Stewart is geographically a relatively isolated Northern British Columbia community.
Gas stations, amenities, and even people are few and far between, but grizzlies, mountain goats, and eagles are plentiful.
Highway 37 stretches a total of 725km/450mi from Kitimat in the south all the way to the Yukon Border. Approximately halfway along the route, Highway 37A branches off to Stewart and the Pacific Ocean. This part of the highway, a 65km/40mi stretch, was built in 1974. Before that, Stewart was an air- and boat-access only town.
Stewart's relative isolation is part of the reason for its beauty. This part of British Columbia, known as the Stewart-Cassiar region, is home to massive mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, and canyons, all of which are breathtaking. Wildlife in the area includes bears, moose, goats, sheep, eagles and more. This area is big country, and is vast and humbling.
Stewart is especially beautiful as it sits on tidelands at the top of the Portland Canal, the fourth largest fjord in the world. The canal, 145km/90mi long, opens up to the Pacific Ocean south of Ketchikan and north of Prince Rupert. Ice fields to the west and mountains to the east flank the channel.
Small Town Stewart
Stewart is small and flat with a tiny downtown section and a grid layout for the residential area. At the edge of the north side of Stewart, the tidelands are full of geese and other birds. To get a good view of the area and the birds, stroll along the boardwalk behind the Stewart Visitor Centre.
The closest town centre with major stores and amenities is Terrace, which is 327 km/204mi away (about a four-hour drive). This route is regularly closed in the winter for avalanche safety. Stewart is also unique in its close proximity to the United States. Hyder, "the friendliest little ghost town in Alaska," is a two-minute drive down the road. The American customs building can be seen from downtown Stewart.
Climate and Weather
Stewart's winters are impressive. Exceptional snowfalls have been known to cover full size trucks in one night. Summers are equally incredible with long hours of daylight. Stewart has warm winters, cool summers and heavy precipitation. Summer temperatures average approximately 13˚C/55˚F while winter temperatures hover around 0˚C/32˚F.