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There is now a second road to the Arctic Ocean in North America.
#1
As of November 15th, 2017 the Dempster highway extension to Tuktoyaktuk is open to the public, meaning you can drive to the shore of the Arctic Ocean through Northern Canada. This extension makes the Dempster highway a total of 546 miles long, while the Dalton Highway in Alaska is 414 miles long. 

Unlike in Prudhoe Bay where road access to the Arctic beach is restricted to oil workers and sanctioned tours sold to the public, where me and my family got just 30 minutes on the Arctic beach in 2009; in Tuktoyaktuk you can drive right up to the Arctic Ocean and stay at the beach as long as you desire. 

Since I love everything good about the road and road trips, I'm traveling there & other northern roads as soon as Summer 2018. Who else desires to travel to Tuktoyaktuk? For those who've experienced the Dempster, can you share your best experiences, most cherished memories of the sounds and smells? (those that haven't been can get an idea through pictures and video so there's little need to describe the sights)
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#2
That sounds like a very interesting trip!!!

Do you know what kind of camping is done/allowed in Canada? Meaning, is there free dispersed camping or should it all be at stablished paid campgrounds?

Thx

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#3
It has long been a dream of mine to drive the Dempster Highway. I adore the far north!
It's little I care what path I take,
And where it leads it's little I care,
But out of this house, lest my heart break,
I must go, and off somewhere! 
 ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
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#4
Intrigued for sure!

Article about the opening road: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/arctic-high...-1.3684299
Exclamation And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. — Abraham Lincoln
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#5
I love the northland. Here are some pics of my trip to James Bay (Hudson Bay) in Quebec.

https://imgur.com/a/qdZVp

The boat launch area with snowmobiles was the furthest north that you could drive to James Bay when I went. I heard that a road has been or will be built further north.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.9740632,...!1e3?hl=en

Lots of free campgrounds. Not many people. Yes, it is a long drive and gas prices are horrendous. Bears, mosquitoes and other biting things. Best road trip ever.

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#6
Summer 2012 I drove from Texas to Prudhoe Bay in my van with my two little dogs.  The Dalton Highway was a challenge, lots of construction, mud, trucks throwing gravel.  There were a few stretches that were recently paved and in good condition. Very few places to even pull over. 425+/- miles one way on that highway, two long days to drive it one way. There is a state park about halfway up where I stayed the first and third nights (one up and one back). The mosquitos were horrendous. Seconds after getting out of my van, they swarmed me, dozens of them.  I was well covered (hat with mosquito netting) but my poor little dogs!  We spent the whole evening inside the van.  Stayed one night in the airport parking lot, snow still covered the ground in drifts off the road.  Areas where snow had melted were permafrost so we were confined to the road.  Drove back (two more days of hard driving), made it to Fairbanks where I replaced all tires AND the windshield (truck blasted past me on a gravel section).

Am I glad I did it?  Yep.  Would I do it again? Nope. Not much to see (a few caribou), the scenery is much prettier in the Colorado Rockies, couldn't get off the road, nothing to do but drive.  I did the Dalton Highway because so many said I couldn't (woman traveling alone) and like so many others, Alaska had been my dream for years. I expected a NatGeo moment.  Nope.  Just a very hard four days of driving, another beach (Arctic Ocean) surrounded by BP's industrial complex.  The best part of that trip was that I learned I can meet challenges on the road and not much scares me anymore. Whenever a challenge arises now, I tell myself, "I can do this.  I drove The Haul Road!".

All the same, I think I'll pass on this one.  BTDT.
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#7
If it weren't for the mosquitoes I'd love to go again. I've toured all over Alaska twice on motorcycles, first time in 1978, and found I had to be moving or inside a tent because of the bugs. Who wants to spend all their time inside a tent or vehicle? Scenery is better in the Pacific Northwest anyway IMO.
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#8
(11-19-2017, 08:00 AM)WiLWalker Wrote: That sounds like a very interesting trip!!!

Do you know what kind of camping is done/allowed in Canada? Meaning, is there free dispersed camping or should it all be at stablished paid campgrounds?

Thx

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I don't but if it's allowed Im going to boondock on the dempster. 

For people complaining about mosquitoes there are small bug zappers, battery powered & 12v ultrasonic bug repellents, citronella oil and repellent to spray, stick in the ground and burn on a coil. Plus you can fabricate screens using nylon no-see-ums screening material from Home Depot. When I go back to Alaska I'll be armed to repel the bugs. 

Plus some days on the North Slope in the middle of summer there's constant high wind which the bugs can't fly in. In fact we took advantage of that when tent camping next to the dalton for a 2nd night, after we couldn't get on the tour the same morning we woke up in the prudhoe bay dormitory hotel at $200 a night x2 as they only had single beds for the 4 of us. We weren't going to pay another $400 for a second night so we set up the camping gear just outside deadhorse to spend the night so we can get on the next days Prudhoe Bay tour. 

The best part of traveling Alaska as a mobile dweller is getting great nights sleep without paying $100-200 a night for accommodations in the far north because that what you can expect to pay for hotels stays in the far north. This is the biggest mistake we made on our Alaska trip.
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Time saved is Time Banked* & value added.  *in quality of life context.

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