Kitwanga or Gitwangak meaning "place of rabbits" is located
at the junction of Hwy 37 and Hwy 16, 91 km (57 miles) east of Terrace
and 43 km (27 miles) west of Hazelton.
Located in Kitwanga is the Kitwanga Fort a National Historic Site
of Canada. The Kitwanga Fort is associated to the aboriginal warrior
Nekt in the 18th century. Nekt strategically located the fort on
Ta'awdzep or Battle Hill to have a vantage point over the adjacent
Kitwankul Trail and the Kitwanga River Valley.
Once you're travelling through Kitwanga on Hwy 37 4 km (2.5 miles)
to the north you'll notice the main employer in town is the Kitwanga
Lumber Company. First established in 1963 by one of the pioneering
families of Kitwanga, the Hobenshields, the mill supports a number
of families living in the area.
Near the Skeena River on Bridge Street there are some totem poles
displaying crests associated with Nekt's biography. Artwork ranges
from his original flight from the Haida Gwaii-Queen Charlotte Islands,
being a warrior, and his use of Battle Hill to guard the important
aboriginal trade routes. There is a beautiful viewpoint near here
overlooking the Kitwanga River and Skeena River Bridge.
If you enjoy watching wildlife there is a good vantage point from
just the other side of the Skeena River Bridge. A good time to come
is in April to July when the spawning Chinook, Sockeye and Steelhead
Salmon return to the Kitwanga River near the outlet of the Kitwanga
There is the gravel Cedarvale Kitwanga Road which goes on the downstream
side of the Skeena River once you're over the bridge. This road
takes you down the river for about 18 km (11 miles) to an old airstrip
called Woodcock (CBQ8), just across the Skeena River from the small
community of Cedarvale. It's at Woodcock where people from Terrace
and the area used to come and try parachuting.
If you do take the Cedarvale Kitwanga Road, try going down on a
clear day. This is when you have the best view of the Seven Sisters
Mountain Range especially first thing in the morning. The Seven
Sisters, which are across the Skeena River at Woodcock, can best
be seen from the trail up Kitwanga Mountain. Kitwanga Mountain trail
involves a long hard hike and is accessed off the Cedarvale Kitwanga
One favourite hike you might want to try near Kitwanga is the Cross-Country
Trail. Take the Kitwanga-Hazelton Road about 45 km (28 miles) towards
Hazelton. The Cross-Country Trail takes about 1.5 hours to walk
and there is some very nice scenery. This trail is also used for
biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling in the winter.
Located at the junction of Hwy 37 and Hwy 16 is the Kitwanga Petro-Canada
Service Station run by N & V Johnson Services. Here you can
find fuel, a minor repair shop, a small restaurant and a convenience
store. From the Petro-Canada you travel on Hwy 37 over the Skeena
River Bridge to where the Kitwanga First Nations is located on Bridge
Kitwancool now known by it's traditional name as Gitanyow,
15 km (9 miles) to the north on Hwy 37, is home to some of the oldest-known
totem poles in British Columbia.
These can still be seen along the Kitwanga River just north of Kitwanga
at their original site in the village. Marvel at the craftsmanship
and feel the aboriginal spirit and history coming from the artwork.
RV & Campground
For people who want to stay in Kitwanga, the only place is the Cassiar
RV & Campground located on Bacalow Road 4 km (2.5 miles) from
Hwy 16 in Kitwanga. The RV campground is situated next to the Kitwanga
The Kitwanga River has some excellent fishing, unfortunately though
is closed to Steelhead fishing from January 1 to June 15.
on Kitwanga (Gitwangak)