The Gateway to the Yukon!
Watson Lake is known for its world famous Sign Post Forest. The tradition began in 1942, when a homesick U.S. Army G.I. was assigned to repair a damaged signpost that stated distances to various points along the highway. He added his own hometown, ‘Danville, Illinois, 2835 miles” to the post. Signs are added every year and today there are over 72,000 signs and counting!
Watson Lake is near the Liard River, at the junction of the Robert Campbell Highway and the Alaska Highway. The Cassiar Highway’s northern end is 22 kilometres (14 miles) west of Watson Lake. The town is also served by the Watson Lake Airport; the airport was formerly served by Canadian Pacific Airlines and other local and regional airlines, but now only provides corporate and charter services.
Tourist attractions in Watson Lake include the Northern Lights Centre and the much-imitated original Signpost Forest.
Watson Lake is the main centre of the small forestry industry in Yukon and has been a service centre for the mining industry, especially for the Cassiar asbestos mine in northern British Columbia and the Cantung tungsten mine on the Yukon-Northwest Territories border in the Mackenzie Mountains.