The southern portion of the Yellowhead Highway 5 links Kamloops on Highway 1 in the Okanagan with Tete Jaune Cache as it follows the North Thompson River for much of the journey, including Wells Gray and Mount Robson Provincial Parks.
This southern stretch of Yellowhead Highway 5 follows the green-hued North Thompson River as it flows south through the forested hillsides and grasslands of the Thompson Plateau. This is a quiet, lightly populated region, and travellers along this route soon realize that they’re sharing this part of British Columbia with relatively few people. Nothing is as arresting as the sight of snaggle-toothed Mount Robson or the sinuous, green-tinted surface of the North Thompson River. It’s easy to go with the flow here.
The Yellowhead Pass (elevation 3,730 feet/1138 m), is 48 miles (77 km) east of Tete Jaune Cache on the British Columbia-Alberta border, and marks the border between Mount Robson Provincial Park and Jasper National Park.
Both Tete Jaune Cache and Yellowhead were the nicknames of an early 19th-century fur trader and trapper – either Pierre Bostonais or Pierre Hatsinaton. Which of these blond fellows was it? Only the mountains know for sure.
Location: The Yellowhead Highway 5 connects with the Trans-Canada Highway 1 at Hope. The Fishing Highway 24 from 97 Mile House in the Cariboo links with Yellowhead Highway 5 at Little Fort, and Yellowhead Highway 16 links with Yellowhead Highway 5 at Tete Jaune Cache (north of Valemount), bringing traffic from Jasper National Park in Alberta to the east and from Prince George to the west.
The following towns are located on or near the Highway 5 (south to north):
- Hope (Coquihalla Highway 5)
- Merrit (Coquihalla Highway 5)
- Little Fort
- Blue Water