In this week’s episode of the podcast we pick of where we left off, halfway up the James Dalton Highway in Alaska. Also your feedback, more decluttering, and plans to go back to the Keys.
The Dalton Highway
Las week we talk about America’s northernmost and most isolated highway, but we ran out of time halfway. I told you how we left from Fairbanks on the Elliot Highway. Joined the gravel road at the Livengood Junction and then continued to our first pit stop at the mighty Yukon River. From here we passed by most hilly terrain, finger mountain, the Arctic Circle, Graylin Lake, and our second pit stop at the world’s northernmost truck stop at Coldfoot, Alaska.
North of Coldfoot
North of here is the most isolated and treacherous segment of the road. There will be no services for the next 240 miles.
I wouldn’t recommend going the whole 240 miles with a big rig as some parts are pretty rough and treacherous, but we can still manage to go a little further. Just north of here there’s Marion Creek campground where you can leave you rig and continue with your tow vehicle. A few miles further north we have an arctic village called Wiseman, dating back to the gold rush. Just a handful of people live here permanently but there are two places to stay. One of them is e Boreal Lodge, and the other is the Arctic Getaway Cabin and Breakfast, where we stayed on the way back. These are much better accommodations than those found back in Coldfoot.
The Brooks Range
North of here we’ll start seeing the most striking landscapes this road has to offer. Be sure to spot Sukukpak mountain, made up of marble.
Also be sure to stop by one of the many creeks and dip your feet in the chilly water.
And this is about as north as I would go if you don’t think your vehicle is up to the task. Here we begin climbing the Brooks Range.
There is one place to pull out and take a break by the Chandalar Shelf. Then it is a non stop climb to the continental divide, located at the Attigun Pass, the highest point in the whole road. At the top you may encounter a herd of dall sheep. You may also encounter snow even in the summer.
The North Slope and the Northern Plains
From here we start descending rapidly onto the North Slope. If you’ve made it all the way up here, Galbraith Lake may be a good place to camp.
North of here is the worst part of the trip as far a road conditions go, at least at the time of our trip. The road is gravel which feel like you are going over large boulders. This area is marginally attractive with rolling hills and no trees. It is true tundra climate. The last 60 miles is the flat northern plains.
Deadhorse, often described as the anticlimactic dystopia at end of our trip, is basically a company town whose sole purpose is support for the oil companies operations. The only was to reach the Arctic circle is by taking a tour, and I strongly suggest it if you’ve made it all the way up here.
My entire trip has been documented on video at the following YouTube playlist.
Video gear I use
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.
Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.