Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Known affectionately among Al-Can travelers as Mile "0" of the Alaskan Highway, Dawson Creek is a moderate sized town offering fuel, food, lodging, museums, and an extensive tourism informaton center.
Dawson Creek is also home of the annual Yukon Quest sled dog race. The race interestingly enough runs between Fairbanks, Alaska and Dawson Creek, BC and reverses ever year it's start and finish positions between the two cities.
While this may officially be mile "0" along the Alaskan Highway unless you happen to live in Dawson Creek, or Edmonton by the time you arrive here you have probably clocked in a thousand or more miles already. Bearing that in mind Dawson Creek is a great place to stop and take a break from the monotony of marathon driving or if you're child bound like myself this is a great place to let them run around for a while. They have two supermarkets in town and the smaller one an IGA just past the: "You Are Now Entering the World Famous Alaskan Highway" sign. They have a really terrific Bakery and Deli that they offer a wide assortment of local as well as the standard fare you would expect to see most anyware. Everything is fresh made from scratch that morning this goes on my highly recomended list. You may also want to tank up with gas (as in rim it) because as you will soon discover the farther up the Alcan you go the higher the prices are for goods and services. Some interesting stuff to try are "Dutch brand" potato chips they come in card board boxes the spices are decidedly different and more flavorful than US chips. Kitkat bars as well as a lot of the candy is made with dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate and my personal favorite Candian Dr. Pepper the soda has a decidedly cherry flavor to it and is sweeter than it's American counterpart.
A brief word about traveling the Alaskan Highway. In my opinion after having driven up and down this highway four times, the Al-Can is something to be savored. If you get into too much of a rush trying to do 300-500 miles a day you will miss many of those special moments that this road cutting through some of the most rural area's in all of North America has to offer. You need to realize that most of the animal activity, bear, moose, bison, caribou, Dall sheep and whatever else takes place around dawn and dusk, and I can not emphisize that enough. What does that mean to you as a traveler you might want to plan to be at certain locations around those times. Another thing along those lines are the beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the Al-Can. During summer especially those who are west bound these sunsets last for hours going from golden yellows to reds and eventually to deep purples it seems like every hill that you cross the sky is completely different. Interestingly enough if you can get a shot of this over a body of water (Lake, stream, or river) the water will reflect and intensify the sunset's colors.
This marker is in plain sight along the Alaskan Highway so you really can'y miss it.
However if you do want a get a photo of the actual mile "0" marker you will have to park and walk 1 block south onto Main Street. Unlike the photo you see on local post cards there are no RCMP officers standing by it. In order to get a good shot of this landmark you'll need to stand out in the intersection while cars drive past you.
And while you're standing there, you might as well get a shot of the Alaska Hotel and Pub. The colorful building makes a nice shot.
This structure old farm house is Dawson Creek's Visitor Center. The place has a warm friendly staff and an astonishing amount of pamphlets and literature on tourist sites along the Al-Can, and in Alaska. They also have their own web site and respond personally to all e-mail questions about Dawson Creek and the Al-Can.