Before setting out on the journey, have a photo taken at the Mile ‘0’ post in Dawson Creek, then explore the Alaska Highway House for an introduction to the highway’s fascinating history. Tour the Northern Alberta Railway Station Museum and the local art gallery (housed in a renovated grain elevator annex), or take a day trip.
Day trip: View the impressive collection of more than 50 chainsaw carvings in Chetwynd; in Hudson’s Hope, take a guided tour of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam (one of the largest earth-filled structures in the world); and visit the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge to view authentic dinosaur footprints preserved in rock.
Return to Dawson Creek and head north. North of Dawson Creek at Mile 20 is the Kiskatinaw Bridge, one of the last remnants of original construction of the Alaska Highway. This timber bridge is the longest wood curved bridge in North America. Further north in Taylor cross the Peace River. Visit during early August and try panning for gold in the Gold Panning Championships!
Just past Fort St. John are Charlie Lake and Pink Mountain. Fish for walleye and northern pike in Charlie Lake, then admire the rich pink hues of fireweed blossoms on Pink Mountain at sunrise. Continuing north pass the Sikanni Chief Falls, located in an ecological reserve. View the 30m/98ft falls from a scenic vantage point or take a hike through the park. Overnight in Fort Nelson.
Learn about Fort Nelson’s pioneering history at the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum. The nearby Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is known as the “Serengeti of the North” and is one of the last tracts of true wilderness located south of the 60th parallel. Take a guided horseback trip into the area to soak in the larger than life landscape.
En route to Muncho Lake, stop by Stone Mountain Provincial Park. The park offers breathtaking views and remarkable wildlife viewing opportunities, as well as a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking and biking trails suitable for all levels. Hike Summit Ridge, a moderate 4.5 km/2.8mi trail, to see a full panoramic view of the Northern Rockies.
Next on the journey is Muncho Lake Provincial Park, which offers great fishing, boating and walking trails. The real star of this park is the lake itself: it’s deep, cold and tinted jade-green by copper oxides leeching out of the lake bedrock. Guided boat tours are available. When leaving the park, view the impressive geological formations of Folded Mountain and look for wildlife such as Stone’s sheep, moose, caribou, and mountain goats. Overnight at Muncho Lake.
Prepare for a blissful day ahead. A must-see is the Liard River Hot Springs, located 30 minutes north of Muncho Lake, which is Canada’s second largest, natural hot springs system. Follow the boardwalk to the hot springs and along the way watch for moose or eagles. The park’s outdoor hot springs pool has year-round temperatures ranging from 42°C/107°F to 52°C/125°F. Feeling adventurous? Go during winter – relax in the warm waters while the snow-covered forest surrounds you.
Situated at Historical Mile 627 is the official BC-Yukon border. In Watson Lake, don’t miss the Sign Post Forest: a collection of more than 60,000 mileage posts indicating the direction and distance to previous visitors’ hometowns. Overnight in Watson Lake.
Optional: Historical Mile 649 is the junction to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Highway 37). From here, travel south to the Hazeltons in Northern BC. Notable stops include: Boya Lake Provincial Park, where the warm waters are perfect for swimming; Stewart, home to North America’s fifth largest glacier; and Hyder, Alaska where adventurous visitors can become “Hyderized” by taking part in the town’s world-famous tradition.
Optional: Follow the Alaska Highway (Highway 1) north through the Yukon and Alaska to its official end at Delta Junction. Along the way, see icefield ranges, glacial lakes, and some of Canada’s highest mountains. Highlights include: Whitehorse, the thriving capital of the Yukon with artifacts from the town’s Klondike days and life-size exhibits of the animals of the last ice age; and the hiking trails in the Kluane National Park and Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.