Spanning 2,237 kilometres (1,390 miles), the Alaska Highway is one of the world's most iconic roadways. Piercing its way through the valleys of the Northern Rockies, this roadway is surrounded by alpine peaks and a never-ending boreal forest. A true bucket list experience.

This highway—constructed in just eight months—was built to support the efforts of WW2 and connect Mainland USA to Alaska. Cutting through a remote wilderness, the construction of this highway was incredibly difficult. Soldiers and crew endured extreme weather and working conditions and often worked to create ninety degree turns and on twenty-five percent grades. On September 24, 1942, the US Military crews from the north and south met at Mile 588, known as Contact Creek. The highway was officially designated on November 20, 1942 at Soldier's Summit. In exchange for the highway's right-of-way through Canada, the US Government paid for its construction and turned over the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway to the Government of Canada in April of 1946. After considerable improvements, the Alaska Highway officially opened to the public in 1948. 

Beginning at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek and ending in Delta Junction, Alaska, every kilometre you drive you can expect something new. From wildlife sightings of moose, elk, and bears to scenic viewpoints and incredible campgrounds to spend the night. A trip along this route means pit stops at iconic roadside locales and the historic mileposts to learn more about the highway's history. Road trippers can't miss the Mile 0 landmark in Dawson Creek, Canada's first curved, wooden bridge at Kiskatinaw, and a tour of the Fort Nelson Historic Museum filled with highway history and original equipment. The more interested and engaged you are the more you will find and enjoy, such as conversations with locals who have seen the changes over time or hidden in sight remnants of the original highway such as decommissioned sections and wooden culverts. Camping at the jade-coloured Muncho Lake Provincial Park and a soak in Liard River Hot Springs are a few of the other must-stops along the journey.

The more leisurely you can explore, the better. Leave plenty of time to stop and take in the view, put on hiking shoes to wander, spot wildlife, and enjoy the restful sleeps at scenic campsites and iconic roadside lodges.

highway construction equipment

11,000 American Troops

7 regiments of engineers

16,000 civilians

7,000 pieces of equipment

1,500 miles in 8 months

Photo: Phyllis Lee