In approximately 1839 the Hudson's Bay Company created a trading post in the northwestern corner of BC, which became known as Dease Lake. The small community emerged and was originally an important transportation route, on route to the Yukon, for trappers and prospectors. Gold was discovered in the nearby Stikine River during the 1860's, which led to the influx of fortune seekers to Dease Creek in the early 1870's. Today this small town is home to over 650 residents and being the largest community in the northwest it serves as a supply hub and government centre for northern BC. The town is a popular place for travelers to stop and offers a range of amenities, including a store, post office, gas station, restaurants, hotels and RV parks. Dease Lake is also the gateway to the breathtaking landscapes and scenery of northern BC. This area of vast wilderness is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Dease Lake is located 65 km (40 mi) north of Iskut on Highway 37, the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, at the junction of the road to Telegraph Creek.
This vast park is the second largest in the province and is extremely popular amongst hikers, paddlers and wilderness campers. To access the park, turn east off Highway 37 onto the Ealue Lake Road at Tatogga Lake, follow the road for 22 km, crossing over the Klappan River. Continue down the gravel road for 112km, the road is rough but accessible for most vehicles. From here the only way to continue into the park is on foot, horseback or canoe. While walk-in camping is permitted the park provides limited facilities so visitors must come prepared. At Cold Fish Lake, in the park, there are 6 cabins for use, which are on a first come basis. Spatsizi Plateau Provincial Park has over 160 km (99 mi) of trails for hikers to explore and boasts a wide variety of wildlife including moose, grizzly and black bears, beavers and more than 140 species of birds.
Mount Edizia Provincial Park is incredibly remote and inaccessible. This magnificent park has vast volcanic landscapes and an elevation of over 2,790 meters. The scenery is stunning and awe inspiring for those who make the adventurous journey into the park. The park has no vehicle access and is typically accessed by horseback, floatplane or helicopter. Anyone wishing to enter the park by these means must obtain a letter of authority from the district office in Smithers. There are overland hikes into the park, however unless you are an experienced backcountry hiker, most people will go accompanied with an experienced guide. Wilderness camping is allowed although no facilities are provided, those who camp must be prepared to be self sufficient.
The Stikine River was historically home to the Tahltan First Nations People whose livelihood was centred on the rich ecosystem of the river. This narrow park hugs the Stikine River and has over 80 km (50 mi) of steep-walled canyon, which has formed after years of river erosion. While kayaking and canoeing are popular activities on the upper Stikine River, it is not permitted in the Grand Canyon of the Stikine, this area is extremely dangerous. Fishing and wildlife viewing are also popular; visitors can often see wolves, bears, hoary marmots and mountain goats.
Telegraph Creek is situated west of Dease Lake and has a population of approximately 450 people. This community was originally home to the Tahlan and Tlingt First Nations People. Take a stroll down the historic Main Street that was once a crucial transfer centre during the gold rush and feel like you've stepped back in time!
The Dease Lake area has an abundance of lakes and rivers which paddling enthusiasts flock to. Many enjoy paddling down the Stikine River along the border with Alaska. Paddlers embark on this journey in Telegraph Creek and continue down the Stikine River to Wrangell, Alaska. The US requires that all persons crossing the border to go into Wrangell to clear customs. Spatsizi Plateau Provincial Park also boasts a number of lakes that are excellent for both canoeing and kayaking.
The Dease River is popular for white water rafting; it has 265km of waterway as well as class 1, class 2 and some class 3 rapids, plan on taking about 7 days to finish the one-way paddle.
Dease Lake and nearby Boya Lake are home to a variety of fish, including burbot and white fish. Anglers can enjoy a relaxing afternoon of grayling fishing while taking in the fantastic scenery. Hunting is also popular and Dease Lake has several hunting guides who are headquartered in the town.
Dease Lake and the surrounding area are known for their abundance of magnificent wildlife. Visitors have the opportunity to view many animals in their natural habitats, such as grizzly and black bears, moose, caribou, wolves, beavers and over 140 species of birds. This is a must see for wildlife enthusiasts!
Northern BC Tourism Association
PO Box 2373
Prince George, BC V2N 2S6
Toll Free: 1-800-663-8843
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia