Fairbanks to Deadhorse - July 14-15, 2017
From Fairbanks the Elliot Highway takes you about 73 miles north to the start of the Dalton Highway, traversing boreal forest hills of Birch and Aspen trees, and tundra valleys of streams and small rivers. You will cross the mighty Yukon River and pass through the valley to Finger Mountain, a treeless high point with short walkways and kiosks to learn about the region’s geology and alpine tundra. The Arctic Circle turnout has bathrooms and a picnic area. A little further north takes you up and over Gobbler’s Knob and down into the Koyukuk river valley to the Coldfoot Truck Stop, 260 miles north of Fairbanks.
The only way to access the Arctic by vehicle is along the Elliot Highway and James Dalton Highway, the latter is a service road built in the1970s for the construction of the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline. It was opened for public use in 1994 and is recognized as a State Scenic Byway for its spectacular scenery and wildlife. It’s a “long haul” all the way from Fairbanks to the Arctic Ocean in Prudhoe Bay, approximately 500 miles. The road itself is also called the Haul Road, mainly because trucks use it to haul supplies north to the oil fields. The conditions of the highway in general, are pretty good. Some sections are paved, but large sections remain gravel. Large amounts of rain can deteriorate road conditions but the Alaska Department of Transportation maintains the road consistently. - From http://www.arcticgetaway.com
We have actually allotted two days for this leg of the trip. Since we are traveling in the month of July, we are afforded the gift of constant daylight. It takes some of the pressure off of us in that we won't have to travel during the night.
We begin our final leg of the trip to the Arctic Circle. We allotted an extra day in Fairbanks to ensure that the bikes were ready to make this last push north as well as the return to Fairbanks. Scheduling maintenance to change fluids and put fresh rubber on the wheels was a critical piece for us during this portion of the ride. We have come so far over the last few weeks and we wanted to make sure that not only were we ready to face the conditions the Dalton Highway has in store for us, but the bikes are as well.
THE DALTON HIGHWAY FROM THE CHANDALAR, BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA.
Photo Courtesy of Rob Niebrugge @