What is the Best Route to Alaska thru Canada?

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Travel to Alaska thru British Columbia for the Best Scenic Views

It just makes sense! The best route to Alaska should take you through British Columbia.  There’s a few of reasons for this.

  •  British Columbia is situated just south of Alaska and north of the State of Washington.
  • British Columbia’s scenery is majestic, diverse, and just jaw dropping beautiful.
  • The activities and adventures you can participate in are unlimited.

Yes, you could bypass BC by taking a ferry north out of Seattle or by traveling north through Alberta and entering British Columbia near the start of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, BC. It will depend on where your starting point is.

Where to Start your Journey thru BC on your Route to Alaska

Most travel blogs start their Alaska travel route guide at the beginning of the Alaska Highway.  They don’t tell you how to get there. Do they think you just mysteriously arrive in Dawson Creek, BC where the Alaska Highway begins? They don’t encourage you to explore the wineries, golf courses, beautiful provincial parks, cities, or towns along the way that make BC so unique.

Three Highways to the Alaska Highway

For the purpose of this guide we’re going to point out three different regions and start at the Canada – U.S.A border. This will give you a place to start in planning your route to Alaska. Two routes will converge on Cache Creek and then lead you up the Cariboo Hwy through Clinton, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George and then to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway. The other will divert you through the Rocky Mountains and take you into Banff and Jasper National Parks along the Icefields Highway.

Need a little help with planning? We use the RV Trip Wizard App. You can read more about it here.

Photo by Tom Winckels on Unsplash. Sea to Sky Highway

Travel from Vancouver, BC to the Alaska Highway

If you’re in the Vancouver area and looking for a scenic route to Alaska there are two options. It’s possible to travel via the Sea to Sky Highway towards Whistler, Pemberton and meet up with Highway 97 at Cache Creek, BC. It’s a beautiful trip but you might face a few challenges along the winding roads and rise in altitude. The views of the west coast are breathtaking and memorable. Be prepared to take your time and enjoy the journey instead of being in a hurry.

The other and more popular option is to travel from Vancouver thru the Fraser Valley and towards Hope. You will then travel north along the Fraser Canyon Highway, following the mighty Fraser River.

The highway from Hope to Cache Creek is a two lane road that’s narrow in a few places but is a good highway. Semi’s travel this route daily so motorhomes and RVs of all sizes shouldn’t have any problems. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and stop along the way at the historic sites.

Once you reach Cache Creek you’ll follow the Cariboo Highway which was once the trail gold seekers followed in their search for riches during the Gold Rush.

Photo by Adam Patterson on Unsplash. Fraser Canyon

Travel from Osoyoos to the Alaska Highway

This is wine country! Bring your golf clubs, swim suits, bikes and recreation gear because this is Canada’s playground. Campgrounds, lakes, rivers, golf courses, wineries and almost every type of recreational activity is available in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Oliver, is known as the Wine capital of Canada and Penticton is situated between two beautiful lakes that are perfect for every type of water sport you can imagine. Let’s not forget Osoyoos though. If you’re coming from the U.S you’ll cross the border near Oroville towards Osoyoos.

Following the highway from Osoyoos north will lead you through Oliver, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops and then towards Cache Creek. You’ll then follow the highway north towards your final destination – the Alaska Highway.

Start in the Kootenays and travel to Dawson Creek

This time we’re going to take a bit of a different route. Starting near the U.S. border at Fruitvale, BC you can follow the highway through Cranbrook in the East Kootenays and up through Banff and Jasper National Parks. The Icefield Highway is an absolute must see if you’re in the area.

The author visiting the Icefields between Banff and Jasper

Conclusion: The Best Route to Alaska is through British Columbia

Don’t be in a hurry to reach the Alaska Highway. I know your destination is Alaska and it’s very exciting to finally get there after a lot of planning and dreaming. But, you have to include time in your journey to visit British Columbia. It’s a beautiful scenic, welcoming province with a great deal of things to see and do. Extend your trip, take your time and bring your sense of adventure because the best route to Alaska through Canada takes you into British Columbia.

For example: A little side trip to the West Kootenays will lead you to one of Canada’s historic and beautiful regions – Plan your trip to the West Kootenays this summer.

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