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.
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,
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)
Coordinates: Page 81 (Fort Nelson) C4.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.