9 Interesting things to do in Dawson Creek, BC

Last Updated on October 31, 2022

Dawson Creek, British Columbia is known for being the start of the Alaska Highway and there are plenty of fun and interesting things to do to make this a very worthwhile stop along your drive to Alaska or the Yukon Territory.

I’ve driven the Alaska Highway many times and I hope to encourage you to spend some time in the town of Dawson Creek instead of just flying through! They have plenty of opportunity to get outside in trails and parks and learn about history.

Note: Dawson Creek is NOT the same place as Dawson City in the Yukon, nor is it in anyway related to the 90s TV show!

Dawson Creek is the homeland of the BC Métis and Beaver First Nations, who made this remote area their home long before the highway was planned, and still do today.

Where is Dawson Creek, British Columbia?

Dawson Creek is located in Northern British Columbia, near the Alberta border.

It’s about a six hour drive from Edmonton and a four and a half hour drive from Prince George.

A stone monument with a metal plaque reading Zero Mile and the official starting point of the Great Alaska highway constructed between 1942 and 1944, and extending 1523 miles from Dawson Creek British Columbia to Fairbanks Alaska.
Zero Mile Monument below the Mile 0 sign at the beginning of the Alaska Highway

How to get to Dawson Creek

If you’re going to Dawson Creek, most likely this is because you are driving the Alaska Highway, either to or from Alaska or the Yukon Territory.

Dawson Creek is the official beginning of the Alaska Highway, but you’ll likely be driving several days to get to this point.

If you’re coming from the West Coast, you’ll likely be coming up through Seattle, Vancouver and Prince George on BC Highway 97. If you’re coming from the Rocky Mountain West, the midwest USA or Edmonton or Calgary, you’ll come up Alberta Highway 2 and 43.

Best time to go to Dawson Creek

The best time to go to Dawson Creek is whenever you happen to be driving the Alaska Highway!

Between mid May and mid September, all attractions and businesses, including the visitor center, are open most days with longer hours. Dawson Creek is a busy community with plenty of highway traffic passing through all year, though some businesses may have more limited hours.

Winters are cold in Dawson Creek, with short hours of daylight. Roads are well maintained but may be closed at times during storms.

Summers are warm and often downright hot and very dry here. Fall colors on the surrounding mountains are beautiful in late September.

Things to do in Dawson Creek

It’s well worth it to take a break from the road and spend a little time in Dawson Creek! This is a great place to learn about the history and engineering of the Alaska Highway as well as stretch your legs on some lovely trails.

Take a Photo at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway

A woman with shoulder length brunette hair and sunglasses in front of a large sign on two blue poles with a large red arrow pointing left. The sign says You are now entering the world famous alaska highway, Dawson Creek BC and has the American flag, Canadian flag and British Columbia flag
Obligatory selfie at the Mile 0 sign!

If you’re driving the Alaska Highway, you won’t be able to resist the urge to take a selfie with the Mile 0 sign, and you shouldn’t! Driving the highway is a big deal and this is a great place to document it.

Even though I didn’t do it for this picture, I recommend getting your vehicle in the photo too!

You can find the sign and the monument near the visitor centre, station museum and the art gallery.

Visit the Station Museum

A historic train station operator building that is now a museum. It is a red building with white trim with several flags in front.

Dawson Creek became the starting point for the Alaska Highway because the Northern Alberta Railway came here from Alberta, which brought US soldiers to town to start building the highway in 1942.

The town grew from just a few hundred to over 20,000 in less than a year as soldiers and civilian contractors arrived to build the highway. At the Station Museum, located next to the Visitor Centre, you can learn what life was like during that wild time.

Take the Historical Walking Tour

Stop in the visitor centre after you get your Mile 0 selfie and pick up your brochure for a self guided walking tour of downtown Dawson Creek, including another monument to Mile 0, the Alaska Highway House and more. This is also a great way to get some walking, shopping and lunch in while you explore town.

Hike or Ski the Trails at Bear Mountain Wind Park

Nine modern white windmills on a hill that is covered in evergreen and golden fall tree colors. There are a few hay bales and fields in the foreground
Stunning fall color in late September at the Bear Mountain Wind Park which has a network of hiking trails. Photo Credit: Northern BC Tourism/Matthew Littlewood

For those looking for a bit more trail time with some great views of the area, 7 miles of rolling trails are here at the Bear Mountain Wind Park. You can explore the trail as long or short as you like. There is also a ski hill in winter and mountain biking in summer.

Go back in time at Walter Wright Pioneer Park

A dirt street with wooden boardwalks on both sides and red railings. Historic wooden buildings are along the boardwalk
Walter Wright Pioneer Village in Dawson Creek. Photo Credit: Northern BC Tourism/Matthew Littlewood

Located just at the edge of town, where the John Hart Highway and the Alaska Highway meet, Walter Wright Pioneer Village gives you a taste of life before the Alaska Highway construction made Dawson Creek famous.

You can explore on your own or take a tour. A variety of original buildings and replicas as well as lots of old farming equipment and a beautiful garden.

There’s also a Splash Park and RV park as part of the village and the Mile 0 park.

A bright red building with white trim that is a former grain elevator. Now it is an art gallery and in white letters on the side is painted Alberta pool elevators Dawson Creek art gallery
The Dawson Creek Art Gallery in a former grain elevator along the railway line.

The grain elevator converted to an art gallery is located between the Mile 0 sign and the Station Museum and is a great place to discover and support local artists. If you’re traveling in the summer (late May to early September), there’s also a farmers market featuring plenty of artists in addition to amazing produce.

Walk along the Dawson Trail by the river

At just under 3 miles (5 km), the Dawson Trail is a great place to stretch your legs along the creek and through town. A year round trail with very mellow grades, it’s a perfect place to take a break from the road and get a feel for the town while getting some exercise.

See the historic Kiskatinaw Bridge

A black pick up truck pulling a camper trailer on a curved wooden bridge on an overcast day through the forest.
The Kiskatinaw Bridge on the Old Alaska Highway near Dawson Creek. Photo Credit:  Northern BC Tourism/Andrew Strain

The Kiskatinaw Bridge is about 20 miles north of Dawson Creek on the way to Fort St John, so if you’re heading north on the highway you’ll get to it on your way out of town. If you’re not going that way, this bridge is still worth the detour to check out!

Built as part of the original Alaska Highway in 1942 and 1943, it was a uniquely engineered bridge for its time.

Stop at Kiskatinaw Provincial Park for great views and photo opportunities.

Walk across the Pouce Coupe Bridge

A wooden trestle bridge high above a creek. The creek is hidden from view by many green trees in the creek bottom. There are green shrubs along the sides of the creek.
Old train bridge in Pouce Coupe. Photo Credit: Northern BC Tourism/Jason Hamborg

The Pouce Coupe wooden trestle bridge is located just outside (east) of Dawson Creek, even closer to the Alberta border. A must see for bridge lovers and engineering enthusiasts, the bridge was built by the Northern Alberta Railway in 1930. This photogenic bridge makes a great photo stop.

Take a side trip to Tumbler Ridge

Tumbler Ridge is about an hour from Dawson Creek and is well worth the effort to visit if you have a couple extra days. Tumbler Ridge is a UNESCO Global Geopark with lots of outdoor adventure, stunning waterfalls, wild rock formations and even dinosaur tracks!

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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite. I lived in Alaska for many years and I still spend lots of time there every year visiting friends and working as a tour director. I've been a guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington, am a field editor for the Milepost and host the Alaska Uncovered Podcast about Alaska Travel as well as the Washington State Hiking Podcast. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you here!