Alaska 2008

Prince Rupert, BC to Kitwanga, BC

152 Miles/ 243 Km

4 July 2007

Route Map

Destination Map

Route Information


Points of interest

Distance From





Prince Rupert, BC Prince Rupert RV Campground Home
54.299 N
130.341 W
Terrace, BC   Home
Prince Rupert
54.516 N
128.605 W
BC BC 16
Kitwanga, BC Cassiar RV Park Home
Prince Rupert
55.115 N
128.033 W

BC 16
BC 37
(Cassiar Highway)

Photographs and Commentary

We woke up this morning to gray skies and rain. The rain stopped while we were preparing the trailer for the road. Today we backtracked east to Kitwanga, a short hop of about 150 miles. At Kitwanga we will pick up the Cassiar Highway and head north for about 450 miles to the Alaska Highway. We drove on the Cassiar Highway on the home bound portion of the trip in 2005. The highway conditions at that time were not the greatest with more than 100 miles of the highway unpaved. The guidebooks tell us that it now 95% paved. No matter how much of it is paved, it is still a road that is not meant for speed with many hills and curves. It is because of the type of road that we have to cover, that we decided that we will not attempt the Cassiar today. This afternoon I talked to one of the people overnighting here who had just come down the Cassiar. He told me that road conditions on the Cassiar are not good and the northern portion is particularly bad. That information confirmed our decision to stop here overnight.

We had stopped at this same campground in 2005 and spent an extra day looking at the collection of totem poles and a recreated village. The villages in this area and down to the coast at Prince Rupert are all part of the Tsimshian First Nation group. In Kitwanga we met a group of young carvers working under the tutelage of an older carver in a new carving shed. They told us that their plan was to replace some of the village's fallen totems with new ones and to create other crafts, such as masks, to sell from a visitors center near the carving shed. We went back to that village and found the carving shed empty and overgrown with weeds. We turned around and left. They had high hopes for a renewal of the carving tradition. We were so disappointed in what we saw and just headed back to the campground.

This campground is virtually empty. In 2005 they were packed. In speaking with the owner, we learned that they are seeing fewer people this year and had a number of large caravans cancel their reservations. These caravans, with 25 or more RVs each, are the lifeblood of these campgrounds and I suspect that some of them will cease to exist. The camper who had just come down from Alaska told me that he had no problem getting any site during his travels in Alaska and the Yukon because many of the campgrounds are well below capacity. This reduction on the volume of RV traffic is attributable to the rise in fuel costs. The price of gasoline and diesel fuel in Canada are well above $5.00 a gallon. The highest price we paid to date is $6.06 per gallon of diesel right here in Kitwanga. Interestingly, the campgrounds we had stayed in up to now, while not 100% occupied, were relatively full. A lot of the areas we are traveling through are dependent on the short tourist season for the bulk of their livelihood and it looks like they are going to have a bleak summer season. I did learn that the cost of fuel in Alaska is much lower than it is in northern British Columbia.

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