Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dempster Highway

Today I am heading up the Dempster toward Inuvik, NWT. Weather changes so quickly up here I want to take advantage of what looks like a couple of very nice days. The road is entirely gravel and best to do dry. It is about 250 miles to the Artic Circle which is my first objective, if the weather holds I will go to the end of the road to Inuvik. We will see how it goes.
 Last night gathering for the traditional Dust to Dawson midnight picture.


  1. Did you make it to the Artic Circle?

  2. He is just beneath in. Will cross today if going to Inuvik which I think he will. No rain predicted, partially sunny, currently 9 degrees C. Tomorrow 16 C degrees.

  3. The Dempster Highway, also referred to as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8, is a highway in Canada that connects the Klondike Highway in Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River delta. During the winter months, the highway extends another 194 km (121 mi) to Tuktoyaktuk, on the northern coast of Canada, using frozen portions of the Mackenzie River delta as an ice road (the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road). The highway crosses the Peel River and the Mackenzie Rivers using a combination of seasonal ferry service and ice bridges.

    The design of the highway is unique, primarily due to the intense physical conditions it is put through. The highway itself sits on top of a gravel berm to insulate the permafrost in the soil underneath. The thickness of the gravel pad ranges from 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) up to 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) in some places. Without the pad, the permafrost would thaw and the road would sink into the ground.

    During the early 1990s, Northwestel erected microwave towers along the highway to facilitate public safety with manual mobile telephone service and to provide government agencies such as highway maintenance and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with communications.

    On 3 September 1995, the Molson Brewing Company arranged for several popular rock bands to give a concert in Tuktoyaktuk as a publicity stunt promoting their new ice-brewed beer. During the months leading up to concert, radio stations across North America ran contests in which they gave away free tickets. Dubbed The Molson Ice Polar Beach Party, it featured Hole, Metallica, Moist, Cake and Veruca Salt. Canadian film-maker Albert Nerenberg made a documentary about this concert entitled Invasion of the Beer People.[11]

    In 2008, Tuktoyaktuk was featured in the second season of the reality television series Ice Road Truckers where they travelled down the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road. It was also referenced several times in the 1994 television series Due South as a place where the main character, Benton Fraser, spent part of his childhood.[12]

    In 2009, an episode of Jesse James is a Dead Man titled "Arctic Bike Journey" featured James riding a custom motorcycle across 200 kilometres (125 mi) of ice road to deliver medicine to the locals of Tuktoyaktuk.

  4. HAPPY FATHERS DAY MARK. I am sure you are enjoying this part of the adventure. Enjoy your day. No cell service I presume? Weather looks good. Be safe. Love from ME

  5. You did not continue to Inuvik?
    Turned around at the Arctic Circle? Back to Dawson for the night?

  6. back in Dawson? what happened?

  7. Looks like a lot of people are enjoying the same trip you are!