Dalton or Dempster

Discussion in 'Americas' started by leftshark, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. leftshark

    leftshark Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Saskatoon Sk and too many other places
    Planning a trip for the summer of 2014 (end of the world non withstanding) and can't decide which to do. Dempster seems more difficult and the loneliness of it appeals to me but I would love to add a cup of water from the Arctic Ocean to my collection of geologic souvenirs and this only seems possible in deadhorse. Inuvik is a little short of the ocean. My heart is in Canada but I feel like being so close to the ocean and not seeing it would be a waste. Anyone here done both or one? Trip will be done with a friend. F800gs and xr650l. Feels
    #1
  2. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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  3. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I rode the Dalton during the 2006 Alcan5000 Rally. I'd say that road is pretty easy if not much mud. Very wide and graded with a mixture of surfaces. Rarely straight but top 2 gears riding the whole way.

    I'll try the Dalton during the 2014 Alcan5000. Only part way, though. From what I've read the Dalton is more heavily travelled and featureless compared to the Dempster.
    #3
  4. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I heard you cannot get to the ocean at Deadhorse. The oil companies control all the area and you cannot drive to the ocean without an escort. Been there done that.

    I also heard the tour bus stopped running. So do some checking.

    Inuvik is set up for tourists. You could probably get a boat or airplane ride to Tuktoyaktuk. Buy one of their $40 baseball caps for a souvenier. :lol3 I might have bought one if it was comfortable, but a horrible hat. I got a deck of cards with Tuk logo on it and gave everyone a card when I got home. I am so cheap.

    Both Prudhoe and Tuk are near 70* lat.

    Both have their selling points. Atigun Pass and the slope are way cool. The ridge of Continental Divide plus the river ferries are outstanding on the Dempster.
    #4
  5. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    Maybe this is asking the obvious, but is there any reason you can't do both?
    #5
  6. leftshark

    leftshark Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Saskatoon Sk and too many other places
    Time constraint is the main reason. I figure I would have to extend an already 15 day trip another 5 days to do both. 15 days is not quite enough time for my wife to find another man. 21 is pushing it
    #6
  7. Valker

    Valker Been here awhile

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    Pampa, Texas

    Got any pics?? :evil
    Seriously, time is the great equalizer.
    #7
  8. mjt1577

    mjt1577 MinisterOfSillyWalks

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    Location:
    Duncan, BC
    May see you on the road in 2014!...a group of friends and I are thinking of the Dempster as well, but are still tossing around the options...good luck! :thumbup
    #8
  9. daveburton

    daveburton Been here awhile

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    I rode Fairbanks to Deadhorse and back 2 days.
    Changed Tyre at Dan's and to Tok 1 day.
    Tok to Eagle Plains on Dempster 1 day.
    Eagle Plains to Inuvik back to Eagle Plains 1 day.
    Eagle Plains to Dawson City 1 day.

    You can do both from Fairbanks ending in Dawson City in about 6 days. Moving consistently but no time to sight see too much.

    Both great roads to ride, both as impressive for different reasons.

    cheers dave
    #9
  10. ytrider

    ytrider Adventurer

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    10
    A word of caution. The dempster, if raining, is a dangerous road. If dry, even more dangerous. Big trucks turn the gravel into a super fine powder, which, when dry, creates huge amounts of dust from trucks and cars.( not so much from bikes) in turn, this powder turns into absolute grease when wet. I am not trying to dissuade you in any way. just please be careful. I truck on the dempster and have hauled numerous bikes to town. unless we're on a straight away, we can't see bikers, and trust me... if we don't see you, You will NOT be able to see when we go by. Our lovely gummint is too F'n cheap to seriously take care of this lifeline road. In places it is very rough and in others, not too bad.
    Worth the trip?? Hell yeah!! Bring alot of bug dope and a big memory card for your camera. If you want any info, PM me or post on here and i'd be happy to help in any way I can. safe riding! D
    #10
  11. dungbeatle

    dungbeatle Adventurer

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    If time allows for only one road the Dempster has tons more to offer, once there a cheap flight to the Herchle Island whaling station will put you on the Article Ocean and see a one only spot.
    Inuvik is a place where people live not just come to work so there are some interesting folk there to meet. Good food cold beer and the tourist info place will give you a certificate saying you we're there.
    Along the way you cross many different geographic land forms and historic rivers, cold beer at Eagle Plains goes down good.
    My two cents worth.
    #11
  12. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    Location:
    Lodi, Ca
    Rode both in 07 and the Dempster again in 2010
    I like the Dempster best for the scenery out to Eagle Plains/Artic Circle, after that it is more challenging than scenic. Glad I went all the way to Inuvik but did not waste the time the 2nd trip.
    The Dalton was mostly paved to the Artic Circle and is a close 2nd for scenery, Atigin Pass and the Tundra beyond are worth the effort.

    I would plan to attend the D2D http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830583 and then do the Dempster.

    Have a great ride
    #12
  13. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Did both summer of 2011; both are great in their own way. You'll feel more isolated and out there on the Dempster as in my experience there was hardly any traffic at all! However, the Dalton north of Coldfoot is quite beautiful as well. If I had to choose though, I'd say that I personally preferred the Dempster; but then again you know the old saying: "Opinions are like a$$holes, everybody's got one and they all stink!":lol3

    Good luck choosing; I know that I couldn't, and hence why I did both.
    #13
  14. phplemel

    phplemel Adventurer

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    Yukon, way north!
    #14
  15. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Dempster Hands down. Better scenery, friendlier truckers, villages to visit on the way and something to do at the other end. I've done both - Dempster.
    #15
  16. mikerd400

    mikerd400 Long timer

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    Sacramento
    I did both in 2010, and loved riding both. In Prudhoe, I took the tour to the Arctic Ocean, and I swam in the ocean. Figured if I went that far, I'm going for the swim. Inuvik was a cool town. On the way back, we hooked up with another couple of riders and camped along the Yukon River, on one of the native's fishing area. She was an elderly lady, and listening to her stories about growing up were priceless. One of the highlights of my trip.

    If you plan another trip in the future, ride one and come back and do the other. If this will be a one time trip, find the extra few days and do both.
    #16
  17. daveburton

    daveburton Been here awhile

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    High, can you pass on my thanks to your truck driving colleagues for looking after bikers and for not getting frustrated when trying to get a days work done. I worked out I needed to put at least 30 seconds between me and a following truck as when passing an oncoming truck it's almost impossible not to stop which means you are at serious risk from the truck behind. No place to pull off the road, this really got my attention. I loved the ride though and will do it again when I can. Had some great conversations on the ferry etc and when staying at Eagle Plains.

    If you encounter 2 oncoming trucks close together with a truck following ...... you need a plan.

    dave
    #17