Alaska Trips September 29, 2019
by Megan McDonald Follow The Caribou Migration Along The Dalton Highway In Alaska
There are some amazing events that happen every autumn in Alaska, and the caribou migration along the Dalton Highway is one of the most spectacular. You have the opportunity to see hundreds of thousands of caribou moving from their summer grounds to their winter ranges.
The Dalton Highway is an incredible road that stretches from Fairbanks all the way up to Deadhorse, Alaska.
It's 414 miles cut through the stunning Arctic Circle. You get to travel through the Brooks Range, and see the incredible wildlife that lives within this biodiverse area.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an area that spans almost 20 million acres, and skirts right along the edge of the Dalton Highway.
Along with wildlife like polar bears, wolves, and arctic ground squirrels, you can find the majestic caribou. The caribou live in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the hundreds of thousands.
The caribou migrate hundreds of miles each season, sometimes as far as 400 miles.
Their winter home is just south of the Brooks Range, and they'll migrate to there from their calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You will most likely see caribou from the Porcupine Herd or the Central Arctic Herd during your observing!
These animals can be spotted in the Brooks Range, but you will most frequently run in to them in the Atigun Pass area.
The Dalton Highway goes right through Atigun Pass, so you may spot these gorgeous caribou as they're crossing the road! Otherwise keep your eyes peeled to the landscape outside your window to spot them.
The caribou don't start their migration until after the first storm in the autumn.
That means the months they can be visible from the road can change depending on weather conditions. Some years it's as early as August, other times you'll see them head through in late September or early October.
When spotted, the caribou will usually be moving in small groups.
Look out over the tundra to see the telltale signs of the caribou, although they do blend in well! Both male and female caribou have antlers, so they're a little harder to tell them apart.
The Dalton Highway is a magnificent drive all by itself.
But adding in the additional excitement and beauty of spotting the caribou herd from the road makes it an unforgettable adventure. Add this fall drive to your bucket list this season!
Have you had a chance to witness the caribou migration in Alaska? What did you think? Were you on the Dalton Highway? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re in the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway, make sure to grab a meal at
This Alaska Restaurant Is 240 Miles From Civilization But It’s So Worth The Journey!
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Address: Dalton Hwy, Prudhoe Bay, AK, USA