Plan your visit
Park at the viewpoint of Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site and survey the surrounding hills and Kitwanga River valley as the Gitwangak people did in the mid-1700s to early 1800s. Their fortified village once stood on a high mound next to the river and Kitwankul Grease Trail, fuelling trade in oolichan grease, a rich staple.
Take a short walk down a wooden staircase to the grassy mound where five cedar plank longhouses were once surrounded by a palisade, armed with massive spiked logs. Learn about the fort’s famous warrior ‘Nekt, whose exploits are legendary in the northwestern BC regions of Skeena, Kitimat and Nass.
At nearby Gitwangak Village, view a collection of age-old totem poles rich in First Nations history. Examine the totem “Man-Crushing Log”, erected in 1905, depicting stories related to Battle Hill figures and families, including ‘Nekt in fierce grizzly bear armour.
Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site
Kitwanga North Road
Battle Hill is near the junction of Highways 16 and 37, between New Hazelton and Terrace, in northwestern British Columbia. It is approximately 90 km northeast of Terrace.
If coming via Highway 16, turn north onto Highway 37 at the Kitwanga junction. (Note: after crossing the Skeena River Bridge you will notice the related Totem Poles of Gitwangak on your right and you may choose to take a side trip to visit them). From the junction, drive up Highway 37 for 4.3 km and turn left on Kitwanga North Road. Gitwangak Battle Hill is on the left 1.7 km further on.
The parking area is fully accessible for large recreational vehicles, as no tight turns or backing up are required. From the parking area, stairs lead to the self-guiding trail around the site.