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Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > BC Hwy 97 vs 37

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halibutman214

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Posted: 02/23/12 02:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In looking at Mapquest taking Hwy 37 from Prince George to Watson Lake is 90 miles closer than taking 97 yet Mapquest routes me on 97. Is there a reason I don't want to take 37?


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paulj

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Posted: 02/23/12 04:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

97 to Dawson Ck and north uses the original Alaska Hwy, while 37 is the Cassiar. Both are good choices for heading north. Many like to take one going north, and return on the other. Do a search on the Canada/Alaska board for 'Cassiar' to find out more about these alternatives.

Unless you are really rushed for time, the mileage difference is negligible; and even then time estimates (17-18hrs) are just that, estimates.

afraid of bears

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Posted: 02/23/12 06:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We live along Hwy 16 and did the loop again last June. We went up 37 and came down 97. In my eyes, 37 is more scenic and seems to have a lot more options available for stopping for the night without using a campground. There are some things worth seeing on the other hwy, but I don't see myself going up or down it again. JMHO





paulj

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Posted: 02/23/12 07:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In this area highways are often better known by their names than their numbers. For example going west from Prince George you take the Yellowhead to the Cassiar, while going north you take the John Hart to Dawson Ck, and Alaska Hwy north.

People heading to Alaska from further east may drive to Edmonton, and then to Dawson Ck, or drive through the Canadian Rockies parks (Banff and Jasper) before taking 40 north to Dawson Ck. Or if they want to take the Cassiar, they stay on the Yellowhead from Jasper to the junction.

So the Prince George-Dawson Ck leg of BC97 (Hart) is mainly of interest to west coast travelers.

Coming from Oregon you could head to north Idaho, and enter BC on US95 or 93, and continue on BC/Alberta 93 through Kootenay, Banff and Jasper, before continuing on to Dawson Ck (and skip Prince George). If you haven't done those parks before, it's well worth your time.

halibutman214

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm headed for Alaska in July. From everything I can find I don't think I will average much over 50 mph each day if that. Unless there is some reason the trip over Hwy 37 will require me to go slower I'd rather reduce my driving time a couple hours going 37. Just wondering if there is something about 37 I'm not seeing.

afraid of bears

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

halibutman214 wrote:

I'm headed for Alaska in July. From everything I can find I don't think I will average much over 50 mph each day if that. Unless there is some reason the trip over Hwy 37 will require me to go slower I'd rather reduce my driving time a couple hours going 37. Just wondering if there is something about 37 I'm not seeing.


37 is not as straight as the other route. It is not as wide as the other route either. The road tends to be narrower. It has a few more bumps in a few more places as well. You will not travel as quickly as you would on the other highway. But, we've seen a lot more wildlife and usually less traffic on 37. It seems to be the route less taken, but I still consider it the nicer route.

romore

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hwy 37 is definitely the shorter route but forget about using it to save time, it is certainly not I-5. You won't average 50 mph especially with all the spectacular scenery to stop and gawk at. Slow down, enjoy the journey and if you don't see everything this trip (and you won'T) there is always next time.

Seamutt

Prince George BC Canada

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Posted: 02/23/12 10:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hwy 37 much more scenic. http://suethomas.ca/index.htm


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paulj

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Posted: 02/24/12 12:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It doesn't hurt to be prepared to travel either. I believe it was early last summer that 97 north of Prince George was washed out in several places. And the north end of 37 was blocked by forest fires during two successive summers, I recall discussions correctly.

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