The Dalton Highway from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Ocean

First off let me say that if you are one of those people that say “I must do that drive one day” stop saying it and just go do it before it’s gone. I had been talking about it for 20 years in fact I actually gave serious thought to working on the pipeline back in the 70’s.

My excuses - I didn’t have the money, didn’t have the time, got married, had kids, worked 7 days a week. I had every excuse in the book but now it’s done and dusted along with 10,500 additional miles around Alaska and western Canada.

Before I tell you about the trip let me tell you about my means of transportation.

2014 AEV built JKU Rubicon edition with 35inch BFG All Terrain T/O KO2s, I had BFG Mud Terrains for 20,000 miles and they basically sucked compared to the all terrains. Handling is greatly improved, traction in rain and snow is superior, tread life is greater although the mud terrains do look cooler. I added dual batteries, ARB air compressor, and venting for transmission, T-case and axles, an sPod controlled the the ARB air compressor, CB radio, spot lights, radar detector and rear spot light. I kept motor and axles totally stock. I carried tools, recovery gear, camping gear, food, emergency supplies and other miscellaneous equipment in 6 Rubbermaid 24 gallon Action Packer storage containers which fit perfectly with the rear seats folded down. I carried full winter and rain gear just in case. A set of Mopar front slush guards were an amazingly good $45.00 investment although the door hinges are down to bare metal and rear fenders are pockmarked beyond belief from the rocks thrown up from the front wheels. 

I sweated bullets over fuel mileage and just didn’t want to add an extra 80-100 pounds of fuel in the gas caddy hanging on the rear bumper. After all I was averaging about 12-13 mpg around town and about the same on the highway whenever there was a headwind. As luck would have it the first 1,350 miles were against a 25 mph headwind. But my fears were unfounded driving the Dalton and Dempster as I ran about 2,500 rpm and 35-50 mph average. As a result of this I managed between 17.5 and 20 mpg which resulted in an excess of gas between the 250 mile gaps between gas stations.

©  McNeill/Jeepingoffroad 2023