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What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Oswego, Illinois
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What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

I was wondering how far I can drive North from Fairbanks and not leave paved roads. Obviously I am renting a car and I believe they have a "no gravel/dirt road" policy, yet I want to go as far North as I can. I believe the the spot where the Dalton begins is just about the best I can do, but would love to hear a locals opinion.

BTW, destination is not real important, I am really just looking at going as far North as I can.

Thanks

-F-

Manitoba, Canada
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1. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Well, I'm not a local, but until one pops in, I believe you can drive to the junction of Haul Rd. That's about 70 miles north of Fox (Elliott Hwy).

There are rental companies in Fairbanks that will let you drive Dalton, but they're not cheap. Scroll down to "by car": http://wikitravel.org/en/Dalton_Highway

Have you considered taking a tour farther north? That way you don't have to worry about flat tires or cracked windshields, and could just enjoy the drive. One example would be this: www.northernalaska.com/arcticcircle.cfm . The fly/drive would be nicer if you can afford it, giving you views from above as well as making a much shorter day.

Edited: 1:05 pm, June 01, 2010
Fairbanks, Alaska
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2. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Maple is right I think, that's about as far as you can go. Although right now the wild land fires are jumping the Elliot so much you'd think it was a fire line. So the road has been closed off and on for the last week and vehicles can only go through with a pilot car so I wouldn't recomend trying it right now.

Oswego, Illinois
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3. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Thanks to both of you for the quick response. I did contact the tour company about availability on 6/14 (the only day i have free), but the idea of going from 6:30 am - 11:00 pm on a bus, is a bit daunting.

I think I will head to Livengood, make a quick jaunt up the Dalton (until it turns to gravel), then go to Fox for a micro-brew.

How is travel from Fairbanks to Denali, with all of the fires? I will be heading down there on 6/15 and would like to know if is passable and how much more time to allow.

Thanks again for your assistance.

-F-

Manitoba, Canada
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4. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Well, no one can predict what fires will be burning 2 weeks from now, lol.

If you can get access to a computer before you leave Fairbanks, this is a helpful site: 511.alaska.gov/alaska511/mappingcomponent/ . You can also dial 511 from a phone. You can also stop at a gas station and ask if people driving in from Denali have reported any problems.

The drive from Fairbanks to Denali is just over 2 hours, but of course that can be affected by smoke, accidents, even a moose on the highway. If you have a time-sensitive activity planned (shuttle, etc.) be sure to allow lots of extra time. If you get there early, you can always see the visitor center displays and film, or hike, or drive the 14 miles into the park that private vehicles are allowed.

Edited: 1:26 pm, June 02, 2010
Oswego, Illinois
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5. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

Thanks for the tip maple, I am a pretty patient traveler and I have a bus tour of Denali scheduled to leave on Wednesday 6/16 at 1:30 and I am heading down and staying in Healy on 6/15 and 6/16, so I will have plenty of time (24+ hrs) to get from Fairbanks to Denali.

After thinkin about it, I think I will pass on the 17 hrs bus ride to the Arctic Circle and just make it as far as Livingood. That will give me more time to explore Fairbanks.

Thansk to both of you for the help. This is why I love TA.

-F-

Oswego, Illinois
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6. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

well after debating it all weekend, and watching the Ice Road Truckers Marathon, I decided to go ahead and book the Arctic drive tour, with Northern Alaska Tour Co.

I just hope I don't end up regretting a 16 hour bus ride.

Thanks again for everyones help.

-F-

Manitoba, Canada
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7. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

"I just hope I don't end up regretting a 16 hour bus ride."

Go into it with that attitude that you're NOT going to regret it, no matter what. Expect to be a bit (or a lot?) bored from time to time, and then you won't be dismayed when that happens. But this will be an adventure, and you're going to see some great scenery, maybe some wildlife too.

I also suggest you initiate a few conversations with the other people on the tour, to see if there is someone you might enjoy talking with. I always travel alone, and often have a great time talking to other people on the tour. Makes it more fun!

And please do come back here and let us know what you thought of the tour, maybe post a couple of photos.

Have a great time!

Oswego, Illinois
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177 posts
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8. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

I really do not mind traveling alone and adventures like this surely are not for everyone, which is why I am leaving the wife at home for this trip. I am going into this with an open mind and will be excited to see the landscape and hopefully a big animal or 2.

When I get back next week, I will certainly try and post some photos, but I am not much of a photgrapher. I find that I miss more trying to get a perfect shot than just taking in the sights. But a trip like this deserves to be photgraphed.

Cheers to everyone and I will see ya when i get back.

-F-

9. Re: What is the farthest North you can drive on paved roads?

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