Fort Nelson

Population: 6,147

Fort Nelson is located at Historical Mile 300 of the Alaska Highway, 283 miles north of Dawson Creek, BC, and 330 miles southeast of Watson Lake, YT.

Visitor information:
Visitor Centre located at the west end of town inside the Northern Rockies Regional Recreation Centre, phone 250-774-6400. Open daily in summer and weekdays the rest of the year.

Fort Nelson was established in 1805 by the North West Fur Trading Co. The current town site occupies what was the fifth fort site established by the Hudson’s Bay Co. The Canadian government constructed an airport in 1941, as part of the Northwest Air Staging Route. Construction of the Alaska Highway followed in 1942, with about 2,000 soldiers bivouacked in Fort Nelson. The community grew in the 1940s and 1950s as a service centre for regional development and Alaska Highway travelers. Today, forestry, oil and gas are major industries here.

All visitor services are available in Fort Nelson, with lodging at about a dozen hotels/motels, including the Woodlands Inn & SuitesRamada Limited phone 1-866-774-2844 or email, and the Blue Bell Inn, phone 800-663-5267 or email. Dining at Woodlands Inn & Suites One Restaurant & Lounge, Triple “G” Hideaway Family Restaurant, a grocery with vegetarian cafe and coffee bar at Down to Earth Health Shop, and baked goods, wraps, salads and comfort foods. Camping at the Triple “G” Hideaway and at Blue Bell Inn. Ye Olde Quilt Shoppe is 5 km south of Fort Nelson phone 250-775-2773 or email.

There are full-service gas stations (the Petro-Canada is at The Blue Bell Inn). RV repairs and licensed mechanics at Dalex Auto Services, phone 250-774-6804 and at Muskwa Service Ltd, phone 250-774-6374. Get your car cleaned and fixed at Al’s Car Clean & Repair/Uhaul dealer, phone 250-774-4931. Groceries and supplements at Down to Earth Health Shop. Convenience store, laundry and gas/diesel at Blue Bell Inn; auto supply stores; and department stores. There are 3 banks with ATMs and a credit union, a post office, liquor store, library and several churches. Internet access is available at the library at town square and at the Visitor Centre.

Attractions:

  • Fort Nelson Heritage Museum, phone 250-774-3536, has excellent displays of pioneer artifacts and one of the most impressive collections of antique cars in British Columbia.
  • Northern Rockies Recreation Centre has 2 ice arenas, curling rink, fitness rooms and adjacent Skateboard Park. Fort Nelson Aquatic Centre has a 25m swimming pool, slides, whirlpool and sauna.
  • Play golf at Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club, just north of town on the Old Alaska Highway.