Download GPX file for this article
57.03-129.03Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Northern British Columbia is a vast region covering most of the northern half of the province of British Columbia in Canada.


Northern British Columbia travel regions and main destinations — switch to interactive map
  Haida Gwaii
An archipelago of more than 150 islands. Two of them are quite large. It was called the Queen Charlotte Islands until the name was changed in 2010.
  North Coast-Nechako
Untouched wilderness and indigenous culture. The North Coast is famous for fishing while the interior has untouched mountains, forests and wilderness; anchored by Prince George and Prince Rupert.
  Peace Country and Northern Rockies
The start of the Alaska Highway, a mix of sparsely-populated boreal forest and agricultural region of any size in North America; anchored by Dawson Creek and Fort St John.


  • 1 Prince George — the largest city in the northern BC, and its business and government centre, but not one of its tourist centres
  • 2 Dawson Creek — Mile zero on the Alaska Highway, it has a number of murals that depict aspects of building the Alaska Highway
  • 3 Fort Nelson — A resources town (forestry, oil and gas) and last "major" centre before the Yukon
  • 4 Fort St. John — Established in 1794, it's the oldest European-established settlement in present-day British Columbia and the largest town in the region
  • 5 Kitimat — a town that was built in the 1950s to support an aluminum industry
  • 6 Prince Rupert — a coastal city with ferry and rail links
  • 7 Queen Charlotte-Skidegate — neighbouring villages on Haida Gwaii, with Queen Charlotte being the main service centre and Skidegate being the ferry connection to the mainland.
  • 8 Smithers — a charming alpine town that is a good base for exploring the surrounding wilderness
  • 9 Terrace — the regional retail and service hub for the northwestern portion of British Columbia

Other destinations[edit]


Near Terrace

Northern British Columbia is a vast area, most of it undeveloped. Most settlements are along the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) or the Peace River area. Much of the land is forested and mountainous, although the Peace River Country is flatter and an the upstream extension of the Peace River in neighbouring Alberta.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • BC-16 (TCH).svg BC Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) connects the region with the Alberta Rockies, where it continues east to Jasper and Edmonton.
  • BC-97.svg BC Highway 97 connects the region with rest of British Columbia to the south. Heading north as the Alaska Highway, it connects to the Yukon and onwards to Alaska.
  • BC-2.svg BC Highway 2 connects the region with Alberta Peace Country, where it becomes Alberta Highway 43, where it continues southeast to Grande Prairie and Edmonton.

Driving will demand many hours at the wheel. In the summer months, expect at least 14 hours of driving from the border. In the winter months, you will need to bring a chain for the drive on the Alaska Highway and at least 16 hours of driving.

By plane[edit]

Regional Airports which offer flights from the Vancouver International Airport are located in Prince George (YXS IATA), Fort St. John (North Peace Regional Airport − YXJ IATA), Prince Rupert (YPR IATA), Terrace (Northwest Regional Airport − YXT IATA), and Sandspit (YZP IATA).


SG̱ang Gwaay Llnaagay in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Haida Gwaii

Northern British Columbia has plenty of wilderness with natural features and wildlife, as well as numerous historical destinations. Totem poles can be found in the western portions of the region and are important cultural monuments for the region's Indigenous peoples.


Samuel Glacier, Tatshenshini-Alsek Park

There at least half a dozen 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.

Most towns have trails for hiking, horse-riding, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and/or snowmobiling.

There are plenty of freshwater and saltwater sport fishing opportunities throughout the region.

Stay safe[edit]

Northern British Columbia is sparsely populated. If you are driving, ensure that you have enough fuel in your car for your journey, a spare tire, and emergency equipment as it assistance may be far away and take a long time to get to you.

See Dangerous animals#Bears for information on safety in bear country.

Go next[edit]

If you've come this far, you really should continue further north to explore Yukon or Alaska.

This region travel guide to Northern British Columbia 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.