Fort St. John Photo: Simon Ratcliffe
There is an infectious, energetic rhythm in Fort St. John, a friendly city that has the second youngest population in British Columbia. Optimism, wealth, and good, clean fun are in the hearts of every resident. Proclaimed as the Music Capital of Northern BC in 2009, Fort St. John is alive with the sound of music all year round.
Outside the city limits, a mosaic of croplands grow under the warm summer skies, creating a patchwork that reaches out to the area’s deep, clean lakes and lush forests. Here adventurers, recreational enthusiasts, and wildlife share thousands of acres of pristine wilderness playground.
While the long hot summer days are filled with water-skiing, hiking, camping and horseback riding, the bright, cold winters create the perfect playing fields for the avid sledders, ice fishermen, cross-country skiers and hunters.
The “Aurora Borealis” otherwise known as the Northern Lights is one of nature’s amazing attributes and can best be seen on a clear, winter night right around Fort St. John.
This is the place for adventure, no matter the season. A place where weather extremes are embraced for the challenge they offer and the satisfaction they reward.
The community of Charlie Lake is located just 9 km (5.6 mi) north-east of Fort St. John travelling along the Alaska Highway.
Fort St. John is located on a plateau above the Peace River Valley 73 km (45.5 mi) northwest of Dawson Creek and 387 km (240 mi) southeast of Fort Nelson.
Historically, Fort St. John traces its roots back to the end of the 18th century, when Alexander Mackenzie opened a series of forts along the Peace River to service the fur traders.
At the end of World War I, many veterans moved westward to the fertile agricultural lands on both sides of the Peace River, and formed the population base for the tiny hamlet of Fort St. John. In 1942, the Alaska Highway was completed which sparked a population boom and the discovery of high-grade oil in 1951 that set the city’s course as British Columbia’s Oil & Gas Capital.
Fort St. John is now home to over 20,000 people and is the largest regional centre in northeastern British Columbia serving some 60,000 people in the area.