The Dalton Highway Practically Runs Through Half Of Alaska And It's A Beautiful Drive
Alaska is the largest state in America, so a highway that runs through half of Alaska is no small feat. But the infamous Dalton Highway in Alaska does in fact do that! It runs from just north of Fairbanks all the way to the Arctic Ocean. And the panoramic vistas are just as gorgeous as you would imagine!
Many people have heard of the famous Dalton Highway, made popular by the television show “Ice Road Truckers."
The show ran for ten years, and it’s clear why — viewers watched large eighteen-wheel truckers navigate a 414-mile road from just north of Fairbanks to Deadhorse, right on the Arctic Ocean.
The road is made of dirt and gravel, and in winter, it ices up and freezes over.
This stretch of road can easily be considered the most remote road in Alaska. There are only three towns along its length: Coldfoot (Mile 145,) Wiseman (Mile 188,) and Deadhorse (Mile 414.) You must stop in Coldfoot for a fill-up to ensure your car’s tank has enough gasoline!
The Alaska pipeline follows the Dalton Highway; the road was constructed in 1974 to help build the pipeline.
Currently, the road is primarily used by truckers carrying supplies to Deadhorse. The oilfield workers depend on the shipments the truckers bring in.
But tourists love it too, and it’s easy to see why.
The Dalton Highway edges just five miles outside of the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve. The northernmost national park in America, this stunning land is home to the Brooks Range, six national wild rivers, and a sky full of dancing aurora in the dark winter months.
The Dalton Highway hits the Arctic Circle about 115 miles into the drive and climbs over Alaska’s tallest mountain pass, Atigun Pass.
Atigun Pass sits at an elevation of 4,739 feet and is a high mountain pass across the Brooks Range. The Dalton Highway takes you up and over this stunning area, offering beautiful views.
The highway is busy in the summer and the winter, and it is known for its rough travel.
Washboard roads, giant potholes, and eighteen-wheelers all conspire to give you a rough ride out to Deadhorse. Many cars don’t make it without a couple of dings or windshield cracks, and most rental car companies won’t let you drive on the Dalton Highway.
But everyone who travels the Dalton Highway says that it is worth it.
If you have the chance to drive to the Arctic Circle, don’t pass this one up. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will blow your mind. A trip down the Dalton Highway should top everyone’s bucket list if you love Alaska's wild and remote beauty.
Have you ever driven the Dalton Highway? Is it on your list of amazing places to go? Let us know in the comments below!
While you’re driving the Dalton, make sure to stop off at
Coldfoot Camp, one of the most isolated and remote towns in the state! It’s located right off the Dalton Highway.
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Dalton Highway, Dalton Hwy, Alaska, USA