The Dalton Highway is a 414 mile road that winds through Northern Alaska from the Elliot Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Circle. Roman and Tommy spend 24 hours driving on the Dalton Highway to reach the Arctic Circle. While driving the “haul road” to Deadhorse they meet some interesting characters and a Brown Bear or two.
Built in 1974 as the service road for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the highway is mostly gravel and heavily used by 18-wheelers. The highest summit is Atigun Pass at 4,800 feet and spotting the local wildlife of moose, caribou, sheep, swans and eagles is common.
Few services exist along this harsh highway that carves a path through forest and tundra. Crossing the Yukon River, traversing the towering Brooks Range, and passing over the North Slope, this road has some of North America’s most dramatic scenery.
June to mid-July is the ideal time for driving this route. For general information on the Dalton Highway, see www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/recreation/dalton_hwy.html. See The Milepost travel guide (milepost.com) for general trip-planning information. You can camp for a fee at the Bureau of Land Management’s Marion Creek Campground just north of Coldfoot; elsewhere, all other camping areas are free, though undeveloped. RVers note: Dumping stations are available only at Deadhorse and at the mile 60 campground just north of the Yukon River. Repair services are available only at Yukon Crossing (summer only), Coldfoot, and Deadhorse, and there are no medical facilities along the highway. In an emergency, contact state troopers by phone (911) or via CB radio (channel 19). Note: Cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent along most of the route. There are several enjoyable river trips just off the highway, including the Jim River, Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River, and the Sagavanirktok River. Contact the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot for details (tel. 1 907 678 5209; firstname.lastname@example.org).