What to do in Dawson Creek

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There’s much more to Dawson Creek than just the start of the world-famous Alaska Highway. Before you head north, tack on a few extra days and visit museums and heritage sites, walk forested trails, take in BC’s only commercial wind farm, and enjoy the Peace River’s spectacular beauty.

What to Do and See in Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek offers the perfect blend of city comforts and country life. The city’s many museums, art galleries and heritage sites bring to life the storied history of the Peace River while the area’s unique landscape and natural beauty offer outdoor recreation in every season.

Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, BC. Photo Credit: Andrew Strain

Arts and Culture in Dawson Creek

Taking a photo at the iconic Mile 0 cairn is a rite of passage in Dawson Creek. Once you’re finished snapping a selfie, head to the nearby Northern Alberta Railway Park, which houses the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and Railway Station Museum. Pop into the on-site Visitor Centre and grab a self-guided historical walking tour map of town highlighting some of the Peace River’s most interesting and fascinating characters.

Before you embark on your trip north, swing by the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, a replica townsite that shows you how the early pioneers of the Peace River lived, worked and played.

Walter Wright Pioneer Village in Dawson Creek, BC. Photo Credit: Andrew Strain

One of the area’s most interesting man-man landmarks is the Pouce Coupe train trestle. Built entirely out of wood, this 1930’s railway bridge makes a great photo-op (especially at sunset). North of Dawson Creek at Mile 21 of the Alaska Highway is the Kiskatinaw Bridge, the longest wood curved bridge in North America curving nine degrees along its 162.5-metre (534-foot) length. In nearby Rolla, be sure to pop into the Rolla Pub to experience the eclectic decor and for intimate live music.

Outdoor Activities in Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek’s rolling plains give way to lush woodlands, rocky bluffs and steep valleys and house all manner of wildlife and birds. Don’t miss the waterfowl refuge at McQueen’s Slough where you can walk a series of elevated boardwalks above the marshland. The best time to visit is during the spring or fall migration, though it’s also a refuge year-round for muskrats, beavers, minks, and foxes.

Hit the trails at Radar Lake Community Forest on Bear Mountain where there are 20-kilometres of well-signed paths to stroll, bike and in winter, cross-country ski. While there, don’t miss the 34 towering turbines that make up BC’s only commercial wind farm.

A sea of white hats at the annual Dawson Creek Exhibition & Stampede. Photo: Northern BC Tourism/Jason Hamborg

Interested in ecology? Learn about local flora and fauna at the Loeppky Park Demonstration Forest. In town, the nearly five-kilometre Dawson Creek Trail forms a natural green belt that winds past a number of the city’s 35 parks and green spaces. 

Other popular parks to visit include Swan Lake Provincial Park for mid-summer swims, One Island Lake Provincial Park for fishing, and Pouce Coupe’s regional park and Bissette Creek for picnic spots with riverside views. 

For golfers ,Dawson Creek’s fairways offer fun courses and scenic vistas of the surrounding Peace River. Hit the links at the Dawson Creek Golf & Country Club or just north of town at the Farmington Fairways Golf Course & RV Park.

Winter in Dawson Creek

Winter in the Peace River is magical.

Glide through a serene and wintry landscape at the Bear Mountain Nordic Trails. This community-oriented recreational area is entirely volunteer-run and features multi-use trails, including snowshoeing for those that prefer to walk not ski. Nearby, Bear Mountain Ski Hill, located just five minutes from downtown Dawson Creek, offers a t-bar lift, night skiing and a family-friendly lodge for apres-drinks and snacks.

South of Dawson Creek, the Paradise Valley Snowmobile Association maintains a large network of trails with terrain that appeals to all levels of riders. For those looking for a game of shinny, head to the outdoor rink in Pouce Coupe.

Anglers will want to head to Swan Lake, which sees good ice fishing action in winter.

Where to Eat in Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek has no shortage of good eats. Brown’s Social House is a favourite of locals and on most nights the atmosphere is fun and lively. The Post and Row Taphouse has plenty of Northern BC staples on tap (including beers from Fort St. John’s Mighty Peace Brewing and Beards Brewing) along with a solid brunch and happy hour menu. You don’t want to miss Stuies, a 50’s-style diner set in a repurposed railway caboose.

Need a morning caffeine fix? Hug a Mug’s Coffee House & Eatery and Beans & Barley has got you covered. In summer and fall, stock up on the fresh bounty for your trip at the Dawson Creek Farmers Market. You’ll also find Indian from Spicy Fusion, sushi from Dawson Creek Sushi, Vietnamese from Juice 5-0 Noodle bar, and casual eats at Mr. Mike’s, Original Joe’s, and Boston Pizza.

Where to Stay in Dawson Creek

Comfortable accommodation can be found right in town, including the Days Inn, Stonebridge Hotel, and Holiday Inn Express. Just west of town, the Northern Lights RV Park & Cabins offer serviced lots for RV’ers, along with cabin rentals, while north of town, Farmington Fairways Golf Course & RV Park provides easy access to the on-site golf course. Campers will find plenty of sites available with excellent amenities at provincial and private campgrounds surrounding Dawson Creek.

How To Get to Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek is easily accessible, with direct flights connecting from Vancouver and Calgary daily. Vehicle rentals are available from local airports; make sure to reserve in advance.

By road, there are multiple points of entry to Northeast BC. From Vancouver and the Okanagan, expect a two-day drive via Highway 1 and 97. Coming from Edmonton and Grande Prairie? Highway 43 is an easy one-day straight shot; from Calgary, Highways 2 and 22 will connect you to the main artery heading west in a longer but scenic route.

Highway 16 in Northern BC will connect you to Prince George, then onto Highway 97 north.