Dawson Creek is in the dry and windy prairie land of the Peace River Country. As the seat of the Peace River Regional District and a service centre for the rural areas south of the Peace River, the city has been called the "Capital of the Peace". It is also known as the "Mile 0 City", referring to its location at the southern end of the Alaska Highway.
Unlike most of the province, the city and its region use Mountain Standard Time (UTC−07:00) all year round, since the area already has long daylight hours in the summer and short daylight hours in the winter. In other words, residents of the region never change their clocks – Pacific Daylight Time is used during the spring, summer and early fall, and Mountain Standard Time during the late fall and winter.
- 1 Dawson Creek Visitor Information Centre, 900 Alaska Ave. (located in the NAR Railway Station Museum), ☏ .
Dawson Creek derives its name from the creek of the same name that runs through the community. The creek was named after George Mercer Dawson by a member of his land survey team when they passed through the area in August 1879. Once a small farming community, Dawson Creek became a regional centre after the western terminus of the Northern Alberta Railways was extended there in 1932. The community grew rapidly in 1942 as the US Army used the rail terminus as a transshipment point during construction of the Alaska Highway. In the 1950s, the city was connected to the interior of British Columbia via a highway and railway through the Rocky Mountains. Since the 1960s, growth has slowed.
In the summer, the city is often dusty and arid; temperatures during the day are warm, but cool at night, typically falling below 10 °C (50 °F). Highs reaching 30 °C (86 °F) occur only twice per year on average. Heavy rain showers are sporadic, lasting only a few minutes. In the winter, the city can get bitterly cold and dry, with 17 to 18 days of −30 °C (−22 °F) lows per year. It is subject to very strong winds year round.
- BC Bus North, ☏ . Provide bus service on the following routes:
- Between Prince George and Fort St. John twice per week with stops in Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and Taylor. Travel time to Dawson Creek from Fort St. John is 1 hours and from Prince George is 6.5 hours. Fare is $48.
- Between Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson once per week with stops in Taylor and Fort St. John. Travel time to Dawson Creek from Fort St. John is 1 hours and from Prince George is 6.75 hours. Fare is $49.
- Cold Shot, ☏ , email@example.com. Bus service from Monday to Friday between Fort St. John and Grande Prairie with stops in Dawson Creek, Hythe, and Beaverlodge. Travel time to Dawson Creek from Fort St. John 1 hour and from Grand Prairie is 2 hours. Also offers bus service between Grande Prairie and Edmonton.
There are larger airports in Fort St. John and Grande Prairie that have more comprehensive flight schedules.
- Highway 97 - west to Chetwynd and Prince George and north to Fort St. John
- Highway 2 (becomes Alberta Highway 43) - south to Grande Prairie/Edmonton
British Columbia Highway 97 (the Alaska Highway) runs north from Dawson Creek to Fort St. John and the Yukon – where it becomes Highway 1 – before reaching Alaska. The other highways emanating from Dawson Creek are the John Hart Highway, also 97 (southwest to Chetwynd and Prince George), Highway 2 (south to Grande Prairie and southern Alberta), and Highway 49 (east to Peace River and northern Alberta).
By public transit
- BC Transit (Dawson Creek Transit System), ☏ . Operates bus routes within Dawson Creek from Monday to Saturday.
Dawson Creek's road network generally follows a grid pattern around large blocks of land. Because the grid contains many internal intersections with stop signs, traffic is forced onto two arterial roads: 8 Street going north–south and Alaska Avenue going southeast–northwest. These two roads meet at a traffic circle where a metal statue marks the beginning of the Alaska Highway.
- 1 Northern Alberta Railway Park, 900 Alaska Ave., ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. hours varies - see website. Includes a station museum.
- 2 Mile Zero Park (at mile one of the Alaska Highway, near the junction of Highway 97 South and the Alaska Highway). Included in this park are Walter Wright Pioneer Village, Rotary Lake, and the fabulous horticultural features of "Gardens North".
- 4 Dawson Creek Art Gallery, 816 Alaska Ave, ☏ . Jun 15-Aug 31: daily 8AM-5PM; Sep 1-Jun 14: Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-4PM. It is housed in a renovated annex of a prairie grain elevator, in NAR Park in the center of Dawson Creek. It features local, regional and touring exhibitions year round. Gift shop.
- Down Town Mural Project. Each mural represents some aspect of the building of the Alaska Highway. The murals were designed to enhance the alleyways of the downtown core and to provide an interesting experience for visitors to the community.
- 5 Mile '0' of the Alaska Highway (10 St & 102 Ave, downtown Dawson Creek).
- 6 Start Alaska Highway (Northern Alberta Railway Park, near Hwy 2/49 Jct).
- 1 Encana Events Centre, #1 300 Highway 2, ☏ , toll-free: . Spectator events such as concerts, shows, and conventions.
Dawson Mall has some local stores but offers limited goods. Local tourist office where you can buy souvenirs of Alaska Highway and Dawson Creek is located in downtown Dawson Creek, across the Bank of Montreal.
- Vintage & Restroration Love, 908 102 Ave, ☏ . M-F 10AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Vintage furniture, trinkets, specialty foods, locally made products, new reproduction decor,
- Stuie's Diner, 10516 8 St. M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-8PM. 1950s themed diner.
- Fixx Urban Grill, 512 Highway 2 (next to the Stonebridge Hotel), ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Eclectic menu: Asian and Mexican Fusion, steaks and made-in-house burgers. Gluten-free options.
- Le's Family Restaurant, 801 111 Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 7AM-8PM, Su 7AM-2PM. Diner.
- Baked Cafe, 937 103 Ave, ☏ . M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa 8AM-4PM. Coffee, baked goods, soups.
The drinking age in BC is 19.
- Rockwells Pub Club, 1729 Alaska Ave, ☏ . Daily 11AM-2AM.
There are plenty of hotels, lodges, and RV parks in Dawson Creek. Late spring to summer is peak season where many people visit the city as the beginning of their trip to the Alaska Highway.
- Mile 0 Campground. May 1-Oct 1
- [dead link] George Dawson Inn, 11705 8 St, ☏ , email@example.com. Onsite restaurant, full service gym, and a liquor store. Free Wi-fi, microwave and fridge in every room. From $110.
- [dead link] The Silverado Inn, 10100 10 St. From $60.
- Pomeroy Inn & Suites, 540 Highway 2,, ☏ . From $169.
- Airport Inn, 800 120 Ave, ☏ . Free WiFi, pet-friendly rooms, on-site restaurant. From $79.
|Routes through Dawson Creek|
|END ←||W E||→ becomes → Grande Prairie → Edmonton|
|END ←||W E||→ becomes → Jct N S → Falher → Valleyview|
|Whitehorse ← Fort St. John ←||N S||→ Chetwynd → Prince George|