Canada - British Columbia

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From Vancouver to the Yukon, by sea and land. Back South from the Yukon to Alberta on the Alaskan Highway.
In the district/city of North Vancouver, lively streets lined with quaint buildings rise uphill from the shore, offering stunning views across Burrard Inlet on Downtown Vancouver skyline.
Home to Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park rests on the highest hill of Downtown Vancouver. Besides its colorful early summer bloom, the park displays all year round magnificent views of the entire city and its surroundings with the North Shore Mountains in the background.
The district of Yaletown sits at the Southeastern tip of Downtown Vancouver. Here, condominiums tower over renovated brick warehouse lofts hosting swanky brew pubs and restaurants, while professionals offer their services out of these carefully restored Victorian houses.
Victoria, capital city of British Columbia, is an historical jewel located at the Southern tip of Vancouver Island, across Swartz Bay. From the fort established by the Hudson Bay Co. in 1843 on BC’s very first harbor, it lost its commercial supremacy when the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway favored Vancouver. The city center reinvented itself into a popular playground mainly for tourists.
A one-day cruise through the Inner Passage along the British Columbian Coast is a convenient alternative to the 1500 km drive connecting Vancouver to Prince Rupert further north. This peaceful, scenic navigation through narrow straits provides for beautiful landscapes and a variety of atmospheres, from bright and sunny snapshots to eerie Japanese prints, here in Grenville Channel.
Prince Rupert was born at the turn of the 20th century when the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway elected its natural deep sea harbor to build here a port which would rival Vancouver's. The 1938 fine Art Deco City Hall reflects its golden past, when its harbor promised to provide a major outlet for the vast resources of Canada's far North.
The ride from Prince Rupert winds along the banks of the mighty Skeena River for nearly 150 km before reaching the small community of Kitsukalum, right outside of Terrace. This distinctive 1971 building is named House of Sim-Oi-Ghets which means "House of Chiefs" in the Tsimshian language.
More than 300 km from Terrace, Highway 37A reaches the small town of Stewart, which serves as a base from which to explore the Bear and Salmon Glaciers nearby.
The Bear River enters the head of the Portland Canal at the community of Stewart. Despite its name, the Portland Canal is a channel or inlet which stretches its mysterious fjord for over 100 km onto the US side through Hyder, Alaska and beyond.
The Tahltan River flows southwest into the Stikine River through this remote area of BC. A dead-end road towers over its deeply cut valley, leading to the small Tahltan community of Telegraph Creek. No wonder the Tahltans were the last clan in North America to have European contact as late as 1838!
Born in 1898 with the discovery of gold nearby, the community of Atlin is graced by the Eastern shore of the mighty Atlin Lake, headwater of the Yukon River and named after the Tlingit word "atlah", which quite appropriately means 'big water'. It is surrounded by glaciers, the most prominent being Llewellyn Glacier, whose great tongues of ice, melting into Atlin Lake, release the sediments which account for its aquamarine hue.
The BC portion of Highway 97, South of Watson Lake teems with wildlife. If bear and moose can be spotted furtively, woodland bison can be admired at length and in large numbers, confidently grazing on the side of the road. Hence these warning signals!
End of September, fall colors in the Liard River Valley provide a scenic ride on this BC portion of the Alaska Highway, here between Whirlpool Canyon and Liard River Hot Springs.
This deep cold glacier lake named Muncho Lake is a popular summer destination for its recreation activities as for its jade waters. Yet, the changing skies of late fall provide for a wider spectrum of colors and moods.
The Racing River Valley is encased in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, one of the largest protected areas in the world, located on the Northern end of the Rocky Mountains. Here, stone sheep and mountain goats roam, sometimes even by the side of the road!
The Alaska Highway crosses the Prophet River first right South of Fort Nelson, and meets it again further South of the First Nation community by the same name of Prophet River.
The project of a highway connecting Alaska to continental US though Canada became strategic priority for the US following Pearl Harbor for security reasons but also as a supply route to access northern oilfields. Canada agreed to it, provided that the US would bear its full cost and turn it over to the Canadian authorities six months after the war ended. The 2237 km of the ALCAN Highway were completed in less than 8 months in 1942 from March to October, connecting Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, AK, an impressive feat under particularly challenging conditions: bitter cold coupled with the difficulty of building a road on frozen ground which was replaced in the spring by clouds of mosquitoes, flies and gnats, as well as mud and river floods. Regularly improved since, it proves a constant challenge to maintain with the growing problem of melting permafrost as a result of higher temperatures in the region. Dawson Creek marks for Cristobal the end of another long day on the Alaska Highway, right here at its Mile 0.