Northern British Columbia: Road Trip from Prince George To Prince Rupert

Many distinct Indigenous Peoples occupy the unique landscapes of Northern BC.

Share  Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Many distinct Indigenous peoples occupy the unique landscapes of Northern BC.

When driving in Northern BC you will without a doubt drive along Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

Route 16 is A Journey Worth Taking.

This 700-kilometer stretch is navigable in either direction, west to east or east to west. It is home to many Indigenous Nations, communities, and businesses – from Indigenous eateries, guiding outfitters, and museums to camping and other accommodation options.

Discover the world-class system of parks and reserves co-managed and protected by Indigenous communities, where you’ll find ancient rainforests, coastal villages, lava fields, and glacial valleys.

Travel in a straight line or take advantage of the endless opportunities to explore just off Highway 16. This journey is filled with cultural discoveries and breathtaking landscapes.

We encourage travellers to contact tourism operators when planning their trip. Some offers and experiences may change seasonally or according to capacity.

Muncho Lake | Northern BC Tourism/Andrew Strain

Begin in Prince George

The following is a selection of some of our favourite stops and Indigenous experiences along this route.

Prince George | Northern BC Tourism/Mike Seehagel

What to Explore

Prince George, home to Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, is located at the intersection of Highway 97 and Highway 16, where the Nechako River and Fraser River meet.

If you are traveling east into Prince George, be sure to visit the hidden treasure that is Chun T’oh Whudujut. Located just off of Highway 16, the Ancient Forest is home to thousand-year-old western red cedars as well as an abundance of plants, mosses, lichens and fungi.

For a detoxifying detour, explore Chun T’oh Whudujut (Ancient Forest), located 120 km east of Prince George. This provincial park features an inland temperate rainforest and thousand-year-old western red cedars accessible via universal access boardwalks.

Learn More


Village of Gingolx | DBC/GrantHarder

Approximate Distance from Prince George to Vanderhoof: 100km

What to Explore in Vanderhoof

Continue westward to Vanderhoof, and there you’ll find a charming community known for its proximity to outdoor adventures. Learn about the Carrier and Stellat’en First Nations, who have a deep connection to the area’s natural surroundings.

What to Eat

If you’re feeling hungry, need to fill your tank or looking to stock up on sundries, Indigenous-owned G & F Market is located just south of Vanderhoof and boasts the best pizza around.

BC Map 200 km 124 mi Prince George Prince George Vanderhoof Vanderhoof
Backroads in Northern BC | Destination BC/Jeremy Koreski
Grizzly Bear | Northern BC Tourism/Brandon Broderick


Boer Mountain Trails | Destination BC/Dave Silver

Approximate Distance from Vanderhoof to Burns Lake: 128 km

What to Explore in Burns Lake

With its endless pristine shorelines, the Lakes District is the perfect place for fishers, boaters, kayakers, canoers, paddle boarders, and other water sports enthusiasts to pause and set up home base. Burns Lake is known as the mountain biking capital of BC. Head to Burns Lake Mountain bike park with your crew to ride the almost 100 km network of world-class mountain biking trails on Boer Mountain and its surrounding ridges. The trails are free to use, open year-round, and accommodate all riding levels.

Where to Stay

Check in to Indigenous-owned Key Oh Lodge in Burns Lake, with 42 well-appointed guest rooms, 24/7 front desk services, daily housekeeping, and a breakfast bar.

BC Map 200 km 124 mi Vanderhoof Vanderhoof Burns Lake Burns Lake
Boer Mountain, Burns Lake
Burns Lake | Destination BC/6ix Sigma Productions


Ksan Historical Village

Approximate Distance from Burns Lake to Smithers: 143km
Approximate Distance from Smithers to Witset: 34km

What to Explore in Witset (Hazelton)

Travel west through Telkwa, a picturesque village along the Bulkley River, and reach Smithers. Immerse yourself in the local culture by witnessing Witsuwit’en fishers practicing dip netting and exploring the Widzin Kwah Canyon House Museum.

Drive towards Old Hazelton and visit ‘Ksan Historical Village and Museum, where you can walk amongst traditional longhouses and totem poles. Experience a guided tour and explore the museum to learn the ways of the Gitxsan peoples.

Where to Stay

Located on the Yellowhead Highway 16 circle tour route to Alaska, stay at Witset RV Park & Campground. Enjoy accessible facilities and stunning views of Widzin Kwah Canyon as well as access to world-class salmon fishing.

BC Map