There are only a few places in the world that could rival the beauty of northern British Columbia. And if there is one route that every traveler should take, it has to be the famous Alaska Highway. Originally constructed during WWII to connect the United States to Alaska, the ALCAN Highway is now a must-visit destination for travelers who want to go on the most amazing road trip of their lives.
Now if you’re planning to explore the Alaska Highway, here are the interesting and unique towns you will encounter:
Located on the eastern side of the Peace River Regional District, Dawson Creek is a small municipality in British Columbia with just over 10,000 residents. It was once a small farming town, but it became a regional hub after the western terminus of the Northern Alberta Railways reached the community in the early 1900s. This is the official start of the Alaska Highway, known as ‘Mile 0.’ Today, Dawson Creek is a bustling town where a lot of travelers stop before driving north to Alaska.
Fort St. John
Fort St. John is a city in northeastern British Columbia with a total land area of 8.5 square miles, making it one of the largest cities along the Alaska Highway. It is also the oldest European-established settlement in British Columbia. The city is located at kilometer 75 of the Alaska Highway and is another popular stop for travelers heading north as it’s the largest city in the region and an excellent place to stock up on supplies for the drive north.
Located at kilometre 980, in Yukon, Canada, Watson Lake was named after American trapper and prospector Frank Watson and it has been the heart of the small forestry industry in Yukon for many years. But for travelers, Watson Lake is a must-visit attraction for its Northern Lights Center and of course, the very popular Sign Post Forest where people from around the world bring signs from home to add to more than 77,000 sign posts displayed in this artificial forest.
Known as the only ‘city’ in the Yukon it is also the largest city in all of northern Canada. Whitehorse is located at kilometer 1420 and it features several man made and natural attractions such as Miles Canyon, the SS Klondike Sternwheeler, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center and Takhini Hot Springs.
The town of Tok was originally a camp for the construction and maintenance of the Alaska Highway, but it grew and became a permanent village at mile 1314 of the Alaska Highway. Today, Tok is the first stop in Alaska for many travelers. It is known as the Gateway to Alaska for this reason and because it is also the junction with the Tok Cut-off highway which leads to Glennallen, Valdez and Anchorage.
Finally, travelers will reach Delta Junction where you can see some of the most spectacular views of the Alaskan range from town. Located southeast of Fairbanks, this city is one of only a few places in the world where there are as many buffalo as there are people. It was originally called Buffalo Center after the government decided to move a free roaming herd of Buffalo here from Montana in the 1920s.
Delta Junction also marks the official end of the Alaska Highway route at mile 1422. Heading north to Fairbanks or south to Valdez you will be travelling on the Richardson Highway.