While most travelers head to the more popular destinations in British Columbia, such as Jasper and Banff in the Rockies, the adventurous types seek out the more remote areas of Canada. This is where the Squamish – Whitehorse route stands out.
Driving the entirety of BC, from Squamish to Whitehorse is no small undertaking. We are talking nearly 2,300 km (1,429 mi). However, it really is worth it as this road trip takes you through some of the most breathtaking and remote areas of British Columbia and the famous Yukon Territory. The rewards from driving this unmatchable route are huge. You get to see an incredible nature scenery, hotspots from the Gold Rush history, historic homesteads and will probably enjoy lots of wildlife sightings. (Grizzlies, moose, bison to name a few!)
Some interesting sections along the way to Whitehorse
Sea to Sky highway – This awe-inspiring highway, officially known as BC Highway 99, is an incredible coastal route from Vancouver all the way up to Whistler. Along the road, you drive through the Howe Sound inlet, pass numerous islands, mountains, provincial parks, and many points of interest. Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton are adventure towns you definitely want to stop, even if it’s only for a short leg break. The views along the highway are just astonishing. After driving through Pemberton on Highway 99, you are led through the breathtaking mountain ranges of the Interior Plateau. On Highway 99 you will drive over Lillooet Lake, check off the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, Duffey Lake Provincial Park, the community of Lillooet, Marble Canyon Provincial Park, and much more. They don’t call this province “Beautiful British Columbia” for nothing.
After highway 99 you will remain on Highway 97 until Prince George. The Cariboo Highway (Hwy 97) runs north from Cache Creek to Prince George across the lake-studded Fraser Plateau, Green Lake, and Bowron Lake Provincial Parks, and the historic Gold Rush Trail from Lillooet (Mile 0) to Barkerville. The highway takes you through a surprising region of rolling hills and prairies, thick forests, granite-walled canyons, and impressive river valleys, where ranching, forestry, logging and mining are the mainstays of the local economy.
Highway 16 – Northwest BC is one massive playground for outdoor enthusiasts and you don’t have to venture far from the beaten path to find remote wilderness. Highway 16, northern BC’s main artery ties many communities together, it winds through towering forests, majestic mountain ranges, along rushing rivers, and endless chains of pristine lakes. So don’t forget to stop and take in the scenery! One of our favourite stops is Smithers and Hudson Bay Mountain trails for some hiking trails.
The Cassiar Highway Officially named Stewart Cassiar Highway (Highway 37).
This highway runs through a hilly and mountainous, mostly wooded wilderness region where services are found in sparsely populated communities that are far from each other. It is the most isolated, but also the most beautiful part of BC if you ask us. On your way to the Yukon you will drive the highway in its 725km entirety, passing through three well-maintained provincial parks, many beautiful lakes and a handful of small communities. There’s usually plenty of wildlife to see on the side of the road too, such as bears and deer, and if you’re lucky, a moose.
Alaska Highway (Yukon highway 1) – Watson Lake, YT to Whitehorse is a fairly straight run of approximately 454 kms on the Alaska Highway (or Highway 1). The famous Watson Lake Sign Post Forest was started by Carl Lindley, a U.S. Army soldier working on the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942. Travelers are still adding license plates to the collection. Stop at the Rancheria River valley for a short boardwalk trail to the waterfalls. The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Cultural Centre is home to amazing carvings, beadwork and other local art. Just before Whitehorse, take Miles Canyon Road for a scenic drive past the float planes on picturesque Schwatka Lake.
Explore Whitehorse – You made it to Whitehorse!! Surrounded by beautiful wilderness, the Yukon’s capital is a small city with a big wild backyard. Whitehorse played a major role in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush as a supply center for prospectors. Today, it is the Capital of the Yukon Territory and the largest city in the Yukon. For your information, the population of Whitehorse is 30,000 while the entire Yukon province inhabits 45,000 people! Some things to do in and around Whitehorse:
· Yukon Wildlife Preserve (a great place to enjoy a long walk surrounded by Yukon wildlife.)
· MacBride Museum (Gold Rush history)
· SS Klondike (historic gold rush riverboat)
And of course, countless trails to hike in the area!
We help you creating a free road trip plan to explore BC and a part of Yukon efficiently while allowing time for exploring and sightseeing.
So, book your trip and let us do the planning – this is going to be the journey of a lifetime!
Keep in mind that the one-way Squamish – Whitehorse trips can only take place in the months of May, June and September. In addition to the Jeep rental (minimum 11 days), a one-way rental fee of $799 will be added to your reservation.