Fort St. James National Historic Site
(Picture BC photo)

Fort St. James


Fort St. James is located on the southeast end of long and narrow Stuart Lake.

Measuring 90km/56mi long and up to 10km/6mi wide, Stuart Lake is one of British Columbia's largest natural freshwater lakes. It's also a starting point for a 300km/186mi chain of other lakes.

Stuart River

The Stuart River, part of Stuart River Provincial Park, cuts into the lake, west of town near its entrance. Mount Pope, an iconic hike, sits north of town and looks down onto the lake. Trek up the mountain to get great views of the region.

Between the Rocky and Coastal Mountains

Fort St. James is situated on the plateau between the Rocky Mountains in the east and the Coastal Mountains on the west. Surrounding the town is a combination of flat and rolling agricultural land. There's also a vast abundance of untouched forest, and wildlife.

The Drive to Town

Fort St. James is a destination town. To get there, travellers must turn east off Highway 16, the main highway through northwest BC, onto Highway 27. Fort St. James is off the highway, about 60km/37mi from Vanderhoof, which is about 100km/62mi north of Prince George.

East along Highway 27, just before Fort St. James, is the Nak'Azdli First Nations village. Continue from here, north along Highway 27, passing the Murray Ridge Ski Area and wild untouched nature. Three Tl'Azt'En First Nations villages are also in this area.

Climate and Weather

Winters in Fort St. James are snowy with an average temperature of -10°C/14°F. The summer climate hovers just under 20°C/68°F, give or take. Annual average rainfall is a little less than 29cm/11in, while the average snowfall is a little more than 200cm/79in.