Bob Alpaca

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My wife and I drove our new Gladiator from California to Deadhorse, Alaska, an 8,856 mile adventure. As soon as the Canadian border opened to U.S. citizens on August 9th, 2021, we crossed into Canada on our way to Alaska. What beautiful country they have in British Columbia, The Yukon, and of course Alaska! Something I have wanted to do for years, is to drive to Deadhorse, Alaska, at Prudhoe Bay on the Artic Ocean, the most northern point you can drive in the United States. We heard so many warnings about driving the Dalton Highway.

"You'll end up with a broken windshield, and broken headlights because of vehicles throwing rocks, (didn't happen). "You better take lots of food, because you won't be able to buy any along the highway." (We took way too much food, and had a couple of real nice meals in the restaurant at Coldfoot, and the buffet at the Aurora Hotel in Deadhorse was very good.

Aurora Hotel, Deadhorse.jpg
).

"You better take two spare tires." (Something left over from the early days of the Dalton, I think.) While muddy, the road wasn't really that hard to drive. Sure, you had to look out for the potholes, and frost heaves, but we talked to a couple that drove their 1984 motorhome half way, then drove their 20 year old Subaru the rest of the way. For the oncoming 18 wheelers, we just pulled over and stopped to let them go by. Most of them waved. It just made the travel easier for everyone.

We reached Deadhorse on August 16th. After touring the town, we headed south to Galbraith Lake to camp. It started raining. We crawled into the tent early. I was relieved during the night that it stopped raining, but what I didn't realize was that it had started to snow. So on August 17th we woke up to about 2 inches of snow on the Gladiator. I was a little worried about going over Atigun Pass when it was icy, but we let a few trucks go over first, and they broke up the ice. All in all, it was a great trip! There is so much to see in that part of the world. I've been reading some of the trip reports from our members in Alaska. We missed a lot. I'm already starting to plan our next trip.

JT mud & mountains.jpg
JT Galbraith Lake.jpg
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DailyMoparGuy

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Wow that’s pretty. I helped design an oil and gas facility near there….Moose Pad Production Facility to be specific.
 

SillyWillys

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What an awesome trip! I was just talking to a buddy over the weekend about this being a bucket list trip for me. About 80 hours driving time from NH.

Were you able to get all the way to Prudhoe bay? I thought I read or saw somewhere that it is all industrial property and you can't just drive to it (unless you somehow make arrangements)
 

smlobx

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What an awesome trip! I was just talking to a buddy over the weekend about this being a bucket list trip for me. About 80 hours driving time from NH.

Were you able to get all the way to Prudhoe bay? I thought I read or saw somewhere that it is all industrial property and you can't just drive to it (unless you somehow make arrangements)
We went there in 2020 during the pandemic. Anyone can drive into Prodhoe but we were not able to get to the Arctic Ocean as that part of the facility is controlled and you have to go the\rough a security gate on a authorized tour which was not open at the time.

Here’s a picture of us just after going over Attigan Pass where we spent the night ..
BC0220C9-0D12-4170-BCE5-B4E509ED3236.jpeg
 

Len

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My wife and I drove our new Gladiator from California to Deadhorse, Alaska, an 8,856 mile adventure. As soon as the Canadian border opened to U.S. citizens on August 9th, 2021, we crossed into Canada on our way to Alaska. What beautiful country they have in British Columbia, The Yukon, and of course Alaska! Something I have wanted to do for years, is to drive to Deadhorse, Alaska, at Prudhoe Bay on the Artic Ocean, the most northern point you can drive in the United States. We heard so many warnings about driving the Dalton Highway.

"You'll end up with a broken windshield, and broken headlights because of vehicles throwing rocks, (didn't happen). "You better take lots of food, because you won't be able to buy any along the highway." (We took way too much food, and had a couple of real nice meals in the restaurant at Coldfoot, and the buffet at the Aurora Hotel in Deadhorse was very good.

Aurora Hotel, Deadhorse.jpg
).

"You better take two spare tires." (Something left over from the early days of the Dalton, I think.) While muddy, the road wasn't really that hard to drive. Sure, you had to look out for the potholes, and frost heaves, but we talked to a couple that drove their 1984 motorhome half way, then drove their 20 year old Subaru the rest of the way. For the oncoming 18 wheelers, we just pulled over and stopped to let them go by. Most of them waved. It just made the travel easier for everyone.

We reached Deadhorse on August 16th. After touring the town, we headed south to Galbraith Lake to camp. It started raining. We crawled into the tent early. I was relieved during the night that it stopped raining, but what I didn't realize was that it had started to snow. So on August 17th we woke up to about 2 inches of snow on the Gladiator. I was a little worried about going over Atigun Pass when it was icy, but we let a few trucks go over first, and they broke up the ice. All in all, it was a great trip! There is so much to see in that part of the world. I've been reading some of the trip reports from our members in Alaska. We missed a lot. I'm already starting to plan our next trip.

JT mud & mountains.jpg
JT Galbraith Lake.jpg
Awesome adventure! I plan on driving to Alaska as well but I'm coming from Virginia. I want to travel through Canada and into Alaska. Thanks for Sharing.
 

AKDrifter

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My brother in law was DOT out of Coldfoot for a few years. People aren't lying about the broken down cars, the Dalton would have a massive pothole someone would snap an axle on their RV and they'd march into the DOT office as if it was going to fix anything. That still happens regularly, but you almost have to be trying to get any kind of substantial damage. I get cracked windshields on the Glenn. If you have a good car with good tires and drive attentively you'll be fine. My sister would drive from Fairbanks to Coldfoot in her Civic to see her husband all the time. It really isn't that bad, Destruction Bay in Canada is always the worst section of road most people encounter. More pictures Bob we know you took hundreds!
 

Free2roam

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I hear a Gladiator overland trip in the making. I would love to do this trip as well!
 
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Bob Alpaca

Bob Alpaca

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What an awesome trip! I was just talking to a buddy over the weekend about this being a bucket list trip for me. About 80 hours driving time from NH.

Were you able to get all the way to Prudhoe bay? I thought I read or saw somewhere that it is all industrial property and you can't just drive to it (unless you somehow make arrangements)
Dead horse is a big industrial zone. You can't get near the water, because access is controlled by some big corporation. We tried, but were stopped by the guy in the booth in the middle of the road who comes out yelling at you, and waving his arms like a madman. (My wife somehow hurt her arm trying to imitate him.) I think there is even a video of him on YouTube. The only way to get to the actual bay is to pay to take a tour. Since we drove as far as possible, and didn't want to wait until the next day to take the beach tour, we decided to head south.
 
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Bob Alpaca

Bob Alpaca

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Wow that’s pretty. I helped design an oil and gas facility near there….Moose Pad Production Facility to be specific.
Hopefully you didn't have to spend too much time there. It looks like a really tough place to work, especially in the winter. One person told us that many of the crews work 2 weeks on, 12 hour days, then the company flies them home for 2 weeks off. That's a job for young people. I hope they get paid lots of money.
 

DailyMoparGuy

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Hopefully you didn't have to spend too much time there. It looks like a really tough place to work, especially in the winter. One person told us that many of the crews work 2 weeks on, 12 hour days, then the company flies them home for 2 weeks off. That's a job for young people. I hope they get paid lots of money.
I was fortunate enough to never have to visit the site actually. My co-workers and boss were not so lucky however lol.

And yup, it sounds like that person you talked to may have worked for my old client….they do the same work rotation at their facility in South-Central Texas. Those field crew folks are paid very very well. I believe they also get hazard pay due to the extreme weather. All our equipment was designed and weatherized for -40 deg.F. I couldn’t imagine working in those conditions 🥶
 

JAVIERGONZO

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Absolute dream trip for me. Wife not so much, lol. But when the Navy decides to let us get more time off and we have some more experience under our belt, we want to make the journey. Thank you for sharing yours.
 
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