Oh, Canada: Sign Post Forest!

The Raven & the Rattler at the Sign Post Forest

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know how much I love quirky roadside attractions. I’ll drive hundreds of miles out of my way to see the world’s largest anything. So when a friend heard I was heading for the Yukon and told me about the world famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, I had to go.

As the legend goes, the Sign Post Forest was started in the 1940’s by a homesick American GI, who posted a sign pointing to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. Watson Lake is a significant waypoint along the Alaskan Highway, the major link between Canada and the North, and scores of travelers have passed through and added signs pointing back to their own hometowns. At last count, in 2010, the forest boasted more than 70,000 signs, license plates and plaques from all over the world.

Anybody can add a sign; when I was there, several groups of people were wandering around, looking for an open spot. The collection covers several acres, surrounding the Watson Lake Visitor Center. It really is a forest: the posts are arranged as haphazardly as trees and in their midst, it’s possible to feel a little lost, even if you do know it’s 3,908 miles to Boston or 5,459 kilometers to Colima, Mexico or 7,335 kilometers to Knau, Germany.

Bowie moseying down the Alaska Highway

Entrance to the Sign Post Forest

A few of the more than 70,000 signs. At one point, I even got a little lost in there!

I spotted signs from all over the world, though I didn’t find one from my hometown. I wish I brought one to add to the collection!

Yukon Bowie!

On to Alaska! My 50th state and Bowie’s 49th! 😀

The Raven & the Rattler in the Sign Post Forest!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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15 Responses to Oh, Canada: Sign Post Forest!

  1. I got lost just looking at the photo’s, dang that’s never happing before.

  2. nutsfortreasure says:

    Reblogged this on Living and Lovin and commented:
    re-blogging for all my friends that will travel this way in serch for GOLD
    Be sure to check it out!

  3. walktx says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful spot. It would be a place I would enjoy visiting someday!

  4. julia christine stephen says:


  5. lizjfox says:

    This is really interesting. What an exciting idea. I guess the first homesick soldier had no ideas what he was creating when put up his sign.

  6. Joni says:

    Spectacular! Another place on my list to visit

  7. Don West says:

    Have you seen the worlds largest prairie dog?

  8. Who knew a bunch of signs could be so beautiful?!

  9. This is such a fun and happy post! Z

  10. You almost got lost? How? There were plenty of signs 😉

  11. Glenn says:

    Been there many times…takes me back, for sure. Glad to see such progress toward the Great Land. Very nice pictures btw!

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