated grain elevator annex. Before continuing north on the Alaska Highway, stop by the Alaska Highway House to learn about the building of this famous road.

Continue north on Highway 97 to Fort St. John.

Moose
Part 4
Fort St. John to Watson Lake, Yukon

893.17 km - about 11 hours 16 min

Just outside of Fort St. John, stop at the picturesque 13-km/8-mi long Charlie Lake, known for its fishing opportunities. Angle for trout, Arctic grayling, walleye and northern pike. Further north, stop to photograph the rich hues of Pink Mountain at sunrise.

The stretch of highway north to Fort Nelson has outstanding roadside wildlife viewing – spot deer, moose and the occasional black bear. Fort Nelson is a friendly town initially founded during the fur trade. Don’t miss the superb Fort Nelson Museum, which showcases the construction era of the Alaska Highway.

As you head north, look for Stone's sheep, American bison and other wildlife. Camp at Muncho Lake Provincial Park; this beautiful jade green lake is nestled in a valley surrounded by folded mountains and brilliant wildflowers. Further north, soak in Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park's natural pools.

Boya Lake Provincial Park, BC Parks photo
Part 5
Watson Lake Sign Post Forest

256.12 km - about 3 hours 41 min

Stop at the famous sign post forest in Watson Lake, Yukon. More than 67,900 license plates, road shields and homemade signs are mounted here. Make your mark, then head south on scenic Stewart-Cassiar Highway 37 to swim in Boya Lake Provincial Park’s crystal clear waters. Continue south to Dease Lake.

Stikine River Canyon
Part 6
Telegraph Creek and Stikine Canyon to Stewart

612.62 km - about 12 hours 1 min

From the town of Dease Lake, adventurous travellers can take a side trip to Telegraph Creek along the edge of the great Stikine River. (Note: this road is steep and narrow in some places and not recommended for large RVs.) Behold the breathtaking “Grand Canyon of the Stikine,” an 80-km/50-mi stretch of impassable waters charging through canyons 300m/1,000ft deep, then flowing downriver to Telegraph Creek. In Telegraph Creek, a former access point to the northern gold fields, visit an original Hudson’s Bay Trading Post. Back on Highway 37, go fishing in Iskut or paddle the Iskut Lake Chain. This is a wilderness experience without amenities. Plan ahead and take a fly fishing or horseback riding adventure into remote Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park.

Detour an hour west at Meziadin Junction on Highway 37A to the rustic town of Stewart, on the BC/Alaska border. Along the way, you'll pass Bear Glacier – one of the few roadside blue glaciers in the world.

Salmon Glacier near Stewart, JF Bergeron photo
Part 7
Glaciers, Bear Viewing and Totem Poles

328.49 km - about 4 hours 37 min

From Stewart, cross the border into Hyder, which sits at the head of Portland Canal. Tour the magnificent Salmon Glacier, one of North America’s largest, or climb the bear viewing platform at Fish Creek to see black bears and grizzly bears fishing for salmon.

Backtrack south on Highway 37 and drive through the Kispiox Valley – home to more than 50 First Nations totem poles – then head east along Highway 16. In the Hazeltons, visit ‘Ksan Historical Village, which features northwest-style longhouses and a museum. Continue south to Smithers.

Driving near Smithers
Part 8
Smithers to Fort St. James

333.96 km - about 3 hours 59 min

Near Smithers, stop alongside the highway to view the raging rapids of Moricetown Canyon. Further along the highway, venture near the thunder of cascading Twin Falls, which are fed by the Hudson Bay Mountain glaciers. Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park features one of the world’s most significant fossil beds. Explore the plant, animal and insect species that inhabited the area 50 million years ago and remain preserved in the shale formations.

Northeast of Smithers are the rugged peaks and abundant wildlife of Babine Mountains Provincial Park. South on Highway 35 is Burns Lake, the gateway to the Lakes District with more than 300 wilderness fishing lakes. Return to Highway 16 and travel east. Near Vanderhoof, take a detour north to Fort St. James National Historic Site to experience the fascinating history of Canada’s fur trade.

Fort St. James National Historic Site, JF Bergeron/Enviro Foto photo
Part 9
Fort St. James and Return to Prince George

159.96 km - about 2 hours 34 min

Fort St. James was established by explorer Simon Fraser in 1806 for the North West Company, the site was dubbed “the Siberia of the Fur Trade” because of its harsh winters. Today, Fort St. James National Historic Site is reconstructed to the year 1896, and it includes a re-created Hudson’s Bay trading post. Original log buildings have been restored to create the largest grouping of wooden buildings representing the fur trade in Canada.

Fort St. James is also the gateway to excellent fishing on numerous lakes, including Stuart Lake. An hour’s drive along on a gravel road, you’ll find exceptional canoeing on the Nation Lakes Chain – a 5 to 10 day, 120-km/74-mi route through four wilderness lakes.

To finish the circle route, return to Prince George via Highway 16 east.

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 City  Visitor Centre  Driving Route

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Prince George - 370.03 km - about 4 hours 38 min
1.

Head west on Patricia Blvd

0.11 km
2.

Slight right to stay on Patricia Blvd

0.04 km
3.

Turn left to stay on Patricia Blvd

0.45 km
4.

Continue onto 15 Ave

1.76 km
5.

Turn right onto Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 N (signs for Dawson Creek)Continue to follow BC-97 N

301.84 km
6.

Slight left toward BC-29 N (signs for Hudson's Hope/Fort Saint John)

0.05 km
7.

Turn left onto BC-29 N

0.03 km
8.

Turn right onto N Access Rd

0.25 km
9.

Take the 1st right toward John Hart Hwy/BC-29 N/BC-97 S

0.04 km
10.

Turn right onto John Hart Hwy/BC-29 N/BC-97 SDestination will be on the left

0.16 km
11.

Head west on John Hart Hwy/BC-29 N/BC-97 S

0.08 km
12.

Take the 1st right onto BC-29 N

65.06 km
13.

Turn right onto Canyon Dr/BC-29 NDestination will be on the left

0.16 km
Part 2 - Hudson's Hope and Dawson Creek - 165.99 km - about 2 hours 4 min
1.

Head southwest on Canyon Dr/BC-29 S toward Dr Greene St

0.16 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto Beattie Dr/BC-29 SContinue to follow BC-29 S

65.06 km
3.

Turn left onto John Hart Hwy/BC-29 S/BC-97 NContinue to follow John Hart Hwy/BC-97 N

99.56 km
4.

Slight right onto Alaska Ave/Dawson Creek-Tupper HwyDestination will be on the right

1.20 km
Part 3 - Dawson Creek - 74.34 km - about 0 hours 57 min
1.

Head northwest on Alaska Ave/Dawson Creek-Tupper Hwy toward 13 StContinue to follow Alaska Ave

72.68 km
2.

Turn right onto 100 St

1.30 km
3.

Turn left onto 102 AveDestination will be on the left

0.37 km
Part 4 - Fort St. John to Watson Lake, Yukon - 893.17 km - about 11 hours 16 min
1.

Head west on 102 Ave toward 104 St

0.05 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto 104 St

0.21 km
3.

Take the 2nd right onto 100 Ave

1.16 km
4.

Turn right onto Alaska Hwy/BC-97 N

378.34 km
5.

Turn right onto Airport DrDestination will be on the left

0.10 km
6.

Head south on Airport Dr toward 50 Ave N

0.09 km
7.

Take the 2nd right onto Alaska Hwy/BC-97 NContinue to follow Alaska HwyEntering Yukon Territory

513.22 km
Part 5 - Watson Lake Sign Post Forest - 256.12 km - about 3 hours 41 min
1.

Head west on Alaska Hwy/YT-1 W toward Canyon Blvd

21.21 km
2.

Turn left onto Dease Lake Hwy/Stewart-Cassiar Hwy/YT-37 S (signs for Stewart/Kitwanga)Continue to follow Dease Lake Hwy/Stewart-Cassiar HwyEntering British Columbia

234.87 km
3.

Turn right onto Stikine St

0.03 km
4.

Take the 1st left onto Commercial DrDestination will be on the left

0.01 km
1.

Head north on Commercial Dr toward Stikine St

0.01 km
2.

Turn left onto Stikine St

0.23 km
3.

Turn right onto First Ave

0.16 km
4.

Take the 1st left onto Boulder Ave

1.18 km
5.

Turn left onto Telegraph Creek Rd

108.61 km
6.

Head south

97.41 km
7.

Continue straight onto Telegraph Creek Rd

11.20 km
8.

Turn right onto Boulder Ave

1.40 km
9.

Turn right onto Dease Lake Hwy/Stewart-Cassiar Hwy/BC-37 S (signs for Stewart/Kitwanga)

331.07 km
10.

Continue onto Glacier Hwy/BC-37A W

58.88 km
11.

Turn left onto Davis StDestination will be on the right

2.48 km
Part 7 - Glaciers, Bear Viewing and Totem Poles - 328.49 km - about 4 hours 37 min
1.

Head northeast toward Davis St

1.38 km
2.

Continue straight onto Davis St

1.10 km
3.

Turn right onto Glacier Hwy/BC-37A E

58.88 km
4.

Turn right onto Dease Lake Hwy/Stewart-Cassiar Hwy/BC-37 S

156.42 km
5.

Turn left onto Yellowhead Highway E/BC-16 E (signs for Prince George/Trans Canada Highway)Destination will be on the left

43.56 km
6.

Head east on Yellowhead Highway E toward Kelly St

66.61 km
7.

Turn right onto Queen St

0.11 km
8.

Turn left onto 4 Ave

0.20 km
9.

Take the 1st left onto Main St

0.11 km
10.

Take the 1st left onto Yellowhead Highway WDestination will be on the left

0.11 km
Part 8 - Smithers to Fort St. James - 333.96 km - about 3 hours 59 min
1.

Head northwest on Yellowhead Highway W toward Queen St

0.10 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto Queen St

0.12 km
3.

Turn left onto 4 Ave

0.20 km
4.

Take the 1st left onto Main St

0.10 km
5.

Turn right onto Yellowhead Highway E

144.26 km
6.

Turn left onto BC-35 S

0.02 km
7.

Take the 1st right toward Yellowhead Highway W

0.12 km
8.

Take the 1st right onto Yellowhead Highway W

0.44 km
9.

Head northwest on Yellowhead Highway W toward Centre St

0.15 km
10.

Take the 1st right onto Centre St

0.12 km
11.

Take the 1st left onto 1 Ave

0.11 km
12.

Turn left onto Yellowhead Highway E

127.56 km
13.

Head west on 1 St/Yellowhead Highway W toward Lampitt AveContinue to follow Yellowhead Highway W

6.98 km
14.

Turn right onto Stuart Lake Hwy/BC-27 N (signs for Fort Saint James)

53.67 km
15.

Turn right onto Stuart Dr EDestination will be on the left

0.02 km
Part 9 - Fort St. James and Return to Prince George - 159.96 km - about 2 hours 34 min
1.

Head west on Stuart Dr E toward Douglas Ave/Stuart Lake Hwy/BC-27 S

0.02 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto Douglas Ave/Stuart Lake Hwy/BC-27 SContinue to follow Stuart Lake Hwy/BC-27 S

53.66 km
3.

Turn left onto Yellowhead Highway E/BC-16 E (signs for Trans Canada Highway)

105.11 km
4.

Turn left onto Victoria St/Yellowhead Highway E/BC-16 E (signs for Trans Canada Highway)

0.56 km
5.

Turn right onto Patricia Blvd

0.46 km
6.

Take the 1st right to stay on Patricia BlvdDestination will be on the right

0.15 km