These are pictures from driving the Dempster Highway, Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Sept 2013
(and a quick trip there and back)
Route plan    SPOT check in locations
The route north shows the Campbell Highway in Yukon, but I didn't take it.

Statistics: 8417 miles on 548.4 gallons of fuel. 15.35 mpg, $4.85/gallon avg.
(I was usually driving too fast or too slow to get the best mileage)
Highest cost: $6.90/gal, Eagle Plains    Lowest cost: $3.72, Catalina, Az
 
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The purpose of this adventure was to drive and camp the Dempster Highway, not sight-see in between. A long way to go, and short time to get there, so I spent the minimum time getting there and back, but did include the road to Skagway, and the Cassiar Highway coming home.
Dempster Highway report: altogether, a very good to excellent dirt and gravel road. Some sections of compacted dirt were as smooth as any asphalt. There were very few small washboards, and no large or sharp rocks that I saw. No flats, no windshield chips, no problems of any kind (except ridiculous fuel prices) The Dempster was a much better road than the Dalton Highway was in 2005.
Trip highlights: Excellent, sometimes almost surreal foliage color along the Dempster. A close encounter with a (disinterested) Grizzly. Several great extemporaneous campsites along the way.
Lowlight: I had planned to go to Inuvik, but gross incompetence at the Peel River ferry intervened. The ferry is suppose to operate from 9 am to 1 am. I got there are about 10 am, and 'the word' from a couple of workman waiting there was that the ferry was closed due to 'the river being too high'. I decided to wait a while. By that afternoon, there was another TC (nice couple from Seattle), a big rig fuel hauler, and 5 or 6 small vehicles waiting. One of these waiting was the mayor of a local small town, who was returning from vacation with his family in an SUV. He was pretty angry to say the least, saying 'what the hell's the point of having a ferry if they won't run it' and 'we've got to get someone out here who knows what he's doing'. By the way, the ferry operates on a cable. According to the fuel driver and the mayor, the problem with the river being 'too high' (or the gravel ramps being too low, which is the same thing) is that in that case, big rigs have to drive up onto the ferry, and can get hung up -- but the ferry should have been moving the smaller, shorter wheelbase vehicles! Next morning, big rig gravel haulers dumped 10 or 12 loads on the ramps on each side, and a dozer smoothed it out on the other side. Apparently the plan was to bring the dozer across to fortify the ramp on our side, but no -- the river was still too high. So now we're blocked by gravel piles, and the ferry still wasn't running, with no clue given as to when it would. I left that afternoon.

For more information on the Dempster: Travelogue .
Also, Sue T's excellent pictures at her website .



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