Dempster Highway – Dawson bis Inuvik

The grandiose dream road through the Artic Circle

20 Years of construction for 734 km, of which 716 km unpaved runway, 365 km without town or gas station and only road in Canada, that crosses the Arctic Circle!

These are the attributes only a dream road – des legendären Dempster Highway! Dempster Corner is called the "corner" of Dawson City 40 km east, at the Dempster Highway from the Klondike Highway branches.

There is also the Klondike River Lodge is located at gas station, Rasthaus, Motel and Pitch. Here at the latest you should fill up, because the next tank option is in Eagle Plains 365 km away - a place with eight residents.

Our today's destination is the "Tombstone Mountain Campground" at kilometer 71, set amidst a marvelous mountain area on about 1,000 m above sea level in "Tombstone Territorial Park".

It is a government-owned campsite (Yukon), where you have to register themselves in the form of an envelope-like exterior (Date, Name, Mark, Platznummer etc.).

In the envelope, we stuck the nightly fee of 12 CAD (ca. 8 EUR), stick him and throw him into a stable "letterbox". A previously separated portion serves as a receipt, which is attached as "Busy" sign at the preselected place.

Here we take a short hike and enjoy the evening our little campfire, whose firewood is included in the room rate.

The highest point of the Dempster Highway, den »North Fork Pass Summit« (1289 m), we reach 10 km after the "Tombstone Mountain Campground" and be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view.

The Dempster leads kilometer after kilometer through a colorful tundra, past shining mountains, to idyllic lakes and picturesque rivers along.

The "Indian Summer" already has arrived, in which bushes, Shrubbery, Grasses and trees in a colorful concert of bright yellow, bright orange, transform shades rich red and rusty brown.

In between green trees, brown, gray or pink mountains, blue lakes and "rusty" Rivers, the strong odor of sulfur.

Here nature has given their best and created an optical masterpiece in a class.

A 360 ° panoramic film, where the viewer through a magnificent backdrop "floats", while slowly converts these with the seasons.

The impressive thing is the sustainability, flow with these manifold impressions on the viewer, hundreds of kilometers away, almost on the border with visual overstimulation.

Located in the "Flow" ... a jam! Traffic jam!? And – a traffic jam on the little-traveled Dempster Highway. In front of us there are six, on the other hand three vehicles!

In between an excavator, a truck and gravel mountains, blocking the road. We see anyone work.

At first, shoot us the article by the head, in which the truck driver threatened with a blockade of the Dempster Highway, to impart the much needed road repairs publicity Reprint.

We interview people waiting what's going on. It will still take half an hour, we get the answer. Where are the workers? They're in the hole! Loch!?

We proceed to the excavator and see an approximately 1 m wide trench over the entire width of the road. This deal three workers with a drainage pipe, that seems to be new. Half an hour!?

Those who believe it ... Where there is only one road, is it difficult with the rerouting.

We adapt ourselves to a longer break, make us a cup of coffee and chat with fellow sufferers in the foreseeable Autoschlange. There really are worse places, wait around.

After ca. 1,5 Std. the trench is filled in makeshift, compacted and we can continue. When passing through the site can be felt, that we contribute something to the compaction of the subsoil.

We stay at the Eagle Plains Hotel and experience an endless sunset. Eagle Plains is located just before the Arctic Circle (Polar circle), so that heaven itself by 1 clock at night is not quite dark.

The hotel has a restaurant and bar. In "Camping area" there are also places with electricity and a water tap can be found on buildings. Die Dump-Station (Covered hole in the ground, no rinse water) is behind the building.

Although we are the middle of nowhere on the Dempster Highway here, There are even free internet in the lobby (Wifi), which comes via radio relay.

At kilometer 405 we cross the Arctic Circle, the beginning of which is documented in the resting place of a blackboard.

Manche Travelers, not go to the Inuvik, Turn here for the souvenir photo. This is a mistake! Who likes this landscape, which should go at least to the border Yukon / NWT.

On the next stretch, we see two driving northward and on the way back three grizzlies in the colorful tundra.

From the border Yukon / NWT, the counting starts again at zero kilometers. But we are simply.

At kilometer 539 we come to the "Peel River Crossing" with free ferry across the "Peel River".

The usherette would like to hear our air horns. And so the small ferry is in the middle of the Peel River to ocean-going steamer acoustic. All right then, a second time is also still in there ... they would be and we look, that they would be.

Eleven kilometers to the ferry we are in Fort McPherson (ca. 900 Inhabitant) and refuel at the gas station only on the safe side again full, although our tankful for the ca. 1500 km more than rich should.

At kilometer 608 we arrive at the "Mackenzie River Crossing", a likewise free ferry across the wide Mackenzie River. A few yards off Highway leads upriver of "Artic Red River" in the Mackenzie.

On the opposite side of the highway "Artic Red River," the place "Tsiigehtchic" is. So the ferry leaves at Mackenzie on three points: Once the highway on both sides, and as a third point, the road to "Tsiigehtchic", upstream to the mouth of the "Artic Red River".

In winter, the frozen rivers are used as a roadway. During the freezing phase or. the thawing of the Highway is in these places not passable. The supply of Inuvik is done at this time by air.

The ferry at Mackenzie is operated in two shifts, each with a crew of four. The two captains just during the ferry service at the ferry dock on the side to Inuvik. One captain, we do not get to know, is German. The ferry is pulled at the end of season with bulldozers on land and "parked" to hibernate next to the quarters of the captains. The Mackenzie has to ferry a depth of ca. 10 m, whereby at the confluence of the Artic Red River a ca. 30 m deep basin has formed.

In the last 100 km before Inuvik the landscape is relatively low green trees and individual lakes. Here are just endless stretches, so that we can go a little faster.

From the airport of Inuvik we come to tar, holding to Inuvik, where we after 734 Reach the end of the Dempster Highway kilometers.

Inuvik liegt am Mackenzie Delta, nearly 100 km south of the Beaufort Sea and has currently 3.485 Inhabitant.

Here we find a supermarket with a full range, offered in the to our great surprise several products from Germany (z.B. Gerolsteiner).

After an overnight stay in Inuvik we drive to Eagle Plains and in the next stage up Dawson City.

The way back surprised us but then. There is another road! In den 2-3 Days of Indian Summer more advanced, the colors have intensified, the reverse direction brings other education- and insights.

Mostly we are experiencing fog and rain, which makes the Dempster appear completely different.

Elsewhere the blue sky and the warm glow of the evening sun, which brings the already strong colors of the landscape even more intense shine.

A trip on the Dempster Highway are not 2 x 734 km (Down- and return), but once one-off 1468 kilometers absolute dream road!

Therefore, the Dempster Highway gets also its own report!

We now spend a few days in Dawson City and then go to the "Top of the World Highway" to Alaska.

Bilder Dempster Highway

“The earth is a gondola, hanging in the sun and
where we go from one season to another.”
(Johann Peter Hebel, 1760-1826)