British Columbia Highway 16

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Highway 16 shield

Highway 16
Yellowhead Highway
Trans-Canada Highway
Route information
Length: 1,173 km (729 mi)
Existed: 1953 – present
Haida Gwaii segment
Length: 101 km[1] (63 mi)
North end: Masset
South end: BC Ferries dock in Skidegate
Mainland segment
Length: 1,072 km[1] (666 mi)
West end: BC Ferries dock in Prince Rupert
BC 113 in Terrace
BC 37 south in Terrace
BC 37 north in Kitwanga
BC 118 in Topley
BC 35 in Burns Lake
BC 27 near Vanderhoof
BC 97 in Prince George
BC 5 near Tête Jaune Cache
East end: Alberta border
continues as Hwy 16 (TCH)
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 15 BC 17

Highway 16 is the British Columbia, Canada, section of the Yellowhead Highway. The highway closely follows the path of the northern B.C. alignment of the Canadian National Railway. The number "16" was first given to the highway in 1942, and originally, the route that the highway took was more to the north of today's highway, and it was not as long as it is now. Highway 16 originally ran from New Hazelton east to an obscure location known as Aleza Lake. In 1947, Highway 16's western end was moved from New Hazelton to the coastal city of Prince Rupert, and in 1953, the highway was re-aligned to end at Prince George. In 1969, further alignment east into Yellowhead Pass was opened to traffic after being constructed up through 1968 and raised to all-weather standards in 1969. Highway 16's alignment on the Haida Gwaii was commissioned in 1984, with BC Ferries beginning service along Highway 16 to the Haida Gwaii the following year.

A series of murders and disappearances has given the stretch between Prince Rupert and Prince George the name Highway of Tears.

Route description[edit]

Haida Gwaii section[edit]

The 101 km (63 mi) segment of the 1,347 km (837 mi)-long B.C. Highway begins in the west in the village of Masset, on the northern coast of Graham Island. Proceeding south, the highway goes 38 km (24 mi) to the inlet town of Port Clements. Winding its way along the boundary of Naikoon Provincial Park, Highway 16 goes south for 27 km (17 mi) before reaching the community of Tlell. 36 km (22 mi) south of Tlell, Highway 16 reaches Skidegate, where its Haida Gwaii section terminates.

Mainland section[edit]

BC Ferries then takes Highway 16 across the Hecate Strait for 172 km (93 nmi) due northeast to its landing at Prince Rupert.

Highway 16 heading west towards Prince Rupert from Terrace

From Prince Rupert, Highway 16 begins its winding route east through the Coast Mountain Ranges. Following the Skeena River, the highway travels for 151 km (94 mi) to the city of Terrace. Highway 37 merges onto Highway 16 in Terrace, and the two highways share a common alignment for 91 km (57 mi) northeast to the Kitwanga junction, where Highway 37 diverges north. Another 43 km (27 mi) northeast, Highway 16 reaches New Hazelton, where it then veers southeast along the Bulkley River. 68 km (42 mi) later, the highway reaches the town of Smithers, proceeding southeast another 64 km (40 mi) to the village of Houston.

Along the Skeena River, near Kitwanga

At Houston, Highway 16 begins a parallel course along the little Bulkley River, proceeding 81 km (50 mi) east to its junction with Highway 35 at Burns Lake. 128 km (80 mi) east, after passing through the hamlet of Fraser Lake, Highway 16 reaches its junction with Highway 27 in the town of Vanderhoof. 97 km (60 mi) east of Vanderhoof, Highway 16 reaches its B.C. midpoint as it enters the city of Prince George at its junction with Highway 97. Highway 16 leaves Prince George after coursing through the city for 9 km (5.6 mi).

Passing through Mt. Robson Provincial Park.

120 km (75 mi) east of Prince George, Highway 16 reaches the community of Dome Creek, where it converges with the Fraser River and turns southeast. It follows the Fraser River upstream for 82 km (51 mi) to McBride, then continues upstream for another 64 km (40 mi) to its junction with Highway 5 at Tête Jaune Cache. 14 km (8.7 mi) east of Tête Jaune Cache, Highway 16 enters Mount Robson Provincial Park, coursing through the park for 63 km (39 mi) to the boundary between British Columbia and Alberta within Yellowhead Pass.

The Highway of Tears[edit]

The Highway of Tears is a stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.[2] Since 1969, numerous women have gone missing along the 720 km (450 mi) section of highway.[3] RCMP list the number of missing or murdered women at eighteen but aboriginal organizations speculate that number ranges into the forties.[4] Thirteen out of the eighteen recorded victims were teenagers while ten out of the eighteen were of aboriginal descent.[5] In 2006, RCMP launched Project E-PANA; a special investigation unit that focused on the Highway of Tears disappearances and murders.[6] The unit was originally given nine cases in 2006 which then doubled to eighteen cases in 2007.[6] Due to budget cutbacks in the past few years, E-PANA's officers and budget have been dramatically cut; significantly hampering investigations into the Highway of Tears.[5]

Major intersections[edit]

From west to east, the following intersections are observed along Highway 16.[7][8] Distances exclude the 172 km (93 nmi) ferry between Skidegate and Prince Rupert.

Regional district Location km[1] mi Destinations Notes
Skeena-Queen Charlotte Masset 0.00 0.00 Hodges Avenue / Towhill Road Western terminus of the Yellowhead Highway
Skidegate 100.90 62.70 Oceanview Drive (Road 33) – Queen Charlotte
101.19 62.88 Skidgate Ferry Terminal
Hecate Strait BC Ferries from Skidegate to Prince Rupert
Skeena-Queen Charlotte Prince Rupert 0.00 0.00 Prince Rupert Ferry Terminal
3.41 2.12 2nd Avenue W
McBridge Street
BC 16 branches east
15.18 9.43 Galloway Rapids Bridge from Kaien Island to the mainland
15.36 9.54 Skeena Drive – Port Edward
Kitimat-Stikine Terrace 145.91 90.66 BC 113 north (Nisga's Highway) – Nisga's Nation
147.72 91.79 Sande Street
Greig Avenue – City Centre
BC 16 branches south
147.97 91.94 Keith Avenue BC 16 branches east
Dudley Little West Bridge and Dudley Little Main Bridge crosses the Skeena River
150.50 93.52 BC 37 south – Kitimat West end of BC 37 concurrency
Kitwanga 241.10 149.81 BC 37 north (Stewart-Cassiar Highway) – Stewart, Watson Lake East end of BC 37 concurrency
280.48 174.28 Omineca Avenue – South Hazelton
New Hazelton 284.17 176.58 Churchhill Street (Unofficial Hwy 62) – Hazelton
Kitwanga 319.68 198.64 Moricetown Loop Road, Beaver Road
Bulkley-Nechako Smithers 351.77 218.58 Main Street
354.39 220.21 Crosses the Bulkley River
Telkwa 366.39 227.66 Hankin Avenue
410.07 254.81 Crosses the Bulkley River
Houston 414.90 257.81 Tweedie Avenue
416.33 258.70 Crosses the Bulkley River
Topley 445.08 276.56 BC 118 north – Granisle
Burns Lake 496.39 308.44 BC 35 south – Francois Lake
Fraser Lake 565.47 351.37 Chowsunket Street
Fort Fraser 584.82 363.39 Crosses the Nechako River
616.66 383.17 BC 27 north – Fort St. James
Vanderhoof 623.91 387.68 Burrard Avenue
Fraser-Fort George Prince George 716.66 445.31 Southridge Avenue Interchange; no westbound entrance
717.08 445.57 Tyner Boulevard, Domano Boulevard Provides access to the University of Northern British Columbia
720.55 447.73 BC 97 – Dawson Creek, Quesnel, Kamloops, Vancouver BC 97 north is the John Hart Highway; BC 97 south is the Cariboo Highway
722.03 448.65 Victoria Street
20th Avenue
BC 16 branches north
722.61 449.01 15th Avenue, Patricia Boulevard
723.74 449.71 1st Avenue BC 16 branches east
725.70 450.93 Yellowhead Bridge over the Fraser River
729.86 453.51 Old Cariboo Highway to BC 97 south – Airport, Quesnel Former BC 97A
741.64 460.83 Giscome Road
742.31 461.25 Upper Fraser Road – Willow River, Giscome, Upper Fraser
McBride 932.52 579.44 Main Street, Bridge Road
933.97 580.34 McBride Bridge over the Fraser River
Tête Jaune Cache 995.60 618.64 YellowheadShield.jpg BC 5 south (South Yellowhead Highway) – Valemount, Kamloops, Vancouver Interchange
Passes through Mount Robson Provincial Park
1,072.37 666.34 British ColumbiaAlberta border
Yellowhead Pass – elevation 1,131 m (3,711 ft)
Continues as YellowheadShield.jpg Hwy 16 (TCH) east (Yellowhead Highway) – Jasper National Park, Jasper, Edmonton
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 224–271. 
  2. ^ Gerson, Jen. "Four things to know about Highway of Tears scandal, and the documents B.C. government allegedly deleted". National Post. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Ferreras, Jesse. "Highway Of Tears: BC's Missing And Murdered Women". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Those Who Take Us Away" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Culbert, Lori. "Police budget, officers cut in Highway of Tears probe". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Project E-PANA". BC RCMP. 
  7. ^ Google (5 January 2017). "British Columbia Highway 16" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  8. ^ British Columbia Road Atlas (2007 ed.). Oshawa, ON: MapArt Publishing Corp. pp. 16–23, 26–30, 36–37. ISBN 1-55368-018-9. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
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