Finally we come to the Dempster Highway. This was a main impetus behind this trip. Initially, we had intended to go up the Dalton Highway in Alaska to Deadhorse at Prudhoe Bay. The Dalton Highway was built for the Alyeska Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline and Deadhorse is an oilfield camp. During our last stay in Whitehorse, we found a book of pictures from the Yukon. In it were many photos along the Dempster. The beautiful scenery along the Dempster, coupled with the fact that Inuvik, at the end of the road, is a First Nations town, swayed us to try the Dempster highway instead.
The Dempster Highway is a good condition gravel road about 450 miles in length. The first service station, Eagle Plains, is about 230 miles up the road. There are a few other towns with gasoline between there and Inuvik. It is a bit of an adventure, setting off on such a road, but it is not dangerous or difficult to drive. The main thing to remember is to slow down and pull over (or even stop) when there is oncoming traffic - this helps stop flying rocks from chipping your windshield. You do see many creative devices on other vehicles to stop flying rocks, though.
The views along the highway are just astounding! In the areas where
there is tundra, you feel like you can see just about forever. There is
tundra, mountains, forests, and taiga along the road. The expansive views
are just not to be believed. We have many beautiful sights in Colorado, but
nothing like this. The only thing that I've seen even remotely like this
is the tundra on Trail Ridge Road. But along the Dempster, the rolling
tundra extends as far as you can see.
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