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Driving The Dalton Highway, Alaska

One of the most remote highways on earth, the Dalton Highway takes you to the top of the world.

View of the Dalton Highway en route to Deadhorse, Alaska.

If you know anything about Alaska, you know there are not a whole lot of roads, but let me tell you. The ones they have are spectacular with views and wildlife. Some of the highways you can drive include the Seward Highway (Anchorage to Seward), the Denali Highway (Paxson to Richardson), the Parks Highway (Anchorage to Fairbanks), and our favorite, the Dalton Highway (from north of Fairbanks to Deadhorse).

One of our more memorable road trips, Jim and I drove the Dalton highway to Deadhorse for the adventure of it. This 414 mile long, gravel road, it’s Alaska rough through and through, but boy is it worth it!

The Dalton Highway, more affectionately known as the Haul Road, was built to parallel the Alaska pipeline for maintenance and supplies. The only regular traffic on the road is the oil workers and the truckers. Believe me, it is not fun to follow a truck on that gravel. It kicks up some big rocks. We just pulled over and let them pass. We weren’t in much of a hurry.

There’s not much to do as you drive the Dalton. It winds its way through taiga and tundra. The only time to attempt it is during the summer, and you can see lots of wildlife. We saw a grizzly, a snowy owl, plenty of caribou, and lots of other birds and rodents.

There is only a few stops for gas, and you basically have to camp the entire way. We were driving our truck with a camper top, so we were quite comfortable. There is a dumping station in Deadhorse, and a tire repair shop. This we needed when we woke up to two flat tires, thanks to the nails we found in them…suspicious..hmmm?

We loved driving the Dalton, but it’s not for everyone. If you plan to go, do your research and pick a hardy vehicle!

Have you driven in Alaska? Would you like to drive the Dalton Highway?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.