Connects: Grimshaw, AB, to the Alaska Highway
Routes#: 35, 1, 7, 77
Length: 795 miles
Road Surface: 60% paved, 40% gravel
Season: Open all year
Map (1 detailed pdf file available):
Grimshaw, AB to Alaska Highway, BC via Northwest Territories Highways

Named after the Mackenzie River—Deh Cho is Slavey Dene for “big river”—the Deh Cho route is a 795-mile/1,279-km wilderness loop connecting Grimshaw in the Peace River region of northern Alberta with the Alaska Highway in British Columbia by way of the Mackenzie River region of Northwest Territories. The Deh Cho also provides access to an additional 700 miles/1,127 km of Northwest Territories’ road system. Road conditions range from 2-lane paved highway to hard-packed gravel. An active asphalt paving program is under way on the remaining gravel portions of Northwest Territories highways. The NWT government provides free summer ferry service for cars and passengers across the Liard River to Fort Simpson and across the Mackenzie River to Wrigley. In winter, traffic crosses on the ice. Current highway conditions and ferry information are available online.

Free government ferry Lafferty carries passengers and vehicles across the Liard River on Highway 1 to Fort Simpson. It operates daily from late May through October. (Earl Brown photo)

This route follows Alberta Highway 35 north to the Alberta/NWT border at the 60th Parallel, then continues as NWT Highway 1 (the Waterfalls Route) to Checkpoint and the junction with the Liard Trail (NWT Highway 7/BC Highway 77). The Deh Cho “loop” is completed as the Liard Trail junctions with the Alaska Highway about 17 miles/27 km from Fort Nelson, BC.

Communities

   

The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log
Miles from Grimshaw (G) shown.

G 0 GRIMSHAW (pop. 2,718) is Mile 0 of the Mackenzie Highway; all services available; Visitor Info Centre. Grimshaw is located 104 miles from Valleyview via Alberta Highways 49/2 through Peace River, and 102 miles from Grande Prairie via Alberta Highway 2 through Fairview.
G 1.9 Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park (camping) and Lac Cardinal Pioneer Village Museum.
G 24.8 DIXONVILLE (pop. 100); gas, general store, shopping, museum, 22 site campground.
G 49.6 RV park with 15 sites.
G 52 MANNING (pop. 1,183); food, gas, lodging, camping.
G 54.2 Truck stop: 24-hour food, gas, lodging.
G 61.7 Hotchkiss Community Club Park; 10 campsites.
G 62.2 Golf course and campground.
G 89.8 Twin Lakes Campground; 60 sites.
G 113.4 KEG RIVER (pop. 400); food, gas, lodging.
G 130.3 PADDLE PRAIRIE (pop. 164); gas bar and store.
G 137 Junction with Highway 697/Mackenzie County Loop to La Crete and Fort Vermilion; attractions include La Crete Mennonite Heritage Village and Fort Vermilion Heritage Center Museum. Visitor Information.
G 172.5 Aspen Ridge Campground, phone 780-926-4540, email.

Northern Trading Post is one of the displays at the Mackenzie Crossroads Museum & Visitor Center in High Level.

G 174.2 HIGH LEVEL (pop. 3,641); all services available. High Level is Mile 180 of the Mackenzie Highway. Visit Mackenzie Crossroads Museum & Visitors Centre; open year-round, phone 780-926-4811, email.
G 174.9 Junction with Highway 58/Mackenzie County Loop to Fort Vermilion and La Crete; interesting side trip.
G 227.5 Side road leads west 39 miles to ZAMA (pop. 250), an oilfield community.
G 284 INDIAN CABINS (pop. 10); food truck (seasonal).

G 293.5 AB–NWT border, 60th Parallel Territorial Park and Visitor Center. Inside visitor centre there are details on Northwest Territories campgrounds, maps, road condition and ferry reports, brochures and fishing licenses. Territorial campground and picnic area adjacent visitor center.
G 338.5 Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park, Alexandra Falls picnic area.
G 339.9 Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park, Louise Falls Campground.
G 341.7 Escarpment Creek picnic and group camping area.
G 345 ENTERPRISE (pop. 90); food, gas, diesel, lodging, grocery store. Last gas stop northwest-bound on Deh Cho Route until Fort Liard, unless you turnoff on Highway 2 and get gas at Hay River (see next milepost) or turnoff on Highway 3 and get gas at Big River Service Centre (Mile 19.5), Behchoko (Mile 152.9) or Yellowknife (Mile 211.6).
G 345.1 Junction with Highway 2 which leads 24 miles/40 km to HAY RIVER and 114 miles/183 km to FORT RESOLUTION. Continue on Highway 1 for Yellowknife and Fort Simpson.
G 368.2 McNallie Creek Territorial Park day-use picnic site.

Lady Evelyn Falls is one of several waterfalls along this route.

G 397.5 Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Campground.
G 398.6 Kakisa River Territorial Park day-use picnic site.
G 409.2 Junction with Highway 3 which leads north 25 miles to FORT PROVIDENCE, site of a Our Lady of Providence Roman Catholic church, and 211 miles/340 km to YELLOWKNIFE, capital of Northwest Territories; all services. A major attraction in Yellowknife is the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Also consider driving out the scenic Ingraham Trail, a 43-mile/69-km road leading northwest from Yellowknife and dead-ending at Tibbitt Lake. Continue west on Highway 1 for Fort Simpson and Fort Liard.
G 494.7 Sambaa Deh Falls Territorial Park; 20 campsites, half-mile hiking trail to Coral Falls viewpoint.

Hiking trail from Sambaa Deh Falls Territorial Park leads to this view of Coral Falls.

G 550.2 Checkpoint: Junction of Highway 1 with the Liard Trail (Highway 7). Highway 1 continues 38 miles/61 km to FORT SIMPSON via a free government-operated ferry across the Liard River, which operates daily from late May through October. Fort Simpson has all services and offers fly-in trips to Nahanni National Park via Simpson Air. Turn south on Liard Trail for Fort Liard and the Alaska Highway.
G 614.2 Blackstone Territorial Park; 19 campsites.
G 685 Junction with access road to FORT LIARD (pop. 536); food, gas, lodging, camping. Acho Dene Native Crafts store.
G 696.1 Gravel begins northbound. Pavement begins southbound.
G 708.5 BC-NWT border. Time zone change, BC is Pacific Standard Time and NWT observes Mountain Time.
G 794.5 Junction of Liard Trail and at Milepost DC 301 of the Alaska Highway 18 miles northwest of Fort Nelson, BC.