This gravel road branches off the Klondike Highway about 40 km southeast of Dawson City and heads north to Inuvik in NWT. It is Canada's northernmost road, built in 1979. Most of the road is above the treeline and crosses the vast wilderness of the Ogilvie & Richardson Mountains as well as the Arctic Circle. The route forms a section of the Trans Canada Trail.
Only two towns are located along the way, Eagle Plains, near the midway point and Fort MacPherson at the border of the Northwest Territories. Traffic is light, but trucks travel fast and stir up a lot of dust and gravel. Free ferry service operates at Peel River (km 542) and Mackenzie River (km 609).
Campgrounds are at Tombstone Park (km 71.5), Engineer Creek (km 193.4), Eagle Plains (km 369), Rock River (km 446), James Creek (Km 479) and others in NWT at km 75.5, 227, 240 and 271.
This is a very remote area with no public phones for several hundred kilometers.
To get help in case of car trouble or emergencies will require the use of a satellite phone.
For information on Iridium satellite phones with world-wide coverage including the far north, contact Outbound Communications .
They will rent or sell hand-held equipment, and can help with service contracts or pre-paid airtime cards.
Starts 40km southeast of Dawson City and heads north to Inuvik.
Or you can fly to Inuvik and start from there.
Bikers usually do this road in 7-10 days, but
one person finished it in under 6 days.
In 1999 3 bikers did the whole road and an ice road to the Arctic Ocean in winter.
Others in summer have done a more leisurely pace and stop for some hiking along the way. The area is also full of lakes and rivers, with lots of places to explore and many wild animals and birds to see.
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For a comprehensive guide to the Dempster highway please read Walter Lanz's excellent book "Along the Dempster". It is an excellent source for adventurers intrigued by the far north. Walter's compelling images illustrate the striking beauty of the land.
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