Highway Driving: Take a Rest!

Safe driving on long trips means taking regular breaks to rest your mind and body. Driver fatigue is a major cause of vehicle crashes, so try to take a 15-minute break about every two hours along your journey. Stretch, move around and revive. Have something to eat or drink and really give yourself rest!

Across the province,the ministry has about 170 rest areas available for you to take a short break. All rest areas are equipped with garbage cans and the majority have picnic tables. All have toilets – ranging from classic rustic pit toilets, to compost toilets, to full-flush facilities. Some rest areas even have trails and scenic lookouts.

take a break from highway driving

New Washrooms at the Peaceview Rest Area

When travelling long distances between communities in some of our Northern regions, having a nice place to pull over and rest can make or break a trip. With that in mind, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has recently refreshed the Hwy 77 Fort Nelson, Hwy 29N Peace View and Hwy 97 Kiskatinaw rest areas in the Peace Region.

Another great place to take a break from the road is a provincial park. Many are not far off the highway. They provide not only the amenities of a rest area, but usually running water, short trails and sometimes even a lake in which to take a refreshing plunge.

Whenever you’re on the road, watch for signs of fatigue, like tired eyes, wandering concentration, yawning, drowsiness, restlessness, slow reaction time and over-steering. If you’re feeling groggy, it’s time to get off the highway and recharge. You refuel your car when it is running low; recharge yourself at a rest area!

 

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39 Responses to Highway Driving: Take a Rest!

  1. Kristine Chamberlain on April 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Please put larger change tables in public restrooms. We have a little lady who is now 6 and needs to be changed if you are truly going to accomodate handicapped persons we need to be able to have a larger change tbale for them. Thanks Kristine Victoria B.C.

    • tranbceditor on April 22, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Hi there Kristine,

      Thanks for the feedback and we can certainly understand your concern. Did you visit a specific highway rest area in particular which was not equipped fully? Is there a specific type of table you require for changing?

  2. Bren Lukasiewich on May 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    The rest stop at Welgress near Grand Forks BC can only be described as
    filthy and disgusting. We have stopped there twice in the last year and both
    times,have regretted it!!! I do not understand having the facility if it is
    not cleaned or maintained.

    • tranbceditor on May 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Bren,

      We are sorry about that. We have forwarded your comment along to that area’s manager to ensure that it is brought to their attention and addressed. Thanks for letting us know and if you should have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know.

  3. Shirley on May 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

    You mention there are over 170 rest areas on BC Highways, but nowhere can I find a list of them or map of their location or info on how large they are and what facilities they have, etc. We are planning on travelling with a 30′ travel trailer so it will be important for us to know where we can stop en route, with adequate access etc. Is there a map of the rest stops you can provide, and details on facilities etc.?
    Thanks.

    • tranbceditor on May 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Shirley,
      We are currently working on producing just such a thing, however it is not quite ready. Sorry about that! If you wanted to let us know which highways you will be travelling on, we may be able to give you some information in the meantime. All of the rest areas we include in our inventory are defined as locations which have toilet facilities, however there may be other municipal and private “rest areas” or “pull outs” which will not be in our list. Hope that this helps!

      • Angela on June 3, 2013 at 4:54 am

        I was also looking for a list of Rest Areas looking forward to seeing it- will it include Litter Barrel locations?

        • tranbceditor on June 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

          Hi Angela,

          We are currently working on a list which we are hoping to publish very shortly. We will be sure to let you know when it is live. Thanks for the comment!

          • Matthew on August 16, 2014 at 10:26 am

            My Newly Married Wife and I would also like to know of Rest areas that come with Washrooms posted on a Map so we know ahead of time where we could safely stop when it gets dark and spend the night in our trailer. No fun driving at night and missing all the great scenery!

          • tranbceditor on August 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

            Hi Matthew,

            Congratulations!

            Here is a link to our Rest Area Map.http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/restareas/

            Overnight camping is not allowed in rest areas, but you can take breaks and snooze if you need to. BC Parks has many, many beautiful places to camp overnight, check them all out here: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/visiting/

      • Stacy on June 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        Could you please forward me a list of rest spots from Vancouver to Osoyoos going the hope Princeton way. I have been looking everywhere. Surprised they aren’t listed online to help travellers. Thx

      • Norman Dale on July 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        I would ‘second the motion” to produce a nice map, and maybe a mobile app for finding rest stops. I am somewhat surprised that at least my Garmin GPS also has not search category for rest areas.

        • tranbceditor on July 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

          We are hoping to have a map shortly to share with you. Thanks for the comment!

          • Desiree on July 31, 2014 at 11:46 pm

            Hi it’s been about a year, is there a list for trans canada highway rest areas? Can’t find any

          • tranbceditor on August 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

            Hi Desiree,
            We created this interactive rest area map some time ago that may help: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/restareas/

  4. Brian Hunter on June 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

    You should publish a list of rest areas and their locations. You have all the information readily available in the road and bridge maintenance contracts in the service area inventories and the road features inventory. The rest area locations could also be put on a map. Don’t just tell us to use them; instead show them on a map

    • tranbceditor on June 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Thanks for the suggestion Brian. We are in the process of building a map of rest areas across the province right now and hope to have it ready for you to use soon. We will share it widely and freely when it is complete. Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!

  5. Ann on June 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Just to let people know, I actually began producing my own map back in 2008. Unfortunately I moved away from bc, and I mostly have it on paper but I had put in about 25 rest areas between kamloops and Edmonton. You can find it on google maps – if you go to google maps then get to the “my maps” interface. Then search on “rest areas and washrooms between Vancouver and Edmonton”. You should be able to find my map. I am so surprised this still has not been done yet.

  6. Rick on June 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Could you provide a list of rest stop locations on HWY 5 north from Kamloops to Tete Juane Cache and then from there to the Alberta border on HWY 16?

  7. Maureen on July 4, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Hello, we are travelling from Victoria BC to Edmonton Alberta, travelling the upper route through Jasper. Would you please send me a list of rest stops prior to July 12, 2013.

    Thank you very much!!

    • tranbceditor on July 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Hello Maureen,

      We apologize for not having rest area information more readily available for you, but we are working toward building a map with a comprehensive listing of designated rest areas and their amenities.

      For now we can only manually extract a list of rest areas that are under provincial jurisdiction. There exist many more that are provided by municipalities, by the federal government (such as in national parks) and even ones that are provided privately such as truck stops associated with large gas stations. Information about these others is not currently available to us.

      I am making a few assumptions about your trip. First I am assuming that your route will be hwy 1 to hope (Trans-Canada), hwy 5 to Kamloops (Coquihalla), hwy 5 to Tete Jaune Cache, thence Hwy 16 (Yellowhead) to Edmonton. Because of the nature of these routes, I have listed rest areas accessible only east and north bound up to Kamloops, assuming that rest areas in the opposite direction may not be accessible. North of Kamloops I’ve listed rest areas for both directions.

      Name
      COLE ROAD Hwy1 – 73.0KM EAST OF VANCOUVER
      HUNTER CREEK Hwy1 – 11.0KM WEST OF HOPE
      BOX CANYON Hwy5 – 71.0KM SOUTH OF MERRITT
      TOLLBOOTH NORTH Hwy5 – 70.0KM SOUTH OF MERRITT
      BRITTON CREEK Hwy5 – 67.0KM SOUTH OF MERRITT
      COQ BRAKE CHECK Hwy5 – 6.9KM NORTH OF MERRITT
      FISH TRAP Hwy5 – 50.5KM NORTH OF KAMLOOPS
      LITTLE FORT Hwy2 – 31.0KM SOUTH OF CLEARWATER
      BIRCH ISLAND Hwy2 – 13.0KM NORTH OF CLEARWATER
      WIRE CACHE Hwy3 – 14.0KM SOUTH OF AVOLA
      MESSITER SUMMIT Hwy1 – 18.3KM NORTH OF AVOLA
      THUNDER RIVER Hwy2 – 13.5KM NORTH OF BLUE RIVER
      MT TERRY FOX Hwy5 – 5.0KM NORTH OF VALEMOUNT
      MT TERRY FOX Hwy16 – 6.5KM EAST OF TETE JAUNE JUNCTION

      I should also note that there are many other road side features such as pull-outs, scenic stops and such that do not qualify as designated rest areas. These are also not listed here.

      • Maureen on July 8, 2013 at 6:05 am

        Yes, thank you very much, this is perfect, and yes this is the route we will be taking…

  8. Sheryl on July 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Hi,
    Can you email me a list of rest areas with toilets on the Crowsnest Highway. Especially between Castlegar and Creston.
    Thanks,
    Sheryl

    • tranbceditor on July 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Sheryl,
      Just sent along the email. Hopefully it’s what you were looking for.

  9. Bonnie on July 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    May I sleep in my car overnight at a rest area?

    • tranbceditor on July 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Hi Bonnie.

      Overnight camping is not allowed in rest areas. BC Parks has many campsites available to travellers and we encourage you to camp overnight there. You are allowed to rest in rest areas for a few hours at a time in order to refresh yourself during your travels, but you might be roused by maintenance contractors looking to ensure you are not camping overnight. Hope that this helps!

  10. M on August 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Hello! We will be driving from Edmonton to Prince George in January. Are the BC rest areas on the Yellowhead open year round or do they close in the winter? Also, can you let us know where the rest areas are between Jasper and Prince George? Thanks in advance for your assistance!

    • tranbceditor on August 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Hello there! We are currently working on producing a rest area map for BC highways and hope to have it ready for the public in the next few weeks. Please check back in with us around the third week of August!

  11. Dale.E on August 6, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I am glad to hear a list is being complied of the rest stops, unfortunately I will be needing a few along my route from Calgary to Abbotsford very soon.
    Could a list for that route be generated please :)

    also a suggestion, once the full list is ready, have someone compile it into a POI database for use with GPS devices. This would make it especially useful.
    Thank you

  12. Anonymous on August 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Any map available yet ? I am heading from Dawson Creek BC , To Courtenay BC and have IBS. A map of which bathroom facilities are available would be perfect. thanks.

  13. marvin on August 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Any maps available yet? I am heading from Dawson Creek BC to Courtenay BC and have IBS. A map of which bathroom facilities are available would be perfect. Thanks

  14. Dave on May 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    If traveling at night is there any issue with pulling over and sleeping at rest stops? Or what is the max stay allowed at rest stops?

    • tranbceditor on May 27, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Hi Dave,

      We encourage you to use rest areas to pull over and catch some zzzz’s while you are travelling, but try to discourage motorists from using rest areas for more than four hours at a time. Hope that this helps~!

  15. Jim Munro on June 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    We are planning a trip East bound to Sask. the first week of July and would really appreciate being able to get a copy of “The Provincial Rest Area Map”. We hope it is now available. “Thanks In Advance”!

  16. Mike on July 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I want to know about the rest stops on way from Prince George to Kelowna I am travelling by Merritt and 97c connector

  17. steev on December 17, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I am very disappointed to see actual picture of so called rest aras.
    It’s 3rd grade joke for Bc. Ab. Travelers. Bc residents pay lot’s of
    tax and see the trans Canada hwy ( not hwy only single road).it is
    such a shame fo Bc and trans Canada hwy authority. ..

    • tranbceditor on December 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Steev,

      Is there somewhere in particular you are concerned about?

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