Dempster Highway

Dempster highway

The 736 km long Dempster Highway starts near Dawson City, ends in Inuvik and is the only all-weather road in Canada north of the Arctic Circle dar.


Originally, the two-lane road would be 671 km long and serve to develop oil reserves. The project was started in 1959 in Dawson City. Many years later, on 18 August 1979, the Dempster Highway was officially opened.


The highway first leads into the mountains north of Dawson City (Tombstone Mountains) whereupon the road crosses the Eagle Plains. This alpine plain also marks the center of the Dempster Highway and lies near the Arctic Circle. In the second half, the breathtaking Richardson Mountains are crossed.


Like many routes in Canada, the Dempster Highway also offers some highlights. This way you can drive through the wild mountain landscapes of Yukon and the areas north of the Arctic Circle. Several campsites invite for fishing in the Mackenzie Delta. Here you can also take the opportunity to reach by ferry Tsiigehtchic and enjoy panoramas of numerous rivers. The Gwich’in Territorial Park is also worth seeing and offers perfect picnic options on Campbell Lake.

Every driver is advised to be on the road in a good four-wheel-drive pickup, as petrol stations and workshops, as well as other cars, are seldom found.


From November 2017, the Dempster Highway will be extended by the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway by about 120km and the first road to the Arctic Ocean. So far, the small Inuit village Tuktoyaktuk in summer could only be reached by plane, in winter on the famous Iceroad (ice road). This Iceroad, unfortunately, ended in April 2017. Due to the new all-season highways, this will no longer exist.

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