highway in British Columbia and Yukon, Canada
Itineraries > North America itineraries > Stewart-Cassiar Highway

The Stewart-Cassiar Highway, also known as the Dease Lake Highway and the Stikine Highway, is road mostly in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. It runs from Kitwanga, British Columbia to Watson Lake, Yukon and serves as an alternate access to Alaska.

UnderstandEdit

 
Stewart-Cassiar Highway

The Stewart-Cassiar Highway, signed as Highway 37, is a 725 km (450 mi) long road that runs from the Yellowhead Highway at Kitwanga, British Columbia to the Alaska Highway near Watson Lake, Yukon. Taking this route as opposed to the entire Alaska Highway can save about 210 km (130 mi) for travellers coming from southern British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the contiguous United States. Almost all of the route is in British Columbia, with exception of the northernmost 3.4 km (2.1 mi) which is located in the Yukon. Highway 37 continues southwest from Kitwanga to Terrace and Kitimat.

The Cassiar Highway was completed in 1972, and is asphalt-surfaced with the exception of a short gravel break through the Stikine River valley. The highway passes through hilly and mountainous, mostly wooded wilderness region where services are found in sparsely populated communities that are far from each other.

PrepareEdit

See also: Alaska Highway#Prepare

This is a northern route which leads through isolated communities in northwestern British Columbia. Road conditions may be treacherous in winter: be sure that your vehicle is in top mechanical condition. Do not set out on this route in winter without snow tires and emergency equipment for winter driving. As this highway is used as an alternate route to connect with the Alaska Highway, similar preparations should take place as part of the larger journey.

Get inEdit

See also: Driving between the contiguous United States and the Alaska Highway#West Access Route

This route may be taken from either endpoint (Kitwanga or Watson Lake) or incorporated as part of a larger Yukon or Alaska trip, this itinerary describes a trip from south to north. To access it from southern British Columbia or Washington state, drive to Prince George and then follow the Yellowhead Highway west for 480 km (300 mi) to Kitwanga.

DriveEdit

 
Map of Stewart-Cassiar Highway
  • 1 Kitwanga — population 430, southern terminus of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.    
    • 2 Terrace — population 12,500, it's the regional retail and service hub for the northwestern portion of British Columbia; located 93 km (58 mi) southwest of Kitwanga.      
    • 3 New Hazelton — population 580, it's the last community before Highway 37 when approaching from the east and south; located and 49 km (30 mi) east of Kitwanga.      
 
Kitwanga
  • 4 Meziadin Lake Provincial Park    
  • 5 Meziadin Junction   — junction Highway 37A.  
    • 6 Stewart — population 495, offers glacier and bear viewing opportunities; 60 km (37 mi) west of Meziadin Junction on Hwy 37A.      
    • 7 Hyder — isolated Alaskan settlement just west of Stewart; no road connections to the rest of Alaska.      
  • 8 Bell II   — name derived from being located at the second crossing of the Bell-Irving River junction and now a major heliskiing destination.      
  • 9 Bob Quinn Lake    
  • 10 Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park    
  • 11 Tatogga         (seasonal)
  • 12 Iskut      
  • 13 Dease Lake — population 300, a wilderness and hunting destination.      
  • 14 Jade City   — population 30, named after an area jade mine which is considered one of the largest in the world.  
    • 15 Cassiar  ghost town and former asbestos mining town; located 14 km (9 mi) west of Jade City.
  • 16 Good Hope Lake   — population 40.  
  • 17 Boya Lake Provincial Park    
  • 18 Alaska Highway — northern terminus of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.     (seasonal)
  • 19 Watson Lake — population 790, nearest major community to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway; located 22 km (14 mi) east of Hwy 37.      

BuyEdit

 
Cassiar Mountain/Jade City Jade Store

Stay safeEdit

The Cassiar Highway is very isolated, with a few, small populated areas along the highway so plan your stops for fuel, food and breaks before the start of your trip. The highway is asphalt-surfaced with the exception of a few short gravel breaks and is generally narrower than most 2-lane highways, with little or no shoulder, and the centerline and edge line markings may be missing along some northern sections of the highway; most bridges are a single lane. Drive with your headlights on at all times. Also watch for logging and freight trucks that travel the route 24 hours a day. Internet and cell phone connections is available in Stewart, Dease Lake and Watson Lake; however, do not expect coverage over the entire route.

 
Young Grizzly bears along the Cassiars Hwy

Grizzly and black bear, caribou, moose, fox and many other species of wildlife can be found on and along the highway. In the late spring and early summer, adults and their young may be crossing the road to find new habitat. When viewing wildlife, please park your vehicle in a safe location and make certain you are not blocking other traffic; admire wildlife from the safety of your vehicle.

The weather can be extreme in winter. Snow can occur during late spring and early fall. Information on current road conditions is available on DriveBC.

Go nextEdit

Continue north to Whitehorse and points beyond along the Alaska Highway.




Stewart–Cassiar Highway
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