Drive the World Famous Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
The Dalton Highway is a 415 mile/667 km long public highway that begins at mile 73 on the Elliott Highway and ends at Dead Horse a few miles from Prudhoe Bay, site of North America's largest oil discovery. Still known
locally as the Haul Road it can be a most challenging highway. The primary users of the Dalton highway are the oil companies so that most of the vehicles using it are large trucks. These
truckers are professional
drivers but they also tend to take up a lot of room on the 28 ft/8.5 meter wide road. The surface is gravel and can be quite rough, dusty or slippery depending on the weather. There are long distances between commercial operations and here is where the problem lies. If you have any sort of mechanical difficulties or medical problems it can take hours or even days to get help. The cost of towing vehicles up here can be expensive. Many rental car companies prohibit driving on the Dalton Highway and other gravel roads in the state.
This is one of North America's most scenic and beautiful wilderness roads so I would not want
to discourage you from taking it, however my advice would be to contact one of the tour companies who deal with it on a regular basis. Their guides have radios and are trained to handle first aid emergencies as well as being very experienced in driving in these conditions. One company I can highly recommend is
If you choose to go on your own please contact the Alaska Public Lands Information Center (APLIC) at 101 Dunkel St Fairbanks. 907-459-3730
Preparations for traveling: you should carry 2 full-time spares, emergency flares, extra gas and windshield wiper fluid, bug repellent, rain gear, first aid kit, emergency food & water and camping gear. Travel with your lights on, slow down when other vehicles are approaching, do not stop on the road travel surface.
Alaska's Best Tours
Discover the best activities and things to do in Alaska and the Yukon. View the cities below for "Must Do" activities.
mile 0 Livengood. Junction of Elliott Hwy. & The Dalton Hwy. Turn west to Eureka and Manley Hotsprings.
mile 56 The Dalton Highway crosses the Yukon River. The 1/2 mile long bridge was built during
the winter of 1974-75. Yukon Crossing, telephone, gas, food & accommodation. BLM maintains a visitor contact station staffed with volunteers open daily from 9 to 6 from late may to September.
mile 60 Sixty-Mile, undeveloped camping area, water, outhouses, food, dump station and lodging.
mile 98 Finger Mountain Wayside, scenic viewpoint, 1/2 mile interpretive trail to the summit of Finger Mountain.
mile 115 Arctic Circle scenic viewpoint with interpretive signs, picnic area, outhouses and undeveloped camping area.
mile 132 Gobbler's Knob, viewpoint with excellent views of the Brooks Range to the north.
mile 150 Grayling Lake moose are often found in this nutrient rich aquatic vegetation. Viewpoint and outhouse.
mile 175Coldfoot. Visitor Center open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., from May 25 through September 11. . BLM staff are available to answer questions and provide road condition and wildlife sightings.
mile 189 Wiseman, drive 3 miles west of the highway to reach Wiseman, an old goldrush town established in 1907. Lodging and airstrip.
mile 204 Sukakpak Mountain elev. 4,459 ft. Once a limestone deposit, heat and pressure metamorphosed it into marble before it was thrust up during the formation of the Brooks Range. Viewpoint.
mile 235 The "Last Tree" along the Dalton Hwy.
mile 237 Chandalar, view of the Dietrich River valley to the south.
mile 244Atigun Pass, elev. 4739 ft. As you travel over Atigun Pass, you are going over the Continental Divide. Rivers to the north empty into the Arctic Ocean, while rivers to the south empty into the Bering Sea. North of the Atigun Pass, permafrost grows deeper (over 2,000 feet in the Prudhoe Bay area) and is present almost everywhere. South of the pass, permafrost areas become thinner and less prevalent. Watch for Dall sheep on the mountain sides around Atigun Pass.
mile 275 Galbraith Lake, this large glacial lake was dammed by a terminal moraine located north of Galbraith Lake. Turn west off the highway just north of Galbraith Lake and travel approximately 3 miles to reach an outhouse and undeveloped camping area. This area offers beautiful views and good hiking opportunities into the Brooks Range.
mile 286 Toolik Lake, an arctic research station is based on the shores of Toolik Lake.
mile 334 Happy Valley is the site of a former pipeline construction camp.
mile 356 Coastal Plain Overlook, enjoy the panoramic view of the coastal plain.
mile 383 Franklin Bluffs, the iron rich soils on the east bank of the Sagavanirktok River give the bluffs their rich yellow, tan and orange colors.
mile 415Deadhorse is the support community for the Prudhoe Bay oilfields. The public road ends at Deadhorse, approximately 7 miles short of the Arctic Ocean. Both hotels in Deadhorse offer tours of the oil fields and Arctic Ocean. Restrooms, telephones, food, lodging, post office, gas, tow truck, RV dump station and airport are all available.