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6-2540-Muncho-Lake
Muncho Lake Provincial Park
(Albert Normandin photo)

Fort Nelson

Geography

Gaze at sweeping views of the northern boreal forest, plains, and northern Rocky Mountains that surround Fort Nelson.

Fort Nelson lies within a relatively flat plains environment, not far from the eastern foothills and within an hour's drive of the Rocky Mountains. The entire area was historically glaciated, which contributed to landforms viewed here today. Fort Nelson is within the Arctic Drainage, with all rivers flowing north into Liard and into the Arctic Ocean.

Alaska Highway Location

The lowest point of the Alaska Highway (305m/1,000ft) is the Muskwa River Bridge, located just before the south entrance to Fort Nelson. Fort Nelson's location at this lower elevation sometimes results in warmer summer temperatures than other sites along the highway.

The highest point of the Alaska Highway is at Summit Lake (Mile 373/601km; Historic Mile 392) in Stone Mountain Provincial Park. Early spring travel can feel like winter at this higher altitude, and snow may be found at the lake in May.

Climate and Weather

In general, Fort Nelson and the Rocky Mountains experience northern climates with relatively cold winters and moderate summer temperatures. Snow conditions are excellent for various winter sports. July temperatures average 17°C/62°F, reaching highs of 37°C/98°F while January temperatures average -21°C/-6°F, dipping as low as -52°C/-61°F.

When traveling into the mountains, be prepared for variable weather such as thunderstorms and squalls (short rain or snow storms). It is a good idea to bring layers of clothing, as temperatures decrease with elevation increases.