Location: Northeastern British Columbia, West of the town of
campgrounds along the road, with decent views. Access to several trails.
Of note: The road itself is unremarkable.
Numerous potholes make the 80 km/h speed limit unrealistic until the
later part of the road. Signs of frequent logging activity along the
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition)
Beginning of the FSR: Page 55 (Mackenzie)
The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available
for purchase at
Parsnip West Forest Service Road starts near the town of Mackenzie, BC
and goes into the wilderness along Williston Lake, which was formed when
W.A.C. Bennett dam was created. The road itself is rather boring, but it
leads to many neat campgrounds (all free of charge), and several trails.
It is possible to launch a boat from at least one of the campgrounds.
Please, note that we drove along this Parsnip West FSR starting from
about the 12th kilometer, from a point where Highway 39 ends at Parsnip West. The first
12 kilometers are not shown in this trip report.
Here is a table of interesting things along Parsnip West FSR. Mileage
shown from about the 12th kilometer, where Highway 39 ends at Parsnip
1. We are on Highway 97 North, with Highway 39 turnoff seen on the the
left side. From this junction, Prince George is 170 km South, and
Chetwynd is 160 km North on Highway 97. Mackenzie is 29 kilometers West
on Highway 39. Petro Canada at this intersection usually has very good
prices on gas, in case you are in need of fuel. There is also a gas
station in Mackenzie.
Highway 97 at Highway 39 British Columbia Canada
2. A train car seen on the photo above is actually a tourist information
centre. It's open seasonally, but the washrooms outside appear to stay
open longer than that.
British Columbia Visitor Centre Highway 97 at Highway 39
3. This is a close up of an advertisement board seen on the photo above.
It also shows the town of Mackenzie from the air.
Mackenzie Chamber of Commerce Advertisement Board
4. Having turned onto Highway 39, we are 29 kilometers away from
BC Highway 39 Towards Mackenzie
5. The town of Mackenzie has a pleasant feel of a small town, and
features this enormous tree crusher along Highway 39.
Tree Crusher Display Mackenzie BC Canada
6. The map of Mackenzie and the surrounding area is located by the tree
crusher. We have marked the photo of the map as follows: 1 - Highway 39
South (the way to Highway 97 and then either South towards Prince
George, or North towards Chetwynd). 2 - Mackenzie Municipal Airport. 3 -
Parsnip West FSR. 4 - Heather - Dina Lakes Provincial Park. 5 - The road
to Cut Thumb Bay Recreation Site. 6 - Continuation of Parsnip West FSR.
7 - Highway 39 end at Parsnip West FSR (12th kilometer). 8 - the first
12 km of Parsnip West FSR, where you would find Alexander Mackenzie
Landing recreation site and boat launch.
Mackenzie BC Town Map and Mackenzie Area Map
7. We are still on Highway 39 in Mackenzie, driving by a mall.
Mackenzie British Columbia Canada
8. Soon, Mackenzie was mostly behind us, with a small subdivision or two
BC Highway 39
9. 38.6 km after Highway 97, Highway 39 ends at this intersection, and we are starting on
Parsnip West at about the 12th kilometer mark of that road. Zero your odometer at
this point, if you want to follow the table of points of interest
BC Highway 39 at Parsnip West Forest Service Road
10. A bit further.
Parsnip West FSR Information Stand
11. Parsnip West here has a speed limit of 80 km/h. However, due to
numerous large potholes, a more realistic speed would be around 40-50
Parsnip West Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada
12. Parsnip West is a plain ride, with not much to see, unless you visit
some of the more picturesque campsites. Don't remember the exact
location of the photo below, but it's one of the more attractive views
of this road.
Parsnip West FSR Province of BC Canada
13. A good representation of the numerous and large potholes.
Large potholes Parsnip West FSR
14. At the 12.1 km mark after Highway 39 ended, there is a turnoff to
Heather Lake. The recsite is about 500 meters after the turn.
Parsnip West FSR Heather Lake turnoff British Columbia Canada
15. A map of Heather-Dina Lakes Provincial Park.
Heather-Dina Lakes Provincial Park Map
16. A short drive later, you are at the lake. There are one or two
camping sites here.
Heather Lake BC Camping Site
17. A place to launch your canoe.
Heather Lake BC Canada
18. Heather Lake.
Heather Lake British Columbia Canada
19. At the 18.6 km mark, Dina Lakes turnoff is on the left side. The
recsite itself starts very shortly after the turn.
Parsnip West FS Dina Lake Turnoff
20. This campground is also small, and it too offers an opportunity to
launch a canoe or a small motor-powered boat. A sign advised that this is a
car-top boat launch only.