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Looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure? Look no further than a Northwest BC Road Trip, a journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Northern British Columbia. With stops in Prince Rupert, Terrace, the Nass Valley, Stewart, and Kitimat, this road trip is the perfect opportunity to explore the region’s unspoiled beauty. We traveled 17 hours via ferry and over 11 hours by car searching for the unspoiled paradise of northwest BC. Just wait to see what we found!

A woman walking by the ocean in Kitimat.

Explore the unspoiled beauty of Northern British Columbia with the Northwest BC Road Trip, a journey through breathtaking landscapes and off-the-beaten-path destinations. From Prince Rupert to Stewart, Terrace and Kitimat, this road trip is the ultimate escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Photo credits to my road trip buddies, Geoff Heith and Kimberley Kufaas. Thank you to the Northern BC Tourism Association for inviting us on an Inside Passage Ferry and Northwest BC road trip adventure to visit Prince Rupert, Terrace, Nass Valley, Kitimat, and Stewart.

A glacier in northern British Columbia by Stewart.

Northwest BC Road Trip Map

Check out the map for a quick overview of this Northwest British Columbia road trip. You’ll find each stop as well as points of interest along the way!

Northern BC Road Trip: Follow along with our Northern BC road trip with all my comprehensive travel guides! After making our way to Prince Rupert on the Inside Passage Ferry, we road-tripped through Northeast British Columbia to Terrace and the Nass Valley, Stewart and Kitimat.

Quick Road Trip Overview

This is my complete 12-day Northwest BC road trip itinerary so you can start planning your own epic summer getaway!

Two women standing on the deck of the Northern Expedition BC Ferry through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert from Port Hardy, BC.
  • Day 1 & 2: Port Hardy to Prince Rupert via Inside Passage on BC Ferries (over 16 hours)
  • Day 2 to 4: Prince Rupert
  • Day 5 & 6: Terrace and the Nass Valley
  • Day 7 to 9: Stewart
  • Day 9 & 10: Kitimat
  • Day 11: Back to Prince Rupert
  • Day 12: Ferry home

Northern BC Road Trip Vlog

Starting the Road Trip (Transportation and Logistics)

We started this road trip from Port Hardy in northern Vancouver Island. From here, we boarded the ferry (with BC Ferries) and headed towards Prince Rupert.

The Inside Passage Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, BC.

BC Ferries currently has 25 different routes to choose from and you can board as a foot passenger, with a bike, and even with your car! We chose to board with our car as we knew we were going to be road-tripping after departing.

Lighthouse view from a ferry in BC.

The journey from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert through the Inside Passage was over 16 hours and we opted for a cabin to get a few hours of sleep along the way.

A whale jumping in the Inside Passage.

Although this was just the start of our road trip, the ferry ride was truly magical. We were able to see humpback whales and an epic sunset along the way. Plus, I was even able to order a delicious prime rib for dinner right on the boat!

Two women sitting in lounge chairs on the BC ferry Northern Expedition.

Stop 1: Prince Rupert

After our ferry journey, we arrived at our first stop, Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert is a quaint coastal town home to just under 12,000 locals. What started as a fishing village has since turned into a thriving and bustling port with an emphasis on commercial fishing and the historic canning industries.

A woman standing in the forest by the ocean.

Things To Do in Prince Rupert

Immediately after stepping foot in Prince Rupert, I was obsessed with the coastal views and friendly atmosphere. From touring historic canneries to kayaking on the calm waters surrounding the city, you definitely won’t be bored. Below are the things we did on days 2 and 3, but if you have more time to spare be sure to check out this complete guide to visiting Prince Rupert!

Kayaking in the ocean.

1. Take a Tour of the North Pacific Cannery

In short, a cannery is a factory where food is canned. Prince Rupert is home to 5 total canneries, with the North Pacific Cannery being the oldest (dating back to 1888). Although it is not a working cannery today, it has been restored and preserved as a living museum for visitors to get a first-hand glimpse into the past.

The North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site.

During our visit, we took a guided tour through the cannery, where we were able to learn about the work and living conditions of the factory workers, the canning line procedure, and the fishing methods used. It truly felt as though we had stepped back in time and was great to learn more about Prince Rupert’s history.

Machinery inside the North Pacific Cannery.

2. Stroll Around Cow Bay Marina (Shops and Restaurants)

After our tour of the Cannery, we headed to Cow Bay Marina for a relaxing afternoon. The marina is a scenic spot to walk around and window shop. There are also many restaurants here where you could grab a quick lunch or picnic snacks.

Having coffee in Cow Bay Prince Rupert.

3. Skeena Kayaking

The next day, we woke up bright and early for a guided tour with Skeena Kayaking. There were four different tours to choose from, ranging from 1 to 6 hours, each offering a slightly different experience.

Kayaking in Prince Rupert.

We were on the water for about 4 hours. We were treated to calm waters which led to calm waters and plenty of wildlife sightings.

Woman kayaking in Prince Rupert.

Where to Eat in Prince Rupert

  • Dolly’s Fish Market: A seafood lover’s paradise, Dolly’s Fish Market processes and sells some of the area’s tastiest catches.
  • Fukusaku: This a beloved local institution that has been serving up delicious Japanese cuisine for over 80 years. The restaurant is located in Cow Bay and worth a visit.
  • Wheelhouse Brewing Company: Home to local beers and delicious pizza, Wheelhouse Brewery is a true local gem!
  • Arabisk: Arabisk provides a taste of authentic Middle Eastern flavors in the heart of Prince Rupert. This was definitely one of my favorite restaurants from the entire trip!
Dinner from Arabisk  in Price Rupert.

Where We Stayed in Prince Rupert: Cassier Cannery

Located just 30 minutes south of Prince Rupert, you’ll find the cozy Cassier Cannery guest houses. We stayed in the blue cabin, and it was stocked full of everything we could have needed. The sunset and ocean views were just the cherry on top!

Two woman at the Cassiar Cannery guest houses.

Stop 2: Terrace and The Nass Valley

Just 1.5 hours east of Prince Rupert, you’ll find the remote town of Terrace and the beautiful Nass Valley. It’s located right on the Skeena River and boasts a plethora of outdoor adventures.

Aerial view of the Nass Valley lava beds.

Things To Do in Terrace

Perhaps our busiest stop of the trip, Terrace has endless options of things to do. I definitely could have spent much longer exploring this area!

Extew Waterfall in Terrace.

1. Explore Via a Scenic Flight

I can not think of a better way to get acquainted with the vast wilderness of Terrace than via a scenic flight and remote landing.

Anderson cabin in Terrace.

We took a 1.5-hour tour with Quantum Helicopters with a landing at the the remote Anderson cabin. You are able to rent this backcountry cabin for a true off-the-grid experience. We just took a day trip to check it out, but a night in the cabin is definitely on my list!

Woman hiking in Terrace.

2. Take an Eco Tour with Westcoast Charters

After exploring Terrace by air, we wanted to see more of the sights up close! We opted for a half-day Eco-tour with Mandi McDougal, the co-owner of Westcoast Charters. Were were able to visit different waterfalls and learned more about the local history.

Mandi McDougal of Westcoast Charters in Terrace.

My favorite waterfall of the day was Extew Falls. These epic falls are easily reached at the end of a short 15-minute walk, but you will need a high-clearance vehicle to reach the falls (if not taking a guided tour).

Hiking by Extew falls in Terrace.

3. Take a Dip in Kalum Lake

We ended our first night in Terrace with a sunset swim at Kitsumkalum Provincial Park. This 40-hectare park is home to amazing views, and wildlife, and provides plenty of room for recreational activities. We didn’t travel with a paddleboard or kayak, but it would have been a fun place for a paddle!

Swimming in Terrace, BC.

4. Take the Self-Guided Nisga’a Nation Auto Tour

Day 2 in Terrace was an exciting one! We spent the entire day exploring the Nass Valley via the self-guided Nisga’a Nation Auto Tour.

A stop along the Nisga'a Nation Auto Tour.

By using this map, you are able to drive from downtown Terrace to the Nisga’a Village with 18 points of interest along the route. If you were to drive straight through, it would take 2.5 hours, but I recommended spending the entire day to ensure you have time to fully check out all the sights.

Throughout the road trip, you’ll be able to stop at the Drowned Forest, the Nass Lava Beds, several waterfalls, a Visitor Centre, a carving shed, and even hot springs. If you are hoping to soak in the Higu Isgwit Hot Springs, you do need to make an advance reservation online.

The Nisga'a museum at the Nass Valley lava beds.

Where to Eat in Terrace

  • Ninja Sushi: Calling all sushi lovers! Ninja Sushi is a local favorite and has a great selection of rolls, sushi, sashimi, and cutlets on the menu.
  • The Fix Cafe: As the name suggests, the Fix Café is a great breakfast stop that doubles as a bike maintenance shop!
  • Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse: This is a popular destination for beer enthusiasts. It is a family-owned microbrewery that offers a variety of handcrafted beers.
  • Chef Abhi’s Classic Indian Cuisine: If you enjoy traditional Indian food this is a must-visit!

Where We Stayed in Terrace: Hidden Acres Farm

Even though Hidden Acres Farm is just 5km from downtown Terrace, it felt like a world away. We stayed in one of their five treehouses and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere while relaxing by the outdoor fire after two full days of adventuring.

Cabin at Hidden Acres Farm in Terrace.

For anyone looking for a more rustic experience, Vetter Creek Campground is a great option. It’s located within Nigsa’a Memorial Lava Bed Park and has 16 vehicle-accessible campsites.

Two women swimming in Terrace.

Stop 3: Stewart

Although Stewart is a bit of a drive from Terrace (3.5 hours), it’s 100 percent worth the detour. Known as Canada’s most northerly ice-free port, it’s just a true hidden gem in northwest British Columbia.

Camping by a glacier in Stewart BC.

Things To Do in Stewart

From helicopter tours to amazing wildlife encounters, there are surprisingly so many exciting things to do in Stewart, BC.

Grizzly in Hyder Alaska.

1. Camp at the Salmon Glacier

Our first (and maybe my favorite stop) in Stewart was at the Salmon Glacier. This epic glacier is the world’s largest road-accessible glacier via the Granduc Mine Road. We were lucky enough to camp right at the glacier and witness the most spectacular display of northern lights. It was truly a magical experience!

2. Take a Day Trip to Hyder

Hyder is just across the border from Stewart in Alaska. It’ll only take you 10 minutes to get there, and makes for an excellent day trip.

Main street Hyder Alaska.

Check out some gold rush-era saloons, get Hyderized, and place a dollar on the famous $20,000 wall!

3. Observe Grizzly Bears at the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation

Located just 5 km outside of downtown Hyder, you’ll find the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Deck. The viewing platform is open during July and August and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Your tickets are good all day, so we ended up visiting once in the morning and once later in the day in hopes of spotting a grizzly. During our second visit, we were lucky to have caught a glimpse of a 5-year-old grizzly fishing in the river!

Woman at Salmon Glacier.

Visit the Bear Glacier

After that magical wildlife encounter, we headed back towards Stewart. On the way, we stopped at the massive Bear Glacier. Although not as big as the Salmon Glacier, it’s still a sight to see! It’s located within a 542-hectare park full of waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and the Stohn Lake.

Bear Glacier by Stewart BC.

Where to Eat in Stewart

  • Trudy’s Temptations Breakfast: Trudy’s is open Wednesday-Sunday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and is a great place to stop for breakfast or a light lunch. I was happy to see they had several gluten-free options to choose from!
  • Silverado Cafe and Pizza Parlour: This small pizza palour is only open between the hours of 4 and 8 (Thursday-Tuesday) and serves a variety of pizzas, pastas, and other dinner plates.
Bakery and Deli in Stewart, BC.

Where We Stayed in Stewart: Ripley Creek Inn

Ripley Creek Inn is a historic lodge on the estuary and boardwalk right in the heart of Stewart. There are a variety of rooms to choose from each with unique and historic decor.

Stop 4: Kitimat

After an amazing time in Stewart, we headed south to the last stop of our Northern British Columbia Road Trip. Kitimat is a 4-hour drive from Stewart and is known for being (yet another) natural wonderland.

Woman hiking in Kitimat, BC.

Things To Do in Kitimat

We initially had plans to stop elsewhere but a wildfire in the area resulted in some last-minute travel changes. Luckily, Kitimat turned out to have lots to offer!

Giant Spruce Park trail in Kitimat.

1. Explore Giant Spruce Park

Although short, the Giant Spruce Park trail is a must on any Kitimat itinerary. This 0.6 km trail was our first stop in Kitimat and is home to the remains of the largest living Sitka Spruce in BC. The tree is almost 600 years old but has since started falling apart. Nonetheless, it’s an amazing sight to see!

Woman at Giant Spruce Park in Kitimat.

2. Stop by Moore’s Creek Falls

Just 9 km from Giant Spruce Park, you’ll find the beautiful Moore’s Creek Falls. The falls are located just a 2-minute walk from the parking lot so they are truly accessible to all. Unfortunately, you can no longer go down to the bottom of the falls as there is a fence all around to prevent anyone from going down.

Moore's Creek Falls in Kitimat.

3. Tour the Kitimat Museum

Each town we visited during this northern BC road trip had such vibrant histories. It was great to learn more about Kitimat’s past at the Kitimat Museum.

Display at Kitimat museum.

There were two floors to explore with many artifacts, wildlife, and art on display. I enjoyed the wide variety of hand-crafted items during our visit.

The museum is open year-round and offers donation-based admission.

4. Take a Hike at Minette Bay West Park

Minette Bay West Park is a tranquil spot to relax amongst the coastal mountains. The park has a couple trails along the water where you can see remains of old boats. There’s also a recreational area which provides a covered area right by the water, bathrooms, and a few fire pits which make for a great way to spend an evening.

Where to Eat in Kitimat:

  • Rosario’s: Rosario’s restaurant is a cute little diner and was the perfect place to grab dinner after a day of outdoor adventures.
  • Two Peaks Brewing: Two Peaks Brewing is not only home to a rotating selection of the best local beers, but also a full menu of your favorite bar food.
Two Peaks Brewing in Kitimat.

Where to Stay in Kitimat: M Star Hotel

During this leg of the trip, we opted to stay in a hotel. The M Star Hotel was centrally located and had everything we could need.

Rom at the M Star Hotel in Kitimat.

Northern BC Road Trip Recap

As you can see, Northern British Columbia is truly an outdoor-lovers paradise full of so many amazing adventures. From watching the Northern Lights over Salmon Glacier to soaking in the backcountry hot springs, this rugged road trip was truly unforgettable.

Woman hiking in forest.

Which northwest BC adventure is next on your bucket list?

Gazebo trail in Kitimat.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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