The DIRT

Name: Telegraph Creek

Location: Northern BC

Distance: 150 km (one way)

Duration: 1 day, we recommend spending a night in the area and making it a two day trip as a minimum

Rating: Class 2

 marksampson

Photo by: Mark Sampson

Located on Highway 37 (Stewart-Cassiar) at the small settlement of Dease Lake is road that is not to be missed.  At 150 kilometres in length the Telegraph Creek Rd is a classic.  The road is gravel and follows the banks of the Stikine River to the small, mostly native settlement of Telegraph Creek.  The natives are part of a band called the Tahltan First Nation and they speak the Tahltan language, although many speak English as well. 

marksampson2

Photo by: Mark Sampson

The road itself is commonly referred to as the Telegraph Creek Road.  Twists and turns and steep hills, along with outstanding scenery make this road popular with overland travellers.  Some of the hills have a 20% gradient.  With sharp cliffs down to the water there are countless places to get that perfect postcard photo.  Telegraph Creek is known as the most remote town in British Columbia that is accessible by road.

marksampson3

Photo by: Mark Sampson

The town site and area have a colourful history dating back to the gold rush era known as the Yukon Gold Rush.  Gold was discovered in the Stikine River in the late 1860’s and became the head of navigation for paddle wheelers during the planning phases of the Collins Overland Telegraph Cable.  This cable project began in 1866 but was stopped when the first cable was laid across the Atlantic Ocean.  The project started back up when the gold rush hit and was finished in 1901; by 1936 it was abandoned in favour of the new technology of wireless radio.  The Telegraph Trail is mostly abandoned now and has become overgrown, rumour has it though that there is a 265 km stretch that hikers have completed.

telegraph creek townsite

The town has several old building dating back to the gold years, some have been abandoned and some have been restored.  The original Hudson Bay Company store now acts as a cafe, general store and lodge.

gspd750

Photo By: GSPD750

Camping can be found in Dease Lake at the Allen Lake Forest Service recreation site.  Along the road there are three designated forest service recreation sites.  Glenora, Winter Creek and Dodjatin, together these three sites have room for 40 vehicles.  Lodging is also available in Telegraph Creek and a few small lodges in the area.

gspd7502

Photo By: GSPD750

The road surface is comprised of compacted dirt with light gravel, this means it will get slick when wet.  Combine this with the switchbacks and hills and travellers should be very careful if attempting this road during adverse weather conditions.  For many folks travelling the north they quote that Telegraph Creek is the highlight of their northern trips, surpassing the big classics for scenery and interesting roads.

 

rree2014logo50percent