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Dease Lake is a small community in the North Coast-Nechako region of British Columbia. Located on Highway 97 (Stewart-Cassiar Highway), Dease Lake in is a popular place for travellers to stop and stock up on basic supplies travelling to and from the Alaska Highway.


Dease Lake (pop. 300) is a government service and supply centre for the region. It lies a few hours south of the Yukon border on Stewart–Cassiar Highway (Highway 37) at the south end of the lake of the same name. Dease Lake is the last major centre before the Alaska Highway while driving north. It is the junction of Telegraph Creek Road (also referred to as unsigned Highway 51) that leads to Telegraph Creek and the Grand Canyon of the Stikine.

The town sits astride a pass separating the basins of the Dease River (N) from that of the Tanzilla (S), a tributary of the Stikine. The pass is part of Continental Divide and is a division point between drainage to the Pacific Ocean, via the Stikine, and the Arctic Ocean, via the Liard and Mackenzie Rivers.

Dease Lake is midway between either Smithers or Terrace and Whitehorse.


In 1837 a Hudson's Bay Company post, known as Lake House, was created by Robert Campbell on the shore of Dease Lake about 50 km (31 mi) north of the Stikine River and 150 km (93 mi) south of where the present day Alaska Highway passes. The Lake had been named in 1834 for Chief Factor Peter Warren Dease, and would become a major junction for miners travelling to the gold rush in Cassiar (later an asbestos mine). Although the fort was abandoned soon after, the town based around the fort lived on, and was renamed Dease Lake in 1934 by then-Chief Trader John McLeod.

During the 1960s and 1970s, BC Rail started to build an extension of their line towards Dease Lake, but construction was halted. Grading was completed all the way, and can still be seen from the air.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Dease Lake is located along the remote Highway 37 (Stewart–Cassiar Highway); 490 km (300 mi) north of the Yellowhead Highway at Kitwanga and 235 km (146 mi) south of the Alaska Highway near Watson Lake. It is best to buy gas at Kitwanga or Stewart where the prices are reasonable. There are a couple of stations on the road to Dease Lake that charge 30¢/L more (June 2022).

By plane[edit]

Get around[edit]

The entire community is walkable.


Grand Canyon of the Stikine River near Telegraph Creek
  • 1 Grand Canyon of the Stikine (take the gravel Telegraph Creek Road from Dease Lake — it is very narrow and very steep in places). The Grand Canyon of the Stikine is a 72 km (45 mi) stretch of the Stikine River that has been compared to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. The canyon begins in the vicinity of the 130° W, south of Tsenaglode Lake near the Hwy 37 road bridge, and eases off at the community of Telegraph Creek. The canyon is described as being unnavigable by any watercraft, however there have been numerous successful descents made by expert whitewater paddlers. The canyon is home to a large population of mountain goats and other wildlife. Grand Canyon of the Stikine (Q5594375) on Wikidata Grand Canyon of the Stikine on Wikipedia


  • Fishing - there are numerous fishing opportunities with a variety of northern specialties, burbot and whitefish. There is an annual fishing derby.
  • River rafting and paddling - there are wilderness activities that range from canoeing and kayaking to whitewater rafting.
  • Hunting - outfitters are based in the area.


Dease Lake has a grocery store, gas station, restaurants, hotels and RV parks.

  • 1 Super A Foods, 100 Boulder Street (Hwy 37 & Boulder St), +1 250-771-4381. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 8AM-6PM. Also has a deli counter.


  • 1 The Shack, 46 Boulder Street, +1 250-771-3317. May-Oct: M-Sa 4-9:30PM. Take-out; serves burgers (beef, chicken, vegetarian, salmon, elk, oyster), ice cream and other snacks.
  • Nympha's Asian Food, 22 Tatcho St (Beside Super A Foods), +1 250-641-1275.




There is no mobile wireless service in Dease Lake. The next mobile wireless service is in Stewart or Kitwanga, if heading south, and near Watson Lake in the Yukon, if heading north.

Go next[edit]

The Alaska Highway is 247 km (153 mi) north of Dease Lake - there are no fuel stations between Dease Lake and the Alaska Highway.

Routes through Dease Lake
Watson Lake ← becomes  N  S  Stewart via Terrace

This city travel guide to Dease Lake is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.