The Liard River, 1115 km long, rises in the Pelly Mountains in the southeastern Yukon and flows southeast into BC, through the Rocky Mountains, then northeast through heavily forested land to the MACKENZIE RIVER
at FORT SIMPSON
, NWT. Its major tributaries are the SOUTH NAHANNI
, Petitot and Fort Nelson rivers. Stretches of the river are wild and perilous. The most challenging part of the river lies between 2 of its smaller tributaries, the Trout and Toad rivers. This 60 km stretch has rapids, narrow canyons, gates and whirlpools with apt names such as Hell Gate, Rapids of the Drowned and Boiler Canyon. The geology of the area has also given rise to the Liard River Hot Springs, which has been protected as a British Columbia provincial park since 1957. Named for the liards
(French for a species of poplar) found along its banks, it was called "Courant-Fort" in early days, and appears as Rivière aux Liards on early maps. For many years a fur-trade route, it was first surveyed by Richard G. MCCONNELL
of the Geological Survey (1887). Gold-hungry prospectors travelled it on the way to the KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH
Links to Other Sites
The website for the historic Hamlet of Fort Liard.
Deh Cho Travel Connection
An extensive online guide to the Deh Cho Travel Connection, a remarkable journey through Canada’s north that traverses the Mackenzie, Liard, and Alaska Highways. Click on the links for more information about the history of the route, interactive maps, and details about local communities, parks, and wildlife. From the website for Industry, Tourism and Investment, Government of the Northwest Territories.