Motorcycle Touring BC’s Route 16

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The wild forest, mountain, and coastal landscape of British Columbia make it an ideal destination for a motorcycle road trip. Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead Highway, stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the rugged Pacific coastline, offering riders a mix of quiet highway, forest-lined stretches, and curves to explore.

Route Map

An illustrated map with a blue line indicating the route between Mt Robson Provincial Park to Prince Rupert.

This route follows along Highway 16 from Mt Robson Provincial Park to Prince Rupert.

Mt. Robson Provincial Park to Prince George

A motorcycle travels down the highway, with snow-capped mountains in the background.

Mount Robson is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Jong Sun Park

Start your trip in the heart of the Rockies at Mount Robson Provincial Park, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. Catch a glimpse of rare wildlife, admire cascading waterfalls, and explore limestone caves. Tete Jaune Lodge, near the junction of Highway 16 and Highway 5, is a great place to stop for the night. It’s named after a Métis fur trader from the 1800s, Pierre Bostonais, who was nicknamed Tête Jaune (meaning Yellow Head) because of his blonde hair.

Two motorcycles travel down a highway with snow-covered mountains in the background.

Near Tete Jaune Lodge. Photo: Jong Sun Park

Prince George to Smithers

A woman and a man pull over on their motorcycles to take in the view of snow-covered mountains.

Allow plenty of time to stop along the way and enjoy the view. Photo: Jong Sun Park

Prince George is the largest hub you’ll find on Route 16—stock up on supplies and treat yourself to a meal out. Try The Salted Cracker for lunch or the Twisted Cork for dinner. Prince George is located where the Fraser and Nechako rivers meet, and where Highway 97 intersects.

Lakes District, known for its ample fishing options, is two hours west of Prince George. Stop for gas and snacks at Decker Lake Trading Post, and allow extra time to get lost browsing their unique collection of antiques. Trade wheels for wings and explore from the sky with Lakes District Air. You can take a flight tour for the day or fly to a private lake and stay the night in a cozy cabin. Continue to Smithers and stop for a little hike, paddle, golf, or fishing adventure.

Smithers to Terrace

Two motorcyclists travel down a dirt road lined on each side with dense trees.

Riders enjoy a side trip to the Nass Valley. Photo: Jong Sun Park

A hidden gem off Route 16 is the trip to Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park. Follow Highway 113 (Nisga’a Highway) as it winds around Lava Lake and reveals stunning views of the mountains. Watch for bears, which are common here in the summer—you may even see the rare white Kermode bear. Explore the lava beds and visit one of the Nisga’a First Nations villages. Continue through the Nass Valley to Laxgalts’ap to visit the Nisga’a Museum.

Terrace to Prince Rupert

Two motorcycles travel on the highway towards a fog-covered mountain.

On route from Terrace to Prince Rupert. Photo: Jong Sun Park

Arguably the most scenic part of the trip, this final stretch of Route 16 winds through to Prince Rupert with the ocean on one side, forests on the other, and mountains towering above. Prince Rupert is a hub for outdoor activity, so you’ll want to plan some extra time to experience as much as you can. Hop on a fishing boat for the day, take a tour to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary, go for a hike to Butze Rapids, or take a short drive to the historic North Pacific Cannery. Top this ultimate BC road trip off with a few extra days exploring the islands of Haida Gwaii. http://www.khutzlodge.com/tours.html

Know Before You Go

Be sure to check the following resources to plan for the latest conditions:

  • Drive BC is your source for information about road closures, major events, and transportation delays.
  • BC Parks offers information regarding provincial campgrounds and park closures.
  • Recreation Sites and Trails offers alerts, closures, and warnings regarding BC’s rustic campsites and recreational trails.
  • The BC Wildfire Service offers a variety of resources, including an interactive map of all active wildfires across the province.
  • Find a place to camp.
  • Route16.ca to plan your motorcycle trip.
  • Ride safe and remember to watch out for wildlife.

Route 16 from Tourism Prince George on Vimeo.

For more on exploring the north of British Columbia:

Featured Image: Terrace to Prince Rupert. Photo: Jong Sun Park.