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Canadian Canoe Routes

Dempster Highway
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Author:  Jackpine [ January 24th, 2018, 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Dempster Highway

Does anyone have experience having driven on the Dempster Highway?

A few friends and I are planning on driving it along it's entire length. We are interested in finding out what other travellers have experienced on the road in terms of it's condition, and what they did for a vehicle (rent, buy, etc.) Also, any info on available resources to contact for campgrounds along the way, etc.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thank you. Jackpine

Author:  Splake [ January 24th, 2018, 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

We drove it to the Arctic Circle and Eagle Plains way back in 1980 on a family trip. Well, my Dad drove. It was a gravel road back then, not sure if it still is. The whole Alaska Highway was gravel at the time. We were driving a motor home and the "special" thing for that part of the trip was carrying an extra 40l/10 gallons of gas which was needed to get to Eagle Plains which was the only gas station after leaving the Klondike Highway.

That info probably isn't much use to you given how long ago it was, but it was an awesome trip including picking blueberries at the Arctic Circle. :-)

With the highway now open from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk I have added driving from Ontario to Tuk in the winter to my wish list of adventures.

Author:  scouter Joe [ January 24th, 2018, 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

Go to a magazine rack and look for a copy of Up Here . There is an article in the current issue about the Dempster Hyw. And the new road from Inuvik to Tuk . Should answer a lot of your questions . scouter Joe

Author:  Ted [ January 24th, 2018, 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

Did the Dempster in 2011.
Lots of photos but no text except for the Lost Patrol page.
Might be worth looking at.
cheers Ted

Author:  HuckFinn [ January 24th, 2018, 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

I did it back in 1995. There was actually a map book describing the road, including the descriptions of the various ecosystems to be found. Tombstone park was amazing. The grayling fishing was also amazing. We went as far as the arctic circle sign. It was an amazing trip.

Author:  Kanoe [ January 24th, 2018, 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

I've driven the road several times and will be on it once again this year, travelling with a small group of truck campers. We will also be driving the new highway from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk. I have a bit of a writeup on a website I manage. There's also a photo gallery that spans all the trips we have made in the past. Some of the photos are from old, scanned analog. Here's a link, if you're interested ... ... ghway.html

Author:  Colibri [ April 13th, 2018, 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

I live in the Yukon and drove the Dempster Highway a few times, including all the way to Inuvik (before the completion to TUK).
Great scenery in general but also some dull sections. Bring a full size spare tire and jerry can of gas if your vehicle is the thirsty kind. There are great campspots along the road, some in campgrounds and other non-offical spots. Bring your binocular and be ready for all kind of weather and strong wind when you reach '' Hurricane Alley'' close to the NWT border. Enjoy the pure silence between two transport trucks and don't forget to stop at the visitor centre in Inuvik.
Enjoy the ride !

Author:  nessmuk [ April 13th, 2018, 8:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

Having driven to Dawson from Whitehorse and from Fairbanks to the Dalton highway bridge more than once, am I mistaken, or do 50%+ of all vehicles in the area (anywhere from Whitehorse north) have cracked windshields? Seems to be very common. Last summer there was plenty of rough road that had been partially ground up for repaving for many sections of miles on the ALCan. I had to replace a set of 4 tires from being worn out due to that kind of road. I know that when a large truck approaches from ahead you definitely need to get off to the side of the road due to gravel with large stones hidden by dense dust being thrown up.

Author:  mtphoto [ April 14th, 2018, 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

When I drove it we broke the back windshield of the van twice once heading north and once heading south. We were pulling a tent trailer and we figured gravel must have bounced back off the front of the trailer into the window.

Author:  Jackpine [ April 14th, 2018, 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

Thanks to all for their various stories/experience, etc. Looks like it will be an interesting drive!

Author:  littleredcanoe [ April 14th, 2018, 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

I rode it from Ft McPherson to Dawson in 1996. I was in the outfitters van and we had a canoe trailer. We had two flat tires, one cracked windshield a busted tail light and a shattered back window ( a rock ricocheted off the trailer)
Bring gas ( only one fuel stop) and two spares. The outfitter had actually leased the van as this breakage was normal But it was 1996 and they were a business.
You will have to check rates and find out who even rents for use on the Dempster. I do know that there are rental agencies that do and assume you pay dearly

We've been back to the Yukon a couple of times in the last six years.. The Alaska Highway is no issue though sometimes there is construction and the chip sealing process ( last year just past the Dawson turnoff the road was messy for a while)
We toured Alaska and part way up the Dalton and that was a mess of trucks.. The Denali Highway ( Rt 8 from Cantwell to Paxon is all dirt and gravel and I expected broken windshield and flat tire.. Same for the Top of the World highway ( there is 13 miles of horrid frost heaved paved road that makes you glad for dirt) from Dawson to Tok.

In all this we dragged a small travel trailer and had no flats no more cracked windshield . Go figure

We didn't do any of the Dempster last year but I expect it would be better than the mess called the Klondike Highway from Whitehorse to Dawson.. Paved but pavement from hell and where there was miles of road reconstruction a exercise in mud bogging.

Author:  Oldand Fat [ April 16th, 2018, 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dempster Highway

I am going to Tuktoyaktuk this June. Planning on 2 to 3 weeks in the Territory’s. Driving and camping in suv.
I have downloaded these 3 publications: all PDF. ... e_2014.pdf ... nglish.pdf
I travelled to Inuvik a number of years ago. I was there on July 1. Weather and the road were good. Lots of bugs and booze. I was glad I had a case of bottled water. Gorilla camped. A lot of road and not many camp grounds. I did camp at the in town camp grounds. Just walked everywhere .
Stay safe
OAF/ Dave

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