The Dalton Highway: A Multi-Media History of Alaska's Arctic Road

Public Lands along the Dalton Highway: Special Designations and Point of Interest

[Information in this section was provided by the Bureau of Land Management. Points of interest are keyed to their milepost (MP) location on the highway. For more information, download the Bureau of Land Management's Dalton Highway Visitor Guide or Dalton Highway Map (http://www.blm.gov/ak/dalton/index.html)

The Dalton Highway cuts through a variety of terrain from the wooded boreal forest to the mountainous Brooks Range, to the wide open tundra of the North Slope. Most of the land along the Dalton Highway is federal public land. The areas include the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve consisting of  8.4 million acres. Bordering the Utility Corridor near Atigun Canyon is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge is located on the south slope of the Brooks Range and further south is the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Click on a thumbnail below (that has a link) for more information about that area.
Hess Creek Overlook (MP 21)
Hess Creek Overlook (MP 21)
Hess Creek meanders west to meet the Yukon River.
Yukon River
Yukon River (MP 56)
Winds 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Canada to the Bering Sea. Athabascan people traveled this river in birchbark canoes. During the Gold Rush, sternwheelers ferried gold seekers and supplies for trading posts. Today, residents use motorboats and snowmachines.
86-Mile Overlook
86-Mile Overlook
At 86.5 MP, turn west and follow an access road uphill to an active gravel pit for a view of the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge to the east.
Finger Mountain Wayside (MP 98)
Finger Mountain Wayside (MP 98)
Stop here and view the panoramic scenery of alpine tundra, and hike the half-mile interpretive trail.
Arctic Circle Wayside (MP 115)
Arctic Circle Wayside (MP 115)
Follow the side road to the Arctic Circle sign and viewing deck with interpretive displays. The Arctic Circle is a line on the map at Latitude 66, which designates a shift in environmental conditions. Above this latitude, the sun is above the horizon 24 hours a day in the summer and sinks below the horizon for up to two months in the winter, leaving the region with zero to two hours of light a day.
Gobblers Knob (MP 132)
Gobblers Knob (MP 132)
Offers a scenic view of the Brooks Range to the north. To see the midnight sun during solstice, hike up the hill to the east.
No Image Available
Grayling Lake Wayside (MP 132)
An ancient glacier carved this U-shaped valley and left a shallow lake. Charcoal, stone scrapers, and other artifacts found nearby indicate that Native hunters used this lookout for thousands of years.
Coldfoot (MP 175)
Coldfoot (MP 175)
The original gold rush town of Coldfoot was located on the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River near the mouth of the Slate Creek. It got its name in 1900 when early prospectors reportly got "cold feet" and left before winter set in. The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center is open daily from May until September.
Marion Creek Campground (MP 180)
Marion Creek Campground (MP 180)
A developed campground operated by BLM and offers 27 sites.
Wiseman (MP 189)
Wiseman (MP 189)
This historic village was established in 1907 when miners discovered gold in nearby Nolan Creek. The town was a bustling community. Today, many residents subsist by hunting, trapping, and gardening. All buildings in the area are private property.
Sukakpak Mountain (MP 203)
Sukakpak Mountain (MP 203)
An awe-inspiring sight with a massive wall rising to 4,459 feet (1,338 m) that glows in the afternoon sun. "Sukakpak" is an Inupiat Eskimo word meaning "marten deadfall". The mountain resembles a carefully balanced log used to trap marten.
Chandalar Shelf (MP 237)
Chandalar Shelf (MP 237)
Dramatic views encompass the headwaters of the Chandalar River to the east.
Atigun Pass (MP 244)
Atigun Pass (MP 244)
Travelers cross the Continental Divide at Atigun Pass (elev. 4, 739 ft/ 1,422 m). Rivers south of here flow into the Pacific Ocean or Bering Sea. Rivers north of here flow into the Arctic Ocean. Snow storms are common here in June and July.
Galbraith Lake (MP 275)
Galbraith Lake (MP 275)
This lake is all that remains of a large glacial lake that once occupied the entire Atigun Valley. Downstream from the bridge is the Atigun Gorge and the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Toolik Lake (MP 284)
Toolik Lake (MP 284)
The University of Alaska Fairbanks established a research station here in 1975, and conducts sensitive studies on arctic ecosystems and global climate change. Research sites are scattered throughout the surrounding area.
Franklin Bluffs (MP 383)
Franklin Bluffs (MP 383)
Iron rich soils on the far bank of the river give the blufss their vivid color. It is named after Sir John Franklin, the British explorer who mapped the arctic coastline and searched for the Northwest passage.
Deadhorse (MP 414)
Deadhorse (MP 414)
Where an industrial camp is located that supports the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. The public highway ends here, about 8 miles (13 km) from the Arctic Ocean. There are no public outhouses or tent-camping areas.
Prudhoe Bay - Arctic Ocean
Prudhoe Bay - Arctic Ocean
Prudhoe Bay is a busy place; at any moment, there are several thousand temporary workers running the Prudhoe Bay oil field. The airport, lodging, and general store are clustered in Deadhorse, while the rigs and processing facilities are located on scattered gravel "pads" laid on top of the tundra. Winter is as busy as summer, since only at that time of year is the surface hard enough to support heavy equipment, and so all new construction happens then.
project jukebox logo Return to Top | Project Jukebox | UAF Rasmuson Library | © Copyright Information | © 2007 UAF Oral History Department