Northeast British Columbia (near the borders of Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon) is beautiful, sparsely populated and easily seen by driving the Alaska Highway. Begin in Dawson Creek, the southern terminus of the highway. While in town, take the time to see the Grain Elevator Art Gallery. Just southeast of Dawson Creek is Pouce Coupe, a classic example of a northern pioneer town.
The fishing is excellent on several area lakes, including Moberly, Williston and Carp. Other recreation options include hiking to Old Baldie (near Chetwynd) and canoeing on Gwillim Lake. Heli-skiing is big business in winter.
When you're ready, pick up the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek (480 mi/775 km northeast of Vancouver) and head north. Built in a hectic nine months during World War II, the Alaska Highway winds 1,387 mi/2,233 km through wild, dramatic terrain. Fort St. John (50 mi/80 km north of Dawson Creek) was established as a fur-trading settlement in 1793. Beyond that is Pink Mountain, renowned for its abundance of wildflowers and two species of colorful and rare butterflies. A fair distance north (324 mi/522 km) is Fort Nelson, another town that began as a remote fur-trading post.
In Stone Mountain Provincial Park, you'll find beautiful alpine meadow trails and glacial lakes, and in Muncho Lake Provincial Park, wild sheep and moose come down to the salt licks by the highway—have your camera ready. The Liard River Hot Springs are located near the town of Liard River. Each of these destinations offers great views of the northern lights.
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