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Old 08-04-2009, 11:33 AM
 
4,986 posts, read 8,290,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose Whisperer View Post
Maybe I'll pass you out on the road sometime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbanks101 View Post
probably will

look for a big gray van

Was that you at Atigun Pass last Thursday around 10am?
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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How long does it take to get to Atigun? I'll be in Fairbanks around the 3rd for a couple days, tempted to head up that way just to say I've been on the haul road.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by warptman View Post
How long does it take to get to Atigun? I'll be in Fairbanks around the 3rd for a couple days, tempted to head up that way just to say I've been on the haul road.
If you are really determined (which I know you are!), you could make it up and back in 1 day. I usually do it in 2 days, staying overnight at Pump 5. It's a good 6 hrs (for me, driving the speed limit and stopping at pumps 7 & 6 along the way) from Fbks to Pump 5, then another 2 - 3 hours north to the pass from there.

Coldfoot is a good place to stop for lunch - 45 minutes north of 5. Also be sure to visit the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center on the other side of the highway from the truck stop. VERY COOL!

Coldfoot Interagency Visitor Center | Alaska Geographic

Last week though the entire drive was VERY smoky. Kinda disappointing. The smoke has even made it to the other side of the Brooks range, all the way up to Prudhoe. We definitely need some rain.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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Sweet, thanks Moosie! This is a must do then, or drive over to Dawson City. Will decide on when I get there.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Very Cool. Just be sure to have plenty of memory cards for your camera! Hopefully the smoke will clear out. Also, if you plan to make the obligatory stop and take a picture at the Artcic Circle sign, just be sure to keep a sharp eye out. You come up on the turnout pretty quick at the crest of a uphill turn. Best way is to keep in mind that it's at mile marker 115, about 20 miles south of pump 5.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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Sounds good, thanks!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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If I wanted to see the Brooks Range would this be the best highway to take? With all the large truck traffic, is it difficult for a tourist in a small SUV or car to drive this road?
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
If I wanted to see the Brooks Range would this be the best highway to take? With all the large truck traffic, is it difficult for a tourist in a small SUV or car to drive this road?
It is the only road to the Brooks Range. It is not that the road is difficult to drive, it is that there are no services, gas stations, or help for very long stretches. Oil company workers are provided a well equipped vehicle, survival gear, a radio, and the support of several Pump Stations along the route. Everyone else only has Cold Foot between the Yukon River and Deadhorse. If you break down and can't fix it yourself the difficulty will be contacting someone for help, and if help does arrive it will be very expensive.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
If I wanted to see the Brooks Range would this be the best highway to take? With all the large truck traffic, is it difficult for a tourist in a small SUV or car to drive this road?
Well, considering it's the only highway through the Brooks with access from the main road system, I guess that also makes it the "best" by default as well!

As for big rig traffic, I know the TV shows, as well as popular folklore, make it sound as if the Haul Road is nothing but one long line of highballing trucks stretching from Fairbanks to Prudhoe and back! This is not exactly the reality as I can frequently drive for hours up there and never see another vehicle. You've got to figure that even if there are say 100 trucks out on the road at any given time, it's still 500 miles between Fbks and Deadhorse so they are well spread out, and that they often tend to travel in groups, particularly in winter, makes the gaps even bigger. The reputation for non-stop truck traffic probably came from the earlier days of pipeline construction when there were literally thousands of loads going up every day.

Other light vehicle traffic you'll see includes pipeline workers, DOT road maintenance crews and, especially during summer, occasional POV's, motorcycles, bicyclists, and even hikers. Also watch for large construction equipment as there is always ongoing heavy road work somewhere along the 414 mile Dalton.

Just about any vehicle in good running condition can make the trip - in the summer. Believe it or not but I actually saw the GOOGLE mapping cars up there on my trip last week. It looked quite comical to see those two tiny Priuses or Geo Metros (or whatever they were) with their huge GPS masts strapped to the top bouncing down the road. I wish I could have snapped a picture but we were in a construction zone under pilot escort so I couldn't stop to reach for my camera.

The only caveat is you mention a tourist making the drive up yourself. If you are planning to take a rental car, forget it. Most rental companies prohibit travel off of paved roads, and mention the Dalton specifically by name. Primary reason is probably rock damage. In the summer when the ground isn't frozen, I usually pick up at least one ding in the windshield on at least 1/3 of my trips. If you don't have your own vehicle to drive, best to take one of the tour vans allowing you to sit back and enjoy the view.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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I am thinking of driving the Dalton in a few weeks and I am renting a car I know I know but I will take out whatever will cover me on broken windshield I figure if I make it there and back and wash the car the company will never know where I got the crack. Now anyone know of someplace in Fairbanks that sells or even rents spare tires?
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