The 733km stretch of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Hwy-37) – from the Skeena Valley east of Prince Rupert to Watson Lake just inside the Yukon – is one of the wildest and most beautiful of any road in BC. Though less famous than the Alaska Hwy, the road provides a shorter route from Prince George to the Yukon, and is increasingly travelled by those in search of adventure. Some stretches are still gravel and the petrol and repair facilities, let alone food and lodgings, are extremely patchy: don’t contemplate the journey unless your vehicle’s in top condition, with two spare tyres and spare fuel containers.
The highway has two main side roads worth exploring. The first goes to Stewart, with its exceptional sea and mountain scenery, where you can branch off and cross into Alaska at Hyder. The second goes to Telegraph Creek, a tiny riverside town reminiscent of the early 1900s. There are two additional rough roads midway up that lead to the wilderness of Mount Edziza Provincial Park and the Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park.
In summer Stewart is added to the itinerary of certain sailings of the Alaska Marine Hwy ferry service – albeit infrequently – so with careful planning you could travel overland to Stewart, or ride a boat to Ketchikan and then to either Skagway or Prince Rupert.