Deadhorse and Tuktoyaktuk in the same trip

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by BlackdogADV, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    I've been planning on a trip to Deadhorse for a while, in fact my bike is packed and I'm leaving in 2 days. I had considered Inuvik before but finally settled on Deadhorse. I just recently heard about the completion of the road that goes from Inuvik to Tuk. I'm intrigued with that route. After glancing at the map Inuvik/Tuk adds a hell of a lot of milage to a Deadhorse trip as to go from one to the other you must pass through Tok which is way south and that's 1,400 miles.

    Ya I know, I should pick one destination and stick with it. But if I did both is there a quicker way than riding through Tok?

    Also, if you were to pick one destination what would it be Deadhorse or Tuk?
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  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Where are you coming from? What timeframe? When?

    I don't think road to Tuk is open yet. It's built, but supposed to be open officially in fall. Now there are some ADVers who may have gotten through but on closed road.

    There is nothing wrong with doing both (and Cambell and ToW too), I have spoken to people who've done both Inuvik and Deadhorse at the same time, but a) you need to have enough time cushion and flexibility and b) be ready to change plans according to weather.

    And you need to plan logistics tires, chain/sprocket, filter, oil change, etc good luck.

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  3. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    I have the time, about 5 weeks. I know I'm getting a late start and I'm more concerned about the weather. I'm well prepared and experienced. I'll be leaving from The Dalles Oregon. I'm not absolutely sure if the road to Tuk is open, I'm still researching that.
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  4. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    No the road through Dawson/Top of the World/Chicken/Tok is the quickest, and it is long way. It is mostly in good condition, ToW was in the best shape and 12mi after border crossing is the best pavement in Alaska, but there were a couple construction zones around Chicken if they are still there. ToW is very pretty don't miss it.

    With regards to Dalton vs Dempster it's a matter of personal preference, there are more curves/hills on Dalton and views are better on Dempster.

    Dempster is all dirt, flatter with gentle curves. Some section were stripped to the base big rocks, some deep gravel traps at times. Canadian government pays tribes to haul gravel so they bring it as they need money. The biggest scare is brownish silt if you see color change drop speed ASAP. It is better to have a false alarm over nothing than hit a patch too fast. Also they use shale, some sharp rocks which will go through most tires, flats are likely.

    Dalton has more hills and curves. More trucks so it is better to do it on weekend. Beware of soft shoulders and also construction. They put calcium chloride on Dalton (and now on Dempster) that sh!t very slick when wet. And it is dusty when dry. When it starts raining it beats dust down, the traction actually improves.. but then a little bit more water and it turns into skating rink.

    Also Dalton is 50% paved but with the exception of 37mi north of Coldfoot dirt is actually in better shape than pavement. Very inconsistent, big frosties we bottomed out more than a dozen times.

    Road is deceivingly easy, but it is a monster when you get comfortable and your senses dull it can bite you back.

    Beware trucks cannot stop on some of the downhills and on some curves they have to take whole road to avoid hitting guardrail. Give them space, slow down. Stop if needed. Don't speed up passing to avoid kicking rocks in windshield. And remember they have radio and they have friends if you mess with one they will treat you like that too.

    Most importantly they bring everything you will eat/buy/put in tank, and they spend 15hr a day driving, day or night, rain, ice or snow. So when you talk to one, don't forget to say thanks!
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  5. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Mike had gone there in first week of the June, he had hitched the ride with construction crew. A little bit of social engineering he is a likable guy. It took him 5 days for round trip but he was on Ruckus. Friends who had gone there after D2D were told that the road is still closed and will be open next year. And local newspaper said will open in fall. I am planning to do Campbell and go to Tuk next time.

    With respect to weather it is a long ride, so it will rain at some point. Question if it will be light drizzle, rain or downpour. My suggestion if it is all day rain event and ground gets soggy it is not worth it especially going solo. Too long ride, too much risk and too expensive if something happens.

    When we planned trip we had an option to do AK loop clock/counter-clock-wise, to get a second chance in case of bad weather, and turned around at Atigun pass to avoid getting caught real rain, which we mostly succeeded as it rained cats and dogs when got to last paved 80mi to Fairbanks. So you cannot predict, you can watch the radar/forecast and pick the right moment. Or bail out if that is the best option good luck.
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  6. Tim Graichen

    Tim Graichen Been here awhile

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    I also plan on doing both Tuk and Dead Horse on my trip in 2018. I live in Ohio and have 90 days.
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  7. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    I ended up doing Campbell, Top of the World and Dalton to Prudhoe. It rained heavily from Fairbanks to Prudhoe. Could only do 20mph on the dirt section.
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  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Didn't you have to do Dalton twice because of the snow?
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  9. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    Yep twice. The first attempt I was turned around near the Aritic Circle but I made it the entire way three days later.
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  10. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    The Dempster is for next year!
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  11. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    I am watching for official opening to Tuk. If other plans don't materialize thinking about going again to D2D and doing Dempster.

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  12. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    cyclopathic....I'll go with you
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  13. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider

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    I am just down in Juneau so it's not a big trip for us. My bride and I are planning to ride the South Canol, Campbell, Dempster, D2D and maybe do the Dalton again next summer. We are shooting for Early to mid June, to beat the bugs but it depends on when and how long she can get away from work.
    After 40 years of trips out of Juneau I have found weather can and does change our plans. We try to have a couple possible rides and be flexible, if the weather is wet and crappy on the Dempster we will head to the Dalton or Denali.
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