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BC Highway 37 (Stewart-Cassiar) Photo Album



More about Highway 37

    This photo album goes down the highway from north to south, from Km 723.7 at the junction with the Alaska Highway to Km 0 at the junction with Highway 16. We chose to post it this way because many people driving to the Yukon and Alaska do a circle trip, going north on the Alaska Highway and then south on the Stewart-Cassiar. A couple of the reasons for doing that are that bears are more likely to be seen later in the summer, and access to the Salmon Glacier at Stewart is easier.

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.

These photographs are all © 1985-2017 by Murray Lundberg, and are not to be copied without express permission.



Map of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway

This large map of Highway 37 is posted at the Beaver Dam Rest Area at Km 649.3.

BC/Yukon border and 60th parallel of latitude, Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Approaching the BC/Yukon border and 60th parallel of latitude at Km 720.3, on a rainy day in early October.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Southbound at Kilometer 655, 70 km south of the junction with the Alaska Highway.

Beaver Dam Rest Area, Stewart-Cassiar Highway

The Beaver Dam Rest Area at Km 649.3.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Boya Lake Provincial Park is a couple of kilometers off the highway at Km 638.7, and offers excellent camping sites.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Looking south over Mud Lake, at Km 632.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Southbound at about Km 630.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

About 14 km east of Good Hope Lake (Km 626.3), on the Rapid River, a major tributary of the Dease River, is the abandoned Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post McDame Post (seen on a 1920 HBC map as McDame's Creek). Trade here was with both Tahltan and Kaska Indians. The creek (formerly called "Nigger Creek") and the post were named after Henry McDame, a black miner who was born in the Bahamas and discovered gold here in 1874.
The trading post building burned in about 2010 - this photo was shot in 2002.
The road is best considered a 4x4 trail, although it is passable by small vehicles in very dry weather.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

A cemetery containing about 15 graves is located above the HBC post, overlooking the Rapid River. The majority of the graves, several of which are for children, are from 1929, likely due to one of the influenza or smallpox epidemics which decimated the native population of this region.
This granite monument is for Indian Agent Webster Scott Simpson, who died on the Dease River in July 1927 while "doing his duty."

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Heading back to the Stewart-Cassiar from McDame Post.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

A heritage sign at Km 618 describes early gold strikes:
"CASSIAR GOLD RUSH
The prospect of quick riches lured hundreds of placer miners to the Cassiar, where gold was discovered first at Dease Creek in 1872. Rich claims were later found at Thibert Creek, and here at McDame Creek. From this creek in 1877 a 72-ounce solid gold nugget was recovered - the largest recorded to date in British Columbia. By 1878 much of the gold had been recovered and the fortune seekers moved on."

Placer gold mine along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The Holloway Bar Project, a placer gold operation on North Fork Creek, was located right below the highway at Km 614. This photo was shot in September 2000 - the mine closed in about 2012.

Cassiar Cemetery, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The Cassiar Cemetery is located at about Km 607. There have been 109 burials at the cemetery since it opened in 1963 - it is is still in use.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The community of Jade City, at Km 602.4 of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, consists primarily of a Department of Highways camp and the Cassiar Mountain Jade Store, selling both raw jade and artistic creations. The jade mine associated with the store is the focus of the television series "Jade Fever", in its third season as of 2017.

BC Highway 37 - the Cottonwood River

An old section of the highway leads off to the west at Km 580, ending at the Cottonwood River, which used to be bridged at this point. It makes a very pleasant picnic spot, and a black bear sow with twins came to investigate ours on one of our stops there!

The ghost town of Laketon, BC

At about Km 519, the gold-mining ghost town of Laketon can be seen on the opposite side of Dease Lake.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The highway wanders alongside Dease Lake for over 30 kilometers, offering some wonderful views like this one looking north. To the south of the lake is the community of Dease Lake, where you head west to access the village of Telegraph Creek.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Giving my bird a drink at Dease Lake before heading into the beautiful Glenora Ranch, south of Telegraph Creek, for a few days of R&R. This photo was shot on August 26, 1987, on my second flight into the ranch - the first was in 1985.

Mount Edziza Provincial Park

An aerial view of one of the craters at Mount Edziza Provincial Park, accessible only with difficulty, from either Iskut or Telegraph Creek. This view is to the west - the Stikine River valley is between the park and the distant peaks. June 16, 1985.

Passing Lower Gnat Lake at Km 465 of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Passing Lower Gnat Lake, southbound at Km 465 of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.

BC Rail's Northern Extension grade, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

At several points in the Gnat Pass area (between Km 458 and 468), the abandoned grade of BC Rail's Northern Extension can be accessed. It can variously be walked, biked, and even driven, for several miles in total. The project was halted in 1977 due primarily to massive cost over-runs. The photo was shot south of Gnat Pass - the highway can be seen to the right.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The Stikine River (looking upriver into Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park) from about Km 439, just north of the Stikine River Bridge. The highway has been paved since I shot this photo of my tour bus in September 1991 during a shuttle to Vancouver, but the scenery looks the same now.

The Stikine River Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The Stikine River Bridge at Km 437.4, looking north in late April.

Burrage River airstrip, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

At Km 337 is the Burrage River airstrip, now a brake-check stop for southbound commercial traffic. There are large pullouts on both sides of the highway. This photo was shot in late April.

Burrage River Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Crossing the Burrage River at Km 331, looking north. This photo was shot in 2008 - the hill is now paved. Visible upstream from the bridge is a small but quite impressive canyon. From here, it's 75 km to Iskut, 158 km to Dease Lake, and 394 km to the Alaska Highway.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, Km 296 North

Northbound at about Km 296, just north of the Bob Quinn airport, with the Highway 37 B.C. sign on the shoulder.

Bob Quinn Lake airport, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The view south from a rest area at Km 295.5 of the highway with the Bob Quinn Lake airport to the right.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

At Km 288 is a BC Heritage sign describing the Yukon Telegraph:
    Born of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, the 1,900 mile Dominion Telegraph Line linked Dawson City with Vancouver via the CPR wires through Ashcroft. Built in 1899-1901, the line blazed a route across the vast northern section of the Province but gave way to radio communications in the 1930s. Today, some of the trail and cabins used by the isolated telegraphers still serve wilderness travellers.

Bell 2 Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

"Bell 2" is the highway's second crossing of the Bell-Irving River. This photo, shot looking north at Km 249.2 in early October, shows the gates used to close the highway in the event of avalanches or other problems, and the Bell 2 bridge.

Bell 2 Lodge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The luxurious Bell 2 Lodge is at Km 249. Its busy period is in the winter, when it attracts people from around the world for helicopter skiing.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

You have be careful of the traffic congestion on the Stewart-Cassiar! We were with this fellow for a good half-hour before he headed off into the bush (with a crazy camera-laden German hot on his tail!). I got lots of close-up photos of the bear as well, but this one captures the spirit of the highway better - he's in no hurry, and neither should you be.

Bell-Irving River rest area, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

The large, paved Bell-Irving River rest area at Km 188.2 has outhouses, picnic tables, garbage bins, and a fairly large grassy area.

Bell River #1 Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

At Km 188, the Bell River #1 Bridge is the first crossing of the Bell-Irving River for northbound travellers. This photo shows the bridge when driving south.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Southbound at Km 155, Meziadin Junction, you come to the junction of Highways 37 and 37A. Highway 37A, known as "the Glacier Highway", is an exceptionally dramatic, 65-km-long paved road that leads to Stewart, and Hyder, Alaska. This photo was shot in late January.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Approaching Meziadin Junction, Km 155, northbound.

Meziadin Lake Provincial Park campground, BC

The 66-site campground at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, at Km 155.3. The lake is an important salmon spawning location, and offers good fishing.

Nass River Forest Service Road, BC

An interesting alternative to the southern section of the Stewart-Cassiar is the Nass Forest Service Road, a gravel, former logging road that heads west and south at Km 75 and connects with Highway 16. The main attraction is the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park (formerly known as the Tseaux River lava beds). This road can, however, be very rough after a spell of wet weather and is not big-rig friendly. In late June 2017, I drove my Class A motorhome and toad across the road, and posted a photojournal of the day at The ExploreNorth Blog.

Cranberry Junction, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Looking north towards Cranberry Junction, where the Nass Forest Service Road meets the Stewart-Cassiar at Km 76.

Stewart-Terrace Road in 1975

Here's a flashback to June 1975 when I lived in Stewart. I shot this photo looking north near the Nass River Bridge. We knew it as the Stewart-Terrace Road in those days because people rarely tried to get very far north of Meziadin Junction.

Nass River Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

A B-train fuel tanker going southbound across the one-lane Nass River Bridge. A rest area can be seen at the far side of the bridge.

Nass River Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Northbound at the one-lane Nass River Bridge, Kilometer 142.6, in late April.

Km 5, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Southbound at at about Km 5.

A photo of the old railway station at Kitwanaga, BC

The abandoned and vandalized Canadian National Railway station at Kitwanga, the southern end of Highway 37, as it looked on June 29, 1991. It burned in 2003.

A photo of a church in Kitwanaga, BC

The First Nations village that used to be called Kitwanga is now called Gitwangak. It's famous for its totem poles and St. Paul's Anglican Church, across the road from the site of the railway station.

A photo of a line of totem poles in Kitwanaga, BC

In Gitwangak, Kitwanga and other nearby villages, there are totem poles everywhere.

Skeena River Bridge, Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC

Northbound at the Skeena River Bridge, the start of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. Highway 16 is a couple of hundred yards behind me.