Trip 235 - September 11, 2021 (Saturday)

Fort Nelson BC Visit


Fort Nelson Location: Along BC Highway 97 (Alaska Highway) in Northeastern British Columbia - 1,600 km North of Vancouver, 380 km North of Fort St. John, and about 470 km South of BC/Yukon border.

Liked: Wide frontage roads, hanging flower baskets, graduates photos on banners, a pretty church, wall art, a few interesting-looking buildings, open air museum, Recreation Centre (ice rink, indoor track, pool, showers).

Of Note: Fort Nelson is a very small and remote town (the nearest large town being Fort St. John 380 km to the South) with limited services, it gets very cold in the winter, some roads in Fort Nelson are gravel.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Fort Nelson Coordinates: Page 81 (Fort Nelson) C4.

Related Websites: Fort Nelson - Wikipedia, Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.

Other Trips in Fort Nelson Area: Dunedin Trail, Teetering Rock Trail, Summit Peak Trail, Summit Ridge Trail, Stone's Sheep Trail.

Fort Nelson is part of Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. This town is far, very far. And small, very small. And cold in the winter, very cold. But what an awesome little place it is for anyone traveling on Alaska Highway (BC Highway 97). Just to think that the closest place to do any substantial repairs on your vehicle is either 380 km to the South in Fort St. John, or 510 km to the North in Watson Lake, Yukon. The same goes for hospital care, or RCMP detachments, or any large store, grocery or otherwise.

There are several thousand people living in Fort Nelson year round, but thousands more pass through on their way to/from Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alaska, as well as that part of British Columbia which is located North of Fort Nelson.

If you would like to spend a night in Fort Nelson on the street in your vehicle, the best place is the Southwest part of town, where the big rigs park (near Chevron gas station, on the left side soon after you enter Fort Nelson going North). Stay away from trucks with reefer trailers, as those are very loud.

1. We are Northbound on Alaska Highway (BC Highway 97), approaching Fort Nelson. The sign indicates that turning right would be the beginning of Sierra YoYo Desan (SYD) Road, which leads to numerous oil and gas fields in Northern British Columbia. As well, Fort Nelson Airport (Northern Rockies Regional Airport) is in that direction.


BC Highway 97 near Fort Nelson British Columbia Canada

2. And here is the intersection of Highway 97 and SYD Road. We are entering Fort Nelson, which stretches for about 3 km along the Alaska Highway. The industrial part is mostly to the left, and the residential area, including most stores, is on the right side.


BC Highway 97 at SYD Road

3-4. Shortly past the above intersection, there is a street light with neat banners.


Fort Nelson Street Banners

5. And, just past that, a Welcome to Fort Nelson sign on the right side.


Welcome to Fort Nelson Sign

6. Continuing on Alaska Highway through Fort Nelson.


Alaska Highway in Fort Nelson BC Canada

7. On both sides of Alaska Highway are very wide frontage roads (50th Avenue North and South). This is the frontage road to the right, 50th Avenue North.


50th Avenue North Fort Nelson BC Canada

8. Fort Nelson Hotel is located on 50th Avenue North.


Fort Nelson Hotel

9. Well done.


Fort Nelson Hotel British Columbia Canada

10. Aside from neat banners showing local nature, Fort Nelson features hanging flower baskets, as well as banners with photographs of high school graduates. We have never seen anything like that in British Columbia prior to that. However, on our drive back to Vancouver, we saw that in Chetwynd grads get to be celebrated in exactly the same manner.


Fort Nelson BC Canada

11. One of the best-looking buildings in Fort Nelson is located on the corner of 50th Avenue North and Simpson Trail, at the other end of the town. It houses Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Fort Nelson Visitor Centre, and Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre.


Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre in Fort Nelson British Columbia Canada

12-13.  We will return to that fine building shortly. For the time being, moving on - just a few hundred meters further is a sani-station.


Fort Nelson Sani-Station

14. An info board by the sani-station shows what services are available between Fort Nelson and Yukon border.


Alaska Highway Information Board in Fort Nelson BC

15-16. And, across the highway, is Fort Nelson Heritage Museum.


Fort Nelson Heritage Museum

17-18. There are numerous old vehicles on the outside.


Fort Nelson Heritage Museum Outdoor Exhibit

19. You can also buy a ticket and check out the exhibit inside the museum.


Fort Nelson Museum

20. Now returning to the fine building on the corner of 50th Ave North and Simpson Trail.


Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre Fort Nelson BC Canada

21. Nice architecture. This is the entrance to the Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre, which has a pool, an ice rink, and a walking/running track. By the way, the entrance doors have wave sensors - just wave your hand at them, and the door opens without the need to touch any buttons or handles.


Fort Nelson Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre

22. In the same building but just to the left is Fort Nelson Visitor Centre and Chamber of Commerce.


Fort Nelson Visitor Centre and Chamber of Commerce

23. The view of the Aquatic Centre immediately after the entrance.


Inside Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre

24. The reception desk is to the right. You can pay under $5 and have a shower, or a bit more and use the pool as well. The campground across the highway (next to the museum) has coin showers - if you are quick enough it is possible to get clean there for exactly a dollar.


Northern Rockies Regional Aquatic Centre Reception Area

25. Let's check out other parts of Fort Nelson. Here is 50th Avenue South at 48th Street, with Lakeview Inn on the left side.


Fort Nelson Lakeview Inn

26-27. Also on 50th Avenue South but by 50th Street is this abandoned building with neat wall art.


Fort Nelson Wall Art

28. This is the residential area of Fort Nelson. Airport Drive close to Boundary Drive.


Airport Drive Fort Nelson BC

29. Some roads in Fort Nelson are gravel, such as McConachie Trail.


McConachie Trail in Fort Nelson British Columbia

30-31. A very fine-looking Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church is located on Airport Drive by McLeod Road.


Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fort Nelson BC Canada

32-33. While checking out Fort Nelson, we have encountered street performers on 50th Ave South.


Fort Nelson Street Performers

Here is our video of these performers.

More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.

34. Northern Rockies Regional Airport is located about 8 km from Fort Nelson.


Northern Rockies Regional Airport

35. And here is a map of Simpson Trail around Fort Nelson, which also gives a good idea of the town's layout.


Fort Nelson Map - Simpson Trail Map

Fort Nelson is a great place to stop at for anyone traveling on Alaska Highway.

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