The unpaved road to Telegraph Creek is a Canadian classic
Telegraph Creek is a small town on the banks of the Stikine River in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The road to the town is beautiful but rough.
The road to the town is known as Telegraph Creek Road (Highway 51). Travelling alongside and parallel to the Stikine River, the road is prone to washouts and rock slides. It’s 110km (68miles) long running east-west from Dease Lake, on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, to Telegraph Creek, a small, mostly native settlement. To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 2 and 3 hours.
Tucked away in northern British Columbia, the road is not easy. It’s a narrow steep mountain road, hitting a 20% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. It’s mostly unpaved (at Km 4.7 the pavement ends, then you cross over a cattle guard and head into the wilderness). It is comprised of compacted dirt with light gravel, this means it will get slick when wet but nothing moderately experienced riders can’t handle. The road tops out at 849m (2,785ft) above the sea level and will test your brakes. There are quite a few switchbacks that have created a few headaches over the years for the truck drivers transporting goods in and out of the area.
It’s not recommended to large RVs and trailers but is suitable for most vehicles. The road was constructed during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1860s. The journey offers stunning views of the Stikine River. With sharp cliffs down to the water there are countless places to get that perfect postcard photo.
Pic&video: Jen Philippe
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