The Dempster Highway—Canada’s first all-weather road to cross the Arctic Circle. It is a 735 km (455 mile) two-lane, gravel-surfaced, all-weather highway that runs from the Klondike Highway near Dawson City to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
In September 1993 we drove to the Arctic Circle and back to Dawson City.
In June 1996 we visited Inuvik for the longest day of the year.
In August 2011, drove to Tombstone park to camp overnight.
Now we plan to make a trip with the truck & camper in March 2014.
There is an excellent 52-page mile-by-mile guide published by the Yukon Government, "The Dempster Highway Travelogue". The guide can be downloaded from http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/publications-maps/documents/dempster_travelogue.pdf
North of Tombstone but still within the park, the landscape is stunning!
Some of following pictures might be out of order. My notes from the trip refer to before Eagle Plains and after Eagle Plains, but not the specific locations.
In 1993, the most we paid for fuel was $0.779/litre at Eagle Plains Hotel, which is about the half-way point between the Klondike Hwy and Inuvik on the Dempster Highway. In 2008, the most expensive fuel was $1.859/litre at the junction of the Dempster and the Klondike Highway.
Thirty-five kilometres (22 miles) north of Eagle Plains is the Arctic Circle. The signage has changed significantly since 1993. On June 22 at the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set below the horizon.
The Yukon-Northwest Territories border is at kilometre 465 (mile 290). Inuvik is another 270 km (170 miles) northward.
Also set your clocks one hour ahead for Mountain Standard Time.
At the Peel River ferry, the sign and loading area are not overwhelming. We chuckled when we saw the bulldozer, ready to make any alterations to the "loading ramp". The ferry came back across the river to pick us up and we eagerly awaited the "signal from the ferry personnel". The "signal" was almost undetectable -- it has a very small flick of the fellow's hand as he stood by the ferry.
The Peel River crossing is a cable crossing and operates from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily from early June to mid-October. In winter, there is an ice-bridge at this location.
At Inuvik we stayed at the Happy Valley territorial campground. It was tidy enough and within walking distance of "downtown". There isn't much of a downtown -- it is more of a "main drag" through town with some stores, a hotel, a community center.
We set the alarm clock to wake us up in the middle of the "night".