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Yellowhead Highway Itinerary: Prince George to Tête Jaune Cache

What to See and do Prince George to Tête Jaune Cache

You are driving long the route of the upper Fraser River. It is rugged and  the area has many outdoor recreation opportunities:  boating, fishing,  big game hunting, mountain biking, and in the winter: skiing and snowboarding. Take in the vibrant indigenous heritage and culture of the region.

Yellowhead Highway Overview: Prince George to Tête Jaune Cache portion

The 209 km ( 2:15 hours) section of the Yellowhead Highway from  Prince George, McBride and Tete Jaune Cache which runs along the upper Fraser River and showcases the rugged interior mountains of northeastern British Columbia.

Prince George is the largest city in northern British Columbia and serves as a hub for industry and commerce in the region. The city offers a range of amenities, including gasoline, accommodations, restaurants, and cultural attractions. From Prince George, travellers can head west or east on the Yellowhead Highway or north on Highway 97 to Mackenzie (184 km), Chetwynd (303 km), Dawson Creek (404 km)  and then head up the  Alaska Highway.

Around Prince George, the Yellowhead Highway #16 travels through a mixture of urban and rural landscapes. Heading east, the route passes through Purden Lake Provincial Park,  the Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park, Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park (with a unique old-growth forest), and West Twin Provincial Park which offer rugged landscapes, networks of hiking trails, and wildife viewing.

McBride-outside Whistle Stop Gallery-Destination BC-Jongsun Park

McBride-outside Whistle Stop Gallery-Destination BC-Jongsun Park

Continuing beside the Fraser River in a southeast direction, the highway passes through the community of McBride, which is surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas. McBride offers visitors a range of amenities, including gas, accommodations, restaurants, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

This stretch of the Yellowhead Highway passes by the west flank of Mount Robson, and offers some stunning views of the 1954 m (12,972 ft) peak which is the highest in Canada’s lower Rockies (as opposed to a Mount Logan (which is 5,959 m or 19,550 ft) in the St Elias Mountains in the Yukon. You see more views of Mount Robson on the Yellowhead heading east to Jasper, and can even see Mount Robson from the 2400m Whistler’s peak at the top of the Jasper Tram, 85 km away!

Mount Robson-photo credit Vince Rajchel

Mount Robson-photo credit Vince Rajchel

Then the Yellowhead Highway #16 heads eastward ward along the banks of the Fraser River through rural landscapes, with the occasional small community and ranch along the way before arriving at  Tête Jaune Cache,

Tete Jaune Cache - exit from westbound Yellowhead

Tete Jaune Cache – exit from westbound Yellowhead

History of the Yellowhead Highway: Prince George to Tête Jaune Cache portion

Originally, the route that the Yellowhead Highway followed was nearer the CN Rail tracks a bit to the north of today’s highway. Highway 16 (so-numbered since 1941) originally ran from New Hazelton east to Prince George , and a bit further east to  Aleza Lake.

In 1969, Highway 16 was extended east from Prince George to Tête Jaune Cache and into the Yellowhead Pass and Jasper, Alberta. It was completed by 1968, though was raised to all-weather standards in 1969.

In 1987, British Columbia and the federal government began a three-year, $36-million cost-shared prject to improve safety on Yellowhead Highway 16 to reduce several steep grades, widen sections of the highways and eliminate a  number of sharp curves.

Highway 97 History

Highway 97 (the north-south route passing theough Prince George) began as the route of the original Cariboo Wagon Road, which was also known as the Queen’s Highway, built in the 1860s to connect New Westminster and the Lower Mainland with the various gold fields during the gold rushes. The wagon road extended from Cache Creek up to Quesnel, through storied communities like Clinton, 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, and Williams Lake.

After World War II, the John Hart Highway, was built as a gravel road to join Prince George to the Peace River area by 1950. After an extensive 10-year reconstruction program, paving was completed on the 409-kilometre John Hart Highway between Prince George and Dawson Creek in 1976.

Highway 97 is BC’s longest highway, running from the Canada–United States border near Osoyoos in the south to the British Columbia–Yukon boundary in the north at Watson Lake, Yukon. This highway is 2,081 km (1,293 mi) long.

Valemount-afternoon light on mountains-Kelly Funk-Thompson Okanagan

Valemount-afternoon light on mountains-Kelly Funk-Thompson Okanagan

Highway 5 History

In the ’60s and early ’70s, work was completed on  the reconstruction of Highway 5 from Kamloops to Tête Jaune Cache.

In 1987, British Columbia and the federal government began a three-year, $36-million cost-shared prject to improve safety on Highway 5. This project reduced several steep grades, widened sections of the highways and eliminated number of sharp curves.

Route Elevation Chart

Yellowhead Highway Elevation Chart -BC: Prince George-Tete Jaune Cachne
Yellowhead Highway Elevation Chart -BC: Prince George-Tete Jaune Cachne

Map of Yellowhead Highway from Prince George to Tete Jaune Cache


Route Itinerary Details

Coming soon…