Canada, North America

Sign Post Forest Watson Lake Yukon

Driving the Alaska Highway is a long drive, but so very worth the time it takes to do it. We’ve done it four times now and seen different things each time. One place that really caught our interest was the Sign Post Forest, in Watson Lake, Yukon. Such an interesting and unique place.

Sign Post Forest

History of the Sign Post Forest

The Sign Post Forest was started in 1942 by an injured US GI, Private Carl K Lindley from Danville, Illinois, who was brought to the aid station to recuperate. In 1942, there wasn’t a town of Watson Lake, but a military air base and airport.

Sign Post Forest

Private Lindley’s commanding officer assigned him the task of painting the directional sign. He was seriously homesick, as you would be if you’d been injured and you had no family with you. While he was painting the sign, he decided to add a sign of his own hometown. Thus, the start of something really cool.

Sign Post Forest

Visiting the Sign Post Forest

The Sign Post Forest is located on the Alaska Highway, at mile marker 635 (KM marker 980), in Watson Lake. You really can’t miss it. There is a little store next door with groceries, gas, a laundry, restrooms and a little fast food restaurant, that isn’t super fast to be honest. I didn’t eat there because of the gluten, but the rest in my party did and liked it. It’s mostly fried food.

Sign Post Forest

There is a little Visitor’s Center attached to the forest that is opened 8:30-4:30, but it wasn’t open any of the times we were there. You can freely walk around and look at all the signs.

Sign Post Forest

Look for These Things

At some point, a Civil War sign was installed. I’m guessing someone took this sign without asking and planted it here. Not sure how I feel about that at all.

Sign Post Forest

If you’re traveling with kids, they might enjoy all of the heavy equipment in the forest. They wear signs as well. There are also a few picnic tables for a nice lunch spot. The first time we visited, there was an engine from a train. It wasn’t there this year.

Sign Post Forest

Find the cute bridge in the center of the Sign Post Forest. Covered with signs, it’s a great place to take a picture with your travel mates.

Sign Post Forest



Add Your Own Sign

Today, the Signpost Forest has between 72,000 and 80,000 signs, depending on who you listen to. Each year the number of signs increases by about 1000 signs.

During our last stop in Watson Lake, we planned ahead and brought our own sign. Yay! You don’t have to ask permission to add a sign, but you do need to bring your own supplies. Since my husband is a builder, we happened to have a drill in our truck.

If you’re planning a drive on the Alaska Highway, check out the Alaska Highway Road Trip post for some tips.

Sign Post Forest

The Idaho license plate at the bottom of the pole is the sign we added. Because I’m a little goofy, when we pass through again, I’m sure I will go see if it’s still there.

The Sign Post Forest is a great place to stretch your legs because no matter which way you drive, it will have been awhile since you were able to go for a walk. It’s a really fun stop for sure and so interesting. Have you been to the Sign Post Forest? What’s an odd and interesting thing you’ve seen in the travels?

Sign Post Forest



Sign Post Forest

You Might Also Like

  • DoiBedouin April 16, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Wow. 😲
    So full of signs. I won’t lie. As I started reading I really wondered at the funny name. And then it occured to me. Such a unique destination. A must visit. Loved reading it ❤🌸

    • ppadmin May 11, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      So many signs. I thought it was an odd thing when I first saw it. I’m so glad we stopped.

  • Kelly April 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    I was in the Yukon briefly during a cruise stop in Alaska and loved it. I want to go back one day to spend some time there. This sign post forest is so cool and would be fun to see and read.

    • ppadmin May 11, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      I was so surprised by the beauty of the Yukon when we went the first time. It’s just breathtaking, every where you look. The Sign Post Forest was a lot of fun.

  • Freya April 17, 2020 at 12:25 am

    Wow, what a quirky idea 🙂 I missed Watson Lake off the itinerary when I visited Yukon, but definitely interested in checking it out if I return. Fingers crossed your Idaho sign is a permanent fixture.

  • Vanessa April 18, 2020 at 2:20 am

    I’d never heard of Sign Post Forest, I love the history that it was started by a homesick GI. Must be fascinating to wander round and see various, colourful signs from around the world. It is nice you added your Idaho sign too for others to see, must be fun to have made your mark on your travels!

    • ppadmin May 11, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      It’s a great story for how it was started. It was really neat to walk around and see it all. Also, it was fun to leave our sign. We’ll have to go back and see it sometime.

  • Jenna Emmons April 18, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    What a fun “roadside America” attraction! It’s pretty impressive to think most of those folks planned ahead to bring their signs or license plates. Looks like even some European visitors have added to the display.

    • ppadmin May 11, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      It was a fun attraction and a great place to stop on your way across the Yukon. There are signs from all over the world. I wonder if there are signs from every country. There are certainly enough there.

  • Amrita April 23, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    The Sign Post Forest sounds like an interesting place, and unique too. I would love to leave a signpost there whenever I visit. Private Lindley started this because of his homesickness, but it became quite an interesting idea. Did you return back to Sign Post Forest again to see your signpost again?

    • ppadmin May 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      It is very unique. We just left our own sign last summer, so we haven’t seen it again yet. Probably next summer. I so love that drive.