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Old 01-12-2010, 12:55 AM
 
Location: The Lakes
2,372 posts, read 4,662,326 times
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I've always wanted to do this. Is the scenery as good as I hear it is? Is it safe to do in the summer? I've logged 15,000 miles on snow and ice without fault this year, so I doubt the weather will be too much of a deterrent.

If it's possible in the summer, how about the winter?

I'd be using an AWD vehicle, likely plow and chain prepared.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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Yes, yes, and yes.

Perfectly drivable in summer, just be aware that services are few and far between. Doable in winter but be prepared for extreme arctic conditions (carry extra supplies, food, water, tools, arctic gear, etc). A CB radio (CH 19) is good to have in case of emergencies - After Fairbanks the only cell phone service is up at Deadhorse.

//www.city-data.com/forum/membe...alton-hwy.html

Some recent AK photo's

Some recent AK photo's

Some recent AK photo's

Before and After
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Palmer
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It's been a LONG time since I've been up the haul road. I've only done it in winter 2X. I rode once with a friend who hauled jet fuel from Fairbanks to Deadhorse. You have to know that if you hit a real blizzard north of the Brooks Range it can be downright nasty. Like 0 visibility, below zero temps and lots of wind. When I went through with him it was pretty bad but he had been driving the road since the Hickel Highway days and it was nothing to him.

Be prepared for some serious stuff. We had a problem with a jackknifed truck 1/2 way up a long hill that was nothing but glare ice. Thankfully we were warned about it by radio and we pulled over and waited until they had a lane open. It would not have been a good situation to have a tanker stuck 1/2 up a hill below another jackknifed truck.

We saw two trucks on their side on either side of a narrow bridge. Apparently neither driver was willing to wait for the other so neither one slowed down and they sideswiped each other on the narrow bridge and both of them went into the ditch.

Forget the plow, bring plenty of warm gear and do bring the chains. Also at least 2 spares. It will not be a lot of fun in mid winter but it might be OK in March when there is more light.

I didn't think it was as scenic as the Glenn Highway, the Denali Highway, or the Richardson Highway. It's just more remote and in worse condition.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
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I have never been on the Dalton, it sure looks dangerous on Ice Road Truckers, but I have always enjoyed the Richardson Hwy. When I was a kid, my dad and I would drive the triangle from Delta Junction to the Tok cutoff, then onward to Tok and then back to Delta on the Alaska Hwy, always amazing. And the Glenn is fun, especially the blind curves around the cliffs. My old boss did ride a motorcycle up the Dalton and had some nice pictures.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:15 PM
 
345 posts, read 1,177,426 times
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dont do it in the winter unless youre getting paid 4 figures to do it...

i used to drive a tourist van up and down that road. makes sure you have a radio because there are times when you need to communicate with the trucks. the trucks have the rightaway, its THEIR road. i personally would not put my own vehicle through that trip, its too hard on any vehicle. ive almost slid off the road due to driving on the washboard. sections of the road are extremely narrow and there is some steep hills. i also once got stuck out there when a trackhoe fell off of a trailer in front of me. as a local i dont think its all that interesting but you gotta do everything at least once. the tors are pretty cool and there is fire weed as far as you can see. lots of black spruce, then the brooks range, then tundra. just try to go when there are no fire, or you wont be able to see anything half of your trip. and remember your sunglasses!
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:28 PM
 
Location: The Lakes
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Thanks for the responses so far! I'll definitely check the other highways out too. My true love, even over my woman and Kentucky basketball, is driving and traveling crazy places
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