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.
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.
There are full-service gas stations (the Petro-Canada is at The Blue Bell Inn), including a 24-hour AFD public cardlock station. RV repairs and licensed mechanics at Dalex Auto Services, phone 250-774-6804. Groceries and supplements at Down to Earth Health Shop. Convenience store and gas/diesel at Blue Bell Inn; laundromats; auto supply stores; and department stores. There are 2 banks, a post office, liquor store, library and several churches.
- 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.
- Tails Wagging Adventures, phone 250-321-1456, offers daily 6am–9pm (summer) demonstrations of dog mushing, kennel tours and meet the puppies. Just 5 minutes from museum.
- A big parade is part of the Canada Day celebration on July 1st.
- 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.