BRITISH COLUMBIA RV PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS
(For a complete directory of all RV parks and campgrounds in Northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska, go to home page or follw links in text.)
"Why take the Hart Highway?" This question is asked so often that it deserves more than a space on the FAQ page. It goes to the heart of our reasons for starting this business in 1996. We were meeting more and more people who had taken the "Grand Tour" to Alaska and back and missed some of the best stuff. Even now we know from interviews that 9 out of 10 miss the Isabel Pass, arguably the most scenic in Alaska. Many don't drive the Haines Highway, thinking a quick tour of the city via water taxi from Skagway is sufficient. They miss what is probably the most scenic 150 mile stretch of the whole trip. And quite a few, those who want to "be in" Alaska rather than "go to" Alaska, miss the Hart Highway,which means they also miss the Icefields Parkway from Calgary to Jasper and the wildlife-rich 235 miles of the Yellowhead Highway from Jasper to Prince George.
Yes, it is quicker and shorter to go straight to Mile Zero at Dawson Creek via Edmonton. But if quicker and shorter is what you want, why not just fly up to Anchorage and get right to it? Or buy the video. From Calgary to Dawson Creek via Banff, Jasper, Prince George, and Chetwynd takes us about a half of a tank of extra gas, compared with the "direct" route via Edmonton. Time spent depends on how many of the attractions we stop to visit along the way, and there are plenty. See our 2008 NOTES for a further discussion of the merits and comparitive mileages of varions approach routes.
For that extra bit of gas we get to see the magnificent Canadian Rockies, including Lake Louise, Athabasca Glacier and Falls, numerous other pristine mountain lakes, rivers, and falls, abundant wildlife, and two very special mountain towns. And that's just from Banff to Japer. Add to that the virtual wilderness filling the space betweeen Jasper and Prince George, where we always see all of the large animals: elk, deer, caribou, bears of both kinds, moose, and even (once) a wolverine. Below: Yellowhead west of Jasper
Above: McLeod Lake, Pine Pass
North of Prince George, along the Hart Highway, you will cross the Rockies again, from west to east, at Pine Pass. At Chetwynd you have three options to make the last jump to Dawson Creek. The direct Hart Highway route is shortest but least satisfying. Going east, via Tumbler Ridge, takes you back into the east slope and a chance to see a waterfall higher than Niagara. Going west, the Hudson's Hope Loop brings you to tours of two of the world's largest dams and a scenic drive up the Peace River Valley.
The alternative, via Edmonton, offers the Mall, which can easily be seen via a day trip from Jasper, and lots of yellow canola fields after July.
We suggest you begin your journey through these pages by jumping to the Northern British Columbia page (use button above), then start from either the John Hart Highway, to Dawson Creek, or Yellowhead Highway for the Cassiar Route. Note that while the Yellowhead/Cassiar is described as being 100 miles shorter than the Alaska Highway route, it is not necessarily a time-saver. There is the 40 mile side trip to Stewart/Hyder, which is a beautiful drive at any time with 18 glaciers along the way. Later in June the snow melts off the road to Salmon Glacier and LaDuc mine, and after mid July bears come to feed at Fish Creek near Hyder, and this is a unique opportunity to view these magnificent close up.
East of Prince George:
Log House Restaurant and Kampground Closed: Private residence
Forty miles east of the city you'll find lake shore camping at Purden Lake Resort (565-7777) and Purden Lake Provincial Park. New lodge under construction.
77 miles from Prince George there is a rest area (Slim Creek) posted for 8 hours parking.
West of Prince George:
444.8/2.9 Blue Spruce RV Park & Campground (250)
964-7272 (to north)
South of Prince George:
Mile 9: Bee Lazee RV Park, Campground, and Honey Farm (250) 963-7263
Mile 4: Southpark RV Park (250) 963-7577
Mile 3: Sintich Trailer and RV Park (250) 963-9862