Mile 143 on the Alaska Highway brings you to the small roadside hamlet of Pink Mountain in the Rocky Mountain Foothills, northwest of Fort St. John. Pink Mountain glows a vibrant pink colour at a certain time during sunrise.
The Alaska Highway has long stretches of rolling hills and lodgepole pine, but there are a number of interesting viewpoints along the way where you can break out your camera.
During the wildflower bloom, Pink Mountain looks, well, pink from a distance because of all the fireweed blossoms. If you miss this awesome phenomenon, you can still take pictures of the surrounding panoramic landscape from the peak of Pink, or continue on for 10 kilometres for views of Lilly Lake, Moose Lick Creek, and Halfway River.
Pink Mountain’s real claim to fame is the high population of rare Arctic butterflies found here, attracted by the region’s blossoms.
It is almost impossible not to observe wildlife as you travel through the Northeast, the so-called Serengeti of North America. The area’s spectacular wildlife fauna consists of eight species of ungulates, namely Stone Sheep, mountain goats, bison, moose, elk, caribou, and white-tailed and mule deer; plus at least seven species of medium-sized carnivores including wolves, coyotes, foxes, grizzly bears, black bears, lynx and wolverines.
Deer, moose, bears, and elk frequent clearings alongside roads, foraging for food. In some areas, salt licks have been placed near the road to attract ungulates. Be careful when driving these roads, especially at night; if you were to hit a moose, the chances are good that your vehicle would come out of the encounter in worse shape than the moose. Honest.
Back when the Alaska Highway was still a gravel road, the small roadside stations were the essence of life and travel along this long and lonely highway, and they still remain invaluable to the weary traveller today.
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Wildlife Viewing: Pink Mountain is a designated viewing area for wildlife in this region, and places have been cleared to provide browsing territory for ungulates. One of the rarer browsing species is the plains bison, but almost all the ungulates are represented, as well as several carnivorous species. Pink Mountain and the surrounding mountain lowlands are the only place in the province where wild plains bison still roam.
Fossils: Pink Mountain is recognized as a major archaeological site in the province, with the discovery in the area of an historic marine mammal fossil.
Time Zones: Just south of Pink Mountain, the Alaska Highway crosses the Mountain Time and Pacific Time Zone line, requiring a one-hour adjustment of timepieces.
Camping: Campsites and rustic cabins are available at Pink Mountain Campsites.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Circle Tour of Northern British Columbia incorporates the Alaska Highway through the Rocky Mountain foothills to Watson Lake in the Yukon, linking with the Stewart/Cassiar Highway and Yellowhead Highway 16 in the south. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour follow the same route, from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island north by ferry to Prince Rupert. Catch another ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands, or venture east on the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George, and south through the peaceful Cariboo to Vancouver along the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.
Circle Tours in British Columbia.