Coming into Watson Lake  from the road, you’ll be tired and hungry, guaranteed. Half a dozen motels, several campgrounds, and a handful of restaurants are there to serve. Cedar Lodge Motel (Mile 633 Alaska Hwy., 867/536-7406, www.cedarlodge.yk.net , $85 s or d) has standard motel rooms with phones and cable TV. The hands-on owners have also developed suites in a building they moved from an abandoned mining town (from $95 s or d).
Also in town is the more modern Big Horn Hotel (Mile 633 Alaska Hwy., 867/536-2020) with attractively appointed rooms, including kitchen suites, starting at $125 s or d.
Nugget City (867/536-2307 or 888/536-2307, www.nuggetcity.com , May–Oct.) is a large tourist complex 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Watson Lake (just past the Cassiar turn-off). The least expensive wooden cabins ($125–210 s or d) are spotlessly clean and come with a deck and satellite TV. Even taking into consideration the nondescript interiors, they are a good value. Fancier suites come with jetted tubs and covered decks. Tent sites are $22 and large pull-through hookup sites come with power, water, and satellite TV hookups for $38–50. The on-site restaurant has a good selection of Northern foods and a nice deck.
Other camping options are Downtown RV Park (right in the middle of town, 867/536-2646, $32–32) with full hookups and showers, and Watson Lake Public Campground, which is three kilometers (1.9 miles) off the highway at Kilometer 1,025 and has no services for $17 per night.
Both the Belvedere (867/536-7712) and Watson Lake Hotels (867/536-7781) have coffee shops and dining rooms open from 6 a.m. Both also have bars, the latter decorated with Northern memorabilia.
Wolf it Down Restaurant (Nugget City, 20 km/12 mi west of town, 867/536-2307, May–Oct. daily 6:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m.) is a touristy place with decent food, including Northern specialties like bison burgers, and an in-house bakery.