Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

Read the full story »
Home » Remarkable Drives

Do You Have What It Takes To Enter The Dalton Highway?

Posted on November 13, 2009 | Remarkable DrivesNo Comment


The Dalton Highway, Alaska

Take the route of 414 miles to explore the concealed gorgeousness of Alaska which starts from Livengood till Prudhoe Bay, piercing through the dense wood and tundra, across the Yukon River. It persists through the impending Brooks Range, meandering along the North Slope and concludes at the gigantic jaws of Artic Ocean.

Summary

Dalton highway alaskaGet geared up to experience the battering of Dalton Highway that embarks on northern part of Alaska from Livengood heading for the Prudhoe Bay’s oil fields. This route was laid in 1974 to serve the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which is now mostly occupied by colossal 18-wheelers. Drive on this path at you own risk as there are not many service centers, and the signboard cautions you of everything from abrupt slopes and inundation to landslides. Probably now, you will ask the same question that I asked. Why to drive such a perilous thoroughfare? I found the answer to my query in some of the most spectacular panoramas of North America, the best I have come across in my life time, that are spread throughout the voyage on Dalton Highway.

Fasten your seatbelts in Fairbanks

The journey will commence in Fairbanks after you are fully loaded with ample of food, water, gas, and auxiliary tires. Drive 84 miles north toward Livengood which is the interior of Alaska. Initial miles on this route will exhibit quietly undulating aspen hills, emaciated black trim nudging through mossy marshland, and tortuous watercourse. Your friend forever would be a 48-inch tube which is used to deliver oil to Valdez from the North Slope. Digest the astonishing views along with a burger at Hotspot Café.

Dalton highway yukon riverUnexpectedly Yukon River

With the change in your speedometer, notice the impressive change in landscapes along the road. The protracted highway transforms into a grand resource of numerous falls pouring between the Arctic Circle and Yukon River harmonizing with taiga and tundra, and Finger Mountain surrounded by redolent sandstone outcrops. Don’t be flabbergasted if you encounter black bears and grizzly on your path. Occasionally, you may also come across huge flock of caribou trying to cross the runway. My personal advice, as a travel guide, is to stay back inside your car whenever you witness impending wildlife. Your vehicle is the safest and an ideal place to monitor wild animals.

Refuel in Coldfoot

Coldfoot, after 175 miles, will offer you the last opportunity to refuel gas for the subsequent stretch of 240 miles. Next, drive through the Brooks Range, where you will observe stripped towers of rock of above 7,000 feet, stroking the clouds. The descending road flanks Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the native caribou and migrating birds dwell due to its prairie nature. More than 158 species have been noticed in this area, some of which are seen while passing through the highway. Rich in wildlife, this refuge offers sight of rare songbirds and shorebirds found in interiors of Africa and Asia.

Tips to enter Brooks Range

Adventure lovers can park their cars at Brooks Range and stretch their legs. However, the Bureau of Land Management sends some important information for hikers. The bogs and wetlands of this area is a big obstruction to walking. Specially the part of tussocks, basketball sized sedges, are very infuriating. These kinds of tussock area are commonly found in mountain gorges and throughout the land of North Slope. Do not forget to carry a pair of impermeable boots and ankle support while you get down of your vehicle. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is to the east of the road. To the west is Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Carrying a topographic chart and compass is also advisable. Storage container to guard your food from wild bears can be found at the Coldfoot’s visitor center.

Atigun Pass and the Gold

The single mountain pass of Alaska in the area of Brooks Range, Atigun Pass, is at an altitude of 4,739 feet and is open in all months of the year for visitors. Try your luck at the public lands of Bureau of Land Management, south of Atigun Pass, to find gold by means of a pick, pan, spade, and a rinse box. The Alaska Public Lands Information Office, the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center available in Coldfoot at mile-marker 175, Yukon Crossing Visitor Contact Station and the Dalton Highway Recreation Mineral Collection are the best places to avail information about gold-rich areas.

U-Turn in Deadhorse

Load your car with gold and move towards the biggest oil fields of United States, Prudhoe Bay, which is also the end of The Dalton Highway. Glancing through the oil fields, turn toward the Arctic Ocean and rinse your feet into it. Enjoy catching among variety of fishes like Dolly Varden, whitefish, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, lake trout and others as barbless fasteners and catch-and-let-go fishing are allowed here. However, an Alaskan fishing license is mandatory to do so in areas of Yukon, Arctic, and Kuskokwim. The instructions brochure is also very useful to avoid any accidents, for fishes of course. Search for relevant information and directory of laws on adfg.state.ak.us, a website by Alaska Department of Fish and Game. For brochures at no cost “Sport Fishing Along the Dalton Highway”, reach the visitor center of BLM. Being the last destination of your journey, stay as long as you wish in Deadhorse. And if you still hold an adventurer-spirit, start the journey all over again to Fairbanks from reverse direction.

Trip Tips

If you ask me the ideal period to drive along the Dalton Highway, it’s during the months of June and July. The only place where you have to pay for camping is Marion Creek Campground of Bureau of Land Management which is to the northward of Coldfoot; all the remaining places to camp are free. Whenever you find yourself tired of drive, get off the car and enjoy the water tours offered by Sagavanirktok River, Jim River and Koyukuk River. Deadhorse, Coldfoot and Yukon Crossing are the only places where you will find repair centers. Medical facility? Don’t even think about it. You wouldn’t find a single medical service throughout the trip. So have a first-aid box handy. Phone 911 or contact channel 19 on CB radio for help from state troopers, in case of an emergency. Cell phones can be used for nothing more than entertainment, as network coverage is nil all along the way. But why do you need one, if you are out on an adventurous drive?

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

CommentLuv badge