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The North Coast-Nechako is a region in British Columbia, Canada. It stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast and Alaska Panhandle.

Map of North Coast-Nechako




Bulkley River Maurice Canyon near Smithers
  • 1 Prince George — the largest city in the northern BC, and its business and government centre, but not one of its tourist centres
  • 2 Fort St. James Fort St. James on Wikipedia — one of British Columbia's oldest permanent European settlements and the site of a national historic site consisting of a reconstructed fur trading post
  • 3 Smithers — a charming alpine town that is a good base for exploring the surrounding wilderness
  • 4 Vanderhoof — a farming, ranching, forestry and mining community in the geographic centre of British Columbia

North Coast

  • 5 Prince Rupert — a coastal city with ferry and rail links
  • 6 Terrace — the regional retail and service hub for the northwestern portion of British Columbia
  • 7 Kitimat — a town that was built in the 1950s to support an aluminum industry
  • 8 Kitwanga — small indigenous village and southern terminus of Stewart-Cassiar Highway
  • 9 New Hazelton — small village with a blend of wilderness scenery, ancient culture, and frontier history


  • 10 Atlin Atlin, British Columbia on Wikipedia — a destination for fishing, hiking and heliskiing that is only accessible by vehicle if you first head up to the Yukon
  • 11 Dease Lake — a wilderness and hunting destination on the Stewart–Cassiar Highway, an alternate route that connects to the Alaska Highway.
  • 12 Stewart — a village on the Alaska border, opposite Hyder, AK, surrounded by breathtaking mountains, an emerald rainforest, clean fresh air and pure drinking water

Other destinations

O'Connor Delta on the Tatshenshini River in Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park
  • 1 Chilkoot Trail - a historic first nations and Klondike Gold Rush trail between Alaska and British Columbia operated by the United States' and Canada's national park agencies
  • 2 Shames Mountain Ski Area Shames Mountain Ski Area on Wikipedia — a ski resort that is relatively unknown, despite the huge amounts of fresh powder it receives, located 35 km west of Terrace (see Terrace article)
  • 3 Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park on Wikipedia — a vast area of untouched wilderness
  • 4 Stikine River Provincial Park Stikine River Provincial Park on Wikipedia — a linear park that follows the river; ideal for a week-long canoe and camping trip
  • 5 Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park — a wilderness area and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the province's far northwest corner
  • 6 Williston Lake Williston Lake on Wikipedia — the largest man-made lake in British Columbia



The most developed part of this region is along the Yellowhead Highway. Once you venture off the highway or along the coast, you will find vast expanses of untouched wilderness and very few people. This is an area where first-growth rainforest meets rugged snowcapped peaks, framed by labyrinthine ocean inlets that rival the fjords of Norway.

The climate is temperate near coastal regions, becoming colder as you travel east and north from the Pacific Ocean.



The official language is English, though you will hear indigenous languages if you are in villages inhabited by the First Nations People.

Get in


By car


The main highways into the North Coast-Nechako are Highways 16 and 97, where they intersect in Prince George.

By plane


Airports within this region with scheduled commercial flights:

By bus


By train

See also: Rail travel in Canada

By boat

See also: Alaska Marine Highway

Get around


You will want to travel by car to cover the vast distances. Vehicle rentals are available in Prince Rupert and Prince George.

By bus


BC Bus North, +1-844-564-7494. Provides twice per week bus service between Prince George and Prince Rupert with stops in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers, New Hazelton, Kitwanga, and Terrace, and Port Edward. BC Bus North (Q85744570) on Wikidata BC Bus North on Wikipedia

By public transit


BC Transit operates bus routes within communities such as Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers, and Terrace. Bus services also connect cities several days per week between the following communities:

By boat


Inland Ferries. Operated under contract for British Columbia's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, inland ferries are vehicle ferries that connect roads across rivers and lakes. Routes operate throughout the year, but some river ferries may not operate during parts of the Spring due to river conditions. Free.A couple of ferry routes operate in this region, enabling travel to rural communities. Ferries in this region:

  • 4 Francois Lake Ferry. Daily first departures: 5:30 AM / 5:55 AM (Southside / Northside); Daily last departures: 10:30 PM / 11:00 PM (Southside / Northside). The ferry is located at Francois Lake, which is about 26 km south of the village of Burns Lake. 15 minutes crossing. Departures from a given side of the lake are every 50-60 minutes.
  • 5 Usk Reaction Ferry. Daily 6:45 AM - 10AM, 11:00 AM - 2:45 PM, 3:15 PM - 7:00 pm, and 8:00 PM - 11:15 PM. Located just north of Highway 16, about 16 km east of Terrace. Crosses the Skeena River between South and North Usk. 5 to 7 minutes crossing. Operates on demand. Usk Ferry (Q7902006) on Wikidata Usk Ferry on Wikipedia


Lava lake on the Nisga'a Highway near Terrace

The rugged beauty of the region is its main attraction.

  • Totem poles can be found throughout the region. They are important cultural monuments for the region's First Nations peoples.
Sunken Gardens in Prince Rupert
  • Prince Rupert hosts sites that tell the history of BC's North Coast. The Museum of Northern British Columbia explores the 10,000-year history of the Haida, Tsimishian, Tlingit, and Nisga First Nations. The North Pacific Cannery, a National Historic Site, is the oldest, most completely preserved cannery remaining of two hundred-or-so that once dotted BC's North Coast. The Sunken Gardens in Prince Rupert are heritage gardens with a spectacular display of colourful, lush flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • The Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site (near Terrace) encompasses approximately 5000 years of First Nations history and is a place of major significance to the Tsimshian people.
  • The Salmon Glacier, near Stewart, is an impressive glacier viewpoint that is car-accessible, but access is only via Hyder, Alaska, so bring your passport. You can also view Bear Glacier from the highway near Stewart. Speaking of bears, there are bear watching opportunities around Stewart, especially during the salmon run.



Prince Rupert and Terrace are famous for fishing expeditions, mostly for salmon and halibut, with potential catches over a hundred pounds. There are many charter companies operating. Haida Gwaii also offers excellent sport fishing.

Hudson Bay Mountain near Smithers has first-class ski slopes.

Most towns have trails for hiking, horse-riding, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and/or snowmobiling, including the Fort Nelson Demonstration Forest, Twin Falls and Glacier Gulch Trails near Smithers, and Waterlily Lake Trails near Vanderhoof.

There are numerous provincial parks scattered through the region that offer opportunities for camping, fishing, more hiking, canoeing, wildlife and bird watching, and being along in the wilderness.

Stay safe


See dangerous animals for information on safety in bear country.

Go next

This region travel guide to North Coast-Nechako is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.