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The Alaska Highway

Alaska Highway Bison

 

Beginning at the historic 'Mile 0' post in downtown Dawson Creek, your journey up the 1500-mile Alaska Highway will delight you with its diversity of bioregions and its pioneering communities.

 
The Historical Highway
Beginning at the historic 'Mile 0' post in downtown Dawson Creek, your journey up the 1500-mile Alaska Highway will delight you with its diversity of bioregions and its pioneering communities.
 
From the fertile Peace River hills surrounding Dawson Creek and Fort St. John to the muskeg country and foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Fort Nelson, to the awesomely spectacular mountain parks along your journey further north, the Alaska Highway is a route of travel that will continually dazzle you with its ever changing scenery.
 
Constructed during World War II in an incredibly short eight months and twelve days, the 11,000 US soldiers and thousands of civilians who built it performed a feat never before accomplished. To reach their destination in Alaska, they had to build 8,000 culverts, construct 133 bridges and cross eight mountain ranges to complete it in time for the anticipated war effort. Numerous historical mileposts are situated along the route to help you identify the key locations that played major roles in its construction. 
 
More than one third of the soldiers who built the Alaska Highway were black men from the south. Often living in tents with insufficient clothing, they worked 20-hour days as temperatures hovered at 40-below-zero for weeks at a time, hitting a record low of –79 degrees. Upon completing the Highway, many were decorated for their efforts and sent to active duty in Europe and the South Pacific. 
 
Today’s Highway
The modern Alaska Highway of today is a far cry from the narrow, twisting trail that was first constructed. The wide, smooth road is mostly paved throughout its length, with ongoing seasonal maintenance and occasional zones of construction geared to keeping it in top condition for travelers. The Alaska Highway journey is one that you will happily talk about for the rest of your life.
 
A word of caution regarding use of the road by loaded, fast-moving transport trucks: just slow down and let them pass, because this is their business and they’re on a mission! Also, while the exceptional width of the Alaska Highway makes it easy to spot wildlife like caribou or elk on the road, remember to signal, slow down and stop well off the road, especially for those massive buffalo!
 
Communities abound along the route and you will want to stop in each one to sample their attractions and examine the history that formed them. For the adventurers with a bit of extra time there are fly-in fishing opportunities or riverboat tours along many rivers and streams.  Treks will take the hiker to unimaginable vistas and who knows what a bit of gold panning might produce from some of those Klondike streams. This is the unforgettable experience of the Alaska Highway. Enjoy your visit! 
 
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