Cassiar Highway Vs. Alcan Highway

So you’re thinking about going on a road trip, huh? Well, let me tell you about two incredible highways that you should definitely consider: the Cassiar Highway and the Alcan Highway. These two roads offer some breathtaking sights and adventurous experiences that you won’t want to miss out on. Buckle up, because I’m about to give you all the details!

Now, I know you’re curious to find out which highway is the better option for your trip. Well, don’t you worry because I’ve got all the information you need. In my upcoming article, I’ll be comparing the Cassiar Highway and the Alcan Highway in terms of scenery, road conditions, and points of interest. You’ll get a firsthand account of what it’s like to travel on these roads, and I’ll even throw in some useful tips to make your journey even more enjoyable. So get ready to hit the road and discover the wonders that await you along the Cassiar Highway and the Alcan Highway. Stay tuned for more!

Cassiar Highway Vs. Alcan Highway

Cassiar Highway

The Cassiar Highway is a scenic route that offers stunning views of British Columbia’s wilderness. If you’re looking for a quieter and off-the-beaten-path experience, this highway is worth considering.


The Cassiar Highway, also known as British Columbia Highway 37, spans approximately 724 kilometers (450 miles) from the community of Meziadin Junction to the community of Watson Lake in the Yukon Territory. It is a relatively lesser-known highway compared to the famous Alcan Highway.


The highway is located in the western part of Canada, running through the northern wilderness of British Columbia and the southeastern part of the Yukon Territory. It provides a link between Yellowhead Highway 16 and the Alaska Highway.


The Cassiar Highway stretches for 724 kilometers (450 miles) and offers a scenic journey through some of Canada’s most beautiful landscapes.

Scenic Beauty

One of the major attractions of the Cassiar Highway is its breathtaking scenic beauty. As you drive along the highway, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of lush forests, towering mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The road meanders through remote and untouched wilderness, giving you a sense of tranquility and serenity.

Road Conditions

The Cassiar Highway, although less traveled, is generally well-maintained and in good condition. However, it is important to note that the road can still be subject to unpredictable weather conditions, such as rain and snow, so it’s advisable to check road conditions before embarking on your journey.

Alcan Highway

The Alcan Highway, officially known as the Alaska Highway, is a historic route that played a significant role during World War II. It offers a mix of stunning landscapes and historical significance.


The Alcan Highway is a major highway that spans approximately 2,414 kilometers (1,500 miles) from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska. It was built during World War II to connect North America to Alaska and served as a crucial supply route for the military.


The highway traverses through the wilderness of northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory before crossing the border into Alaska. It offers travelers an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of these regions.


The total length of the Alcan Highway is 2,414 kilometers (1,500 miles), making it a significantly longer route compared to the Cassiar Highway.

Historical Significance

One of the key highlights of the Alcan Highway is its historical significance. Built in just eight months, this highway was a remarkable feat of engineering and played a vital role during World War II. It provided a crucial connection between the continental United States and Alaska, allowing for the transportation of troops, equipment, and supplies.

Road Conditions

The Alcan Highway has undergone major upgrades since its construction and is primarily paved, making it a more comfortable drive compared to the Cassiar Highway. However, it’s important to note that road conditions can vary, especially in remote areas, so it’s advisable to check for any temporary closures or construction zones before setting off.


Now let’s compare some key aspects of the Cassiar Highway and the Alcan Highway to help you make an informed decision about which route suits your preferences and travel needs.

General Differences

The Cassiar Highway is a quieter and less traveled route, offering a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path experience. On the other hand, the Alcan Highway is a more popular route, attracting a higher volume of traffic.


Both highways offer stunning landscapes, but they showcase different aspects of Canada’s natural beauty. The Cassiar Highway takes you through dense forests, mountainous regions, and pristine lakes, while the Alcan Highway offers a mix of forests, rivers, valleys, and tundra as you near Alaska.


Both highways provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing. The Cassiar Highway is known for its abundance of wildlife, including bears, moose, caribou, and bald eagles. The Alcan Highway also offers wildlife sightings, such as bears, elk, bison, and various bird species.

Services and Facilities

The Alcan Highway generally offers more services and facilities along the route due to its higher popularity and historical significance. There are more gas stations, restaurants, accommodation options, and RV parks available compared to the Cassiar Highway. However, it’s important to note that the availability of services may still be limited in some remote areas.

Advantages of Cassiar Highway

If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded experience, the Cassiar Highway has several advantages to consider.

Less Traffic

Compared to the Alcan Highway, the Cassiar Highway sees fewer visitors, resulting in less traffic congestion and a more peaceful driving experience.

Quieter Scenery

The Cassiar Highway offers a more serene and untouched natural environment, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of British Columbia’s wilderness without much disturbance.


If you prefer exploring lesser-known destinations and enjoy the thrill of venturing off-the-beaten-path, the Cassiar Highway provides a sense of discovery and adventure.

Cassiar Highway Vs. Alcan Highway

Advantages of Alcan Highway

The Alcan Highway, with its historical significance and availability of services, also has its advantages.

Historical Significance

The Alcan Highway offers a unique opportunity to trace the historic route that played a vital role during World War II, making it a more culturally and historically significant journey.

Availability of Services

With its popularity, the Alcan Highway offers a wider range of services and facilities, making it easier to find gas stations, accommodations, and dining options along the way.

Safer Road Conditions

The Alcan Highway has undergone substantial improvements since its construction, resulting in better road conditions and a generally safer driving experience.

Disadvantages of Cassiar Highway

While the Cassiar Highway offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, there are a few disadvantages to consider.

Limited Services

The Cassiar Highway is less developed compared to the Alcan Highway, meaning there are fewer services available, including gas stations, accommodations, and dining options. It’s essential to plan your journey accordingly and ensure you have enough supplies.

Possible Lack of Cell Reception

In some remote areas along the Cassiar Highway, cell phone reception may be limited or nonexistent. It’s advisable to have alternative means of communication and to inform someone of your travel plans.

Disadvantages of Alcan Highway

Although the Alcan Highway has its advantages, there are also a few disadvantages to be aware of.

High Traffic

The popularity of the Alcan Highway means that it can experience high volumes of traffic, especially during peak travel seasons. This can result in delays and crowded road conditions.

Busier Scenery

The Alcan Highway attracts more visitors compared to the Cassiar Highway, so the scenery may feel more crowded and less secluded at certain points along the route.

Tips for Driving Cassiar Highway

If you decide to take the Cassiar Highway, here are some tips to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Plan for Gas and Supplies

Given the limited services along the Cassiar Highway, it’s crucial to plan your gas stops and ensure you have enough supplies for the duration of your trip.

Check Road Conditions

Before setting off, check for any road closures, construction zones, or weather advisories. This will help you prepare and make any necessary adjustments to your travel plans.

Be Prepared for Possible Wildlife Encounters

The Cassiar Highway is renowned for its wildlife, so ensure you drive cautiously and be prepared for possible wildlife encounters. This includes following speed limits and being aware of wildlife crossing signs.

Tips for Driving Alcan Highway

If you choose to travel on the Alcan Highway, these tips will help you make the most of your journey.

Plan for Gas and Supplies

While services are more readily available on the Alcan Highway, it’s still important to plan your gas and supply stops, especially in more remote sections of the route.

Check Road Conditions

Just like the Cassiar Highway, it’s essential to stay informed about any road conditions, construction zones, or temporary closures along the Alcan Highway.

Be Prepared for High Traffic and Construction Zones

Due to its popularity, the Alcan Highway can experience high traffic volumes, particularly in peak travel seasons. Be patient and prepared for congested areas and possible construction zones.


When deciding between the Cassiar Highway and the Alcan Highway, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and travel needs. If you’re seeking a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path journey with less traffic, the Cassiar Highway is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you’re interested in historical significance, availability of services, and safer road conditions, the Alcan Highway would be the better option. Regardless of which highway you choose, both offer unique experiences and a chance to explore the stunning landscapes of Canada’s wilderness. So pack your bags, plan your route, and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

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