Monday, May 02, 2016

Northern B.C. Road Trip

Hello, friends! This summer, our family of five will be heading out on a two week long road trip from Surrey, B.C. north to Prince George and then taking the Great Northern Circle Route up to Watson Lake, Yukon and continuing down on the northwest taking in Telegraph Creek and Hyder, Alaska. This trip is over 4500 km in length and will be our longest road trip as a family.

{This was mapped on google maps but if you have a more user-friendly recommendation for tracking distances and times, I'd love to hear it!}

Before we get too far into our planning, I'd love to ask you for our feedback!  The awesome this about this blog is that almost 70% of my readers are from B.C. (with Alberta and Ontario coming in next).  You know this province and I'd love your tips on where to stay and what to see. Our goal is nature.  We want to see the beauty of this province and explore it with family-friendly hikes and activities.  

This is the tentative schedule and I'd love to hear your feedback on where to stay (hotel or camping), what hikes to do, and of course, any great places to eat! Also, most places are just one night but if you think we need longer, please indicate that as well.  Finally if there is a "must see" town that we missed, let me know.  We are open to adding days in the Yukon (Whitehorse and Kluane National Park which Gary and I have already done) but don't want to push our kids too far in regards to long drives as they need to move, move, move. Thank you in advance.

Day 1 and 2: Quesnel with day trip to Barkerville 
*Day 1 is driving up to Quesnel which is our longest drive*

Day 3: Hudson's Hope

Day 4: Fort St. John

Day 5: Fort Nelson

Day 6: Liard Hotsprings

Day 7: Watson Lake

Day 8 and 9: Dease Lake (with day trip to Telegraph Creek)
{Tweeting with Tourism Northern BC convinced us to do the side trip to Telegraph Creek}

Day 10: Stewart (with day trip to Hyder, Alaska)

Day 11 and 12: Smithers

Day 13: Prince George

Day 14 and 15: Williams Lake

Day 16: Surrey (Home sweet home!)

The shortest trip is just over an hour and the longer days are up to eight hours of travel.  Gary and I did do this route with an additional section through Alaska almost eleven years ago.  Our highlights in B.C. were Liard Hotsprings and Boya Lake Provincial Park so we will be sure to stop there.

I'm looking forward to your feedback and then sharing our journey with you!

#ChapmansTravelNorthernBC (also taking hashtag recommendations!)


  1. Are you going to see the bears in Hyder??

    1. I hope to! Do we just go to Fish Creek and we'll see them? I'll need to look into this, let me know if you have more info!

    2. I guess it's never a guarantee that you'll actually see bears, but we saw lots. So cool to watch them in their natural habitat, swiping fish out of the creek. You just walk around the enclosed boardwalks and watch them do their thing.

    3. Eek!! So fun (especially with the enclosed boardwalk part!)

  2. My friend did this trip last summer! She said the wildlife they saw was amazing and so were the hot springs.
    We live in Prince George. If you need any recommendations for this area. Feel free to ask! Maybe we will bump into you ;)

    1. I'm hoping to see a lot of wildlife (from our van!!) I do need recommendations for Prince George. Great family hike? Best place to camp for a night? (or cabin? or hotel?)

  3. There is some unrest in Williams Lake at the moment so you may want to check into that before heading there.

    1. We'll be staying with friends there so they'll keep us informed! Thanks.

  4. Twin falls in Smithers is nice. Also watching the Aboriginals deep net fishing in Moricetown (just outside of Smithers) was a high light for me.

  5. My friend who did the trip last summer had a few suggestions-
    Muncho Lake is awesome and spent two nights there
    She loved the Hot Springs and went three times
    Wished they had more time coming down the "backside"...very beautiful
    Make a sign for Watson Lk
    Boya Lk is beautiful
    Campground past Dease Lk is gorgeous

    I love Smithers! I second the Moricetown fishing. Lots of great places to eat. We have stayed at a cute guest house there that we enjoy. Stones Throw I beliee its called.

    Prince George has some great hikes! Teapot, Eskers, and the Greenway Trail. Havent done a lot of camping in the area other than 10 Mile outside of Quesnel. The one thing that always gets me about camping up here is the difference in "northern" campsites vs Lower Mainland bathroom facilities. PG has a range of hotels. Camping on the outskirts.

    Quesnel has a cute home store/coffee shop/garden/farm we love to stop at for a break called Edgewood Farm. Granville's Coffee and Books and Co (also in PG) are good stops too.

    1. Okay so good!! We are planning now on camping at the hotsprings for 2 nights! I wonder if we should stay at Muncho Lake too or do daytrip there? We will have to make a sign!! Will look at other examples. Interesting about more time on that side, I was wondering about that and so I'll add an extra night! Love all your info, thank you so much!!

  6. Oops! Missed the part where you said you did this trip 11 years ago.

    1. Yes, but we did it so quickly so I wanted more info for more stops! I loved your info and definitely agree that Boya is a "must do"!