Northern Highways - Alaska, the Yukon & northern British Columbia
Officially, U.S. Route 287 runs 1,791 miles (2,882 km) from Port Arthur, Texas, to Choteau, Montana, broken by Yellowstone National Park, where an unnumbered park road connects the two sections. Starting in about 1919, though, the Canada to Gulf Highway Association (later re-named the U.S. Highway 287 Association) promoted the highway as the best tourist route to Alaska. The association died in the mid-1970s, but produced some excellent printed material over the years. The brochure below dates from about 1968.
Each of the images below can be enlarged by clicking on it. The particularly interesting text with the "Mile 0 Dawson Creek" photo can be seen completely here.
Goals of the National U.S. 287 Highway Association
Present U.S. Highway 287 extends from Port Arthur, Texas, northwesterly through the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, northwesterly across Colorado, Wyoming, through Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks and continues northwest across Montana until it connects with U.S. 89 at Choteau, Montana, where they both run together on the eastern side of Glacier Park to the Canadian Border. This is the foundation of present day U.S. 287 Highway Association, working together with her sister routes, U.S. 90 East to Florida and Canada No. 2 and Alaska Highways Northwest to Alaska.
To achieve this "working together" goal of more than 2,000 businessmen over a 3,500 mile distance has been the result of a mixture of hard work, faith, and loyalty by dedicated men for over 50 years.
Many things have contributed to the success of the 287 movement with the strip map-directory, field service and interest on a local level being considered basic. Through the years, the cooperation of the news media - press, television and radio has been great. The Association by means of awards, trophies and other promotional tools has never ceased to pay tribute to those pioneers who nursed this Association through the struggling years immediately following organization.
The first meeting to have bearing on the present 287 Association was held in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1912. Representatives from Texas and Colorado met and formed a highway improvement association to promote travel from Gulf to Colorado in the summer-time and from Colorado to Gulf during the winter months.
From that day an interest was kept alive by three past associations - the aforesaid Gulf to Colorado; the Dallas, Canadian and Denver; and Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado Associations. At Amarillo in 1936 the Colorado to Gulf Association agreed to work for a US. designation for one highway marking along the route.
The US. 287 designation became reality in January, l940. Diligent work over the next l0 years finally resulted in the organization of the National U.S. 287 Highway Association in March, 1950, at Lamar, Colorado.
Today, the 287 route is extolled as the safest, fastest, shortest and most scenic route connecting all the National Parks in the American and Canadian Rockies with the Gulf of Mexico and all of its beautiful beaches.