Tour down the scenic Stewart-Cassiar (Highway 37) and experience the delights of northwestern BC on this three- to seven-day road trip.
Start your adventure in Terrace, Northwest BC’s central hub with daily flights from Vancouver.
Browse local fare at the Skeena Valley Farmers Market then stroll through the lush forest along the Howe Creek Trail or check out the tree carvings at Ferry Island. Adventurous hikers can take on sub-alpine hikes in Sleeping Beauty Provincial Park and Bornite Mountain, a moderate hike that follows an old mining trail to a sub-alpine ridge where remnants of historic mining sites can be found. The peak offers panoramic views of Skeena Valley and surrounding ranges.
Learn about the area’s rich history and experience the mighty Skeena with Northern BC Jet Boat Tours. Or, treat yourself to a day of guided fishing for salmon or steelhead with Skeena Spey or Westcoast Fishing Adventures. The mountain biking in Terrace is world class, and enjoyable for all levels. A short drive down Highway 16 brings you to nearby Extew Falls, which rewards visitors with cool mists and roaring sounds of tumbling water.
From Terrace, take Highway 113 up the Nass Valley to the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park with a self-guided auto tour through the area to see remnants of a volcanic eruption, numerous waterfalls, and the tranquil Drowned Forest. (Note for as of September 1, 2020, the communities in this area are not welcoming visitors. Please check latest updates before you consider visiting this area to ensure you are travelling safely and responsibly.)
Drive east along Highway 16 to Kitwanga – the junction to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. Relive history on an interpretive walking trail at Battle Hill National Historic Site before turning north onto Route 37, the Stewart Cassiar Highway.
Side Trip: Drive an hour east on Highway 16 to the Hazeltons and visit the world-renowned ‘Ksan Historical Village. Learn about Gitxsan history and culture, see traditional totem carvers at work, and stroll the shore where the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers meet.
Head toward Meziadin Junction. Along the way enjoy a picnic, swim, or paddle at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park taking in the scenery and crystal clear water. Be on the lookout for wildlife, especially black bears, which can be spotted along the highway.
From Meziadin Junction, take Highway 37A west to Stewart.
Visit the Stewart Historical Museum, which is housed in a 1910 fire hall, to learn about the town’s colourful mining past. Stroll along the boardwalk for spectacular views of the Portland Canal, or stay the night at the renowned Ripley Creek Inn and borrow free cruiser bikes to explore town.
Don’t forget to visit Toastworks, a museum dedicated to—you guessed it—toasters. (It also happens to serve some of the best coffee and breakfast in town.) Before heading out, be sure to pick up a gooey cinnamon bun at Temptations Bakery and Deli.
Follow Highway 37 north from Meziadin Junction to Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park to take in sweeping views of the Todagin Mountains to the east and the Klastline Plateau to the west. A quick paddle across Natadesleen Lake brings you to the trailhead to the dramatic Cascade Falls.
Trip Option: From Tatogga Lake, take a flight-seeing tour with Alpine Lakes Air over the volcanic wilderness of Mount Edziza Provincial Park, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, look into a horseback riding expedition with Spatsizi River Adventures.
This region is known for its high concentration of jade. Drive north to the Jade City to browse locally mined jade-based souvenirs. Take a side trip to the ghost town of Cassiar and be sure to stop at Tā Ch’ilā Provincial Park (Boya Lake) to swim or paddle in the vibrant aquamarine waters.
From here, you can continue on the Great Northern Circle Route, or turn back to hit any stops you missed along the way.
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Feature Photo: Northern BC Tourism/Mike Seehagel