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Start of the Dalton Highway

Start of the Dalton Highway

  • Author: admin
  • Date Posted: Jun 23, 2013
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The Dalton Highway is the road that goes up to Prudhoe Bay (or Deadhorse) Alaska.  It’s hardly a highway, and more of a gravel road built by the oil companies to access the oil fields across the Arctic coastline.  The road does not go all the way to the Arctic Ocean, but with enough planning, you can make reservations with the oil company to do a tour of the fields and ocean, weather/wildlife/availability permitting.

We booked a time with the Arctic Tour while in Fairbanks, because typically on our trips, we cannot plan more than a few days ahead, just in case we run into mechanical or weather delays.

The Dalton highway is often called the “haul road” because it was mainly used by the oil companies to truck their supplies to the pipeline and sites. Also, it doesn’t start in Fairbanks, but rather a few dozen miles further north.  At this point, the road surface gets increasingly-more dilapidated, and it’s hard to maintain a reasonable speed.

The road is 492 miles long.  The only place to fill up is in Coldfoot, and that’s a really long drive, especially at 25-35mph.  We got on the road just before midnight, and we didn’t realize just how long of a drive this would be.