Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
The Alaska Highway (97N) is one of the most scenic drives BC has to offer. Starting in Dawson Creek, this historic highway travels through untamed wilderness, hot springs, and breathtaking mountain scenery. There’s a high probability that some pretty incredible wildlife will cross your path, including bison, mountain goats, moose and bears to name a few. Whether you’re interested in day tripping from Dawson Creek or heading out on a multi-day adventure, there’s no shortage of amazing places to stop along this route.
We recently asked our Facebook fans for their favourite places to stop along the Alaska Highway, and here are their top five:
First up is Sikanni Chief Falls Protected Areas, home to the spectacular Sikanni Falls. At 30 metres (98 feet) high, the grandeur and power of these falls is incredible, and can be heard from quite a distance! Stop to stretch your legs, breath in the smell of the lush coniferous forest and take in the spectacular views of the river cascading over steep cliffs. Besides the scenic views, Sikanni Falls is a great spot for hiking, wildlife viewing, photography and fishing – take your pick! Don’t be surprised if you spot goats, elk, moose, or even a black or grizzly bear, as these are some of the wildlife that frequent the area.
In fourth place is Stone Mountain Provincial Park. This 25,691-hectare (63,484-acre) park in the northern Rockies treats travellers to spectacular landscapes, wildlife viewing opportunities and backcountry hiking right off the highway. Choose your own adventure – with trails ranging from a 0.5-km (0.3-mi) walk to a 65-km (40-mi) trek, and activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding, there’s something for everyone. With alpine meadows, lakes and mountain valleys, breathtaking scenery surrounds you. Stone Mountain is home to Summit Lake, the highest point on the Alaska Highway at 1,295 metres (4,250 feet). The lake is an ideal spot to try your luck at catching fish or to head out for a scenic kayak or canoe. Guided multi-day backpack trips are also available. For those looking to stay overnight, there is a provincial campground and lodge within the park.
In at number three is the Sign Post Forest, Watson Lake‘s most famous attraction. Travellers from all over the world have been bringing signs from their hometowns to add to the forest since 1942. The tradition is still continued on today, with over 77,000 signs proudly displayed! Bring along your own sign to add to the collection, or make one at the local Visitors Interpretive Center, where you can also learn about the history of the forest through photos, murals, audio-visual material and more. The town of Watson Lake is known as the “Yukon’s Gateway”, and it’s located at the famous 635 mile marker along the Alaska Highway. If you’re planning to spend some time in Watson Lake, there are several hotels and motels, an RV park, and a large campground on the lake.
In the number two spot is Muncho Lake. Just a few minutes from the Alaska Highway, Muncho Lake’s serenity and seclusion will remind you of what BC’s north is all about. With glorious mountains, wildlife and wildflowers, the park’s scenery is stunning. Muncho Lake itself is a gorgeous jade colour and the true show-stealer of the park. At 12 km (7.5 mi) long, you’ll have plenty of time to take it all in. There are two campgrounds along Muncho Lake – Strawberry Flats and MacDonald, which are perfect jumping off points to explore the many walking trails, take a boat tour, or fish the cold, deep waters. There’s a good chance you’ll see Stone sheep, moose, caribou or mountain goats along this stretch of the highway, so be sure to have your camera ready! When leaving the park, don’t forget to check out the impressive geological formations of Folded Mountain – a sight to be seen!
And Liard River Hot Springs takes the cake at number one! These hot springs are the second largest in Canada and they are the ideal way to unwind after a long day on the road. Surrounded by a lush boreal spruce forest and home to some incredible wildlife, the park is very popular with visitors. A winding boardwalk takes you through the forest and past a warm water swamp to the hot springs pools which range in temperature from 42° C (107.6 ° F) to 52° C (125.6° F). The hot springs were originally known as the “Tropical Valley”, due to the lush plant life influenced by the warmth of the springs. You might spot a moose grazing away on the plants! If you’re planning on staying overnight, the campground fills up early during summer months, so be sure to make a reservation.
Did we miss one of your favourite places to stop along the Alaska Highway? Share with us in the comments below!
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