Kiskatinaw Provincial Park

One of the lesser-known Provincial Parks not too far from Spirit River has one of the most interesting features.  Kiskatinaw Provincial Park, just out of Dawson Creek on highway 97, is a beautiful little park with all the usual things: campsites, picnic area, playground, and fishing. There is also a river suitable for swimming and tubing running through a “gorge”ous canyon with a crazy hairpin turn.

It is that bend in the river that is responsible for the park’s unique bridge.  Part of the original Alaska Highway, the towering three-span trestle bridge is an impressive piece of construction.  It is also a marvel of engineering: the 190 foot wooden bridge is curved in order to acommodate traffic across the narrow canyon with the hairpin turn.  The bridge is also banked (super elevated).  More than six decades after it was built, you can still drive across the mile 20 section of the Alaska Highway.  But it is also suggested that you stroll across, taking in the details of construction, noticing the worn patches where generations of people and their vehicles have passed, and looking way down (30 m) at the Kiskatinaw river rushing below.  There is a great view upriver as far as the hairpin and downriver a bit further.

Kiskatinaw Provincial Park is a nice stop for a picnic or a stretch, but also a great place to set up camp for a few days.  If the water is low enough, take a hike up river and around the bend to enjoy the canyon and some enormous boulders.  Note that they are part of the Kiskatinaw Geological Formation.  Kiskatinaw is Cree for cutbank – you’ll see a great big one on the outside of the hairpin curve.

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