|Dalton Highway (Alaska 11) Photo Journey - page 3
by Oscar Voss
Expanded and updated June 2006
This is the final page of a three-page photo collection on Alaska's Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean. The photos below complete the journey north from Atigun Pass to the Arctic Ocean, and concludes with a list of sources and some other Dalton Highway web sites. Page 1 covers the southern end of the highway, from its beginning in Livengood to the Arctic Circle (mile 115), and also provides introductory information about the highway and this photo collection. Page 2 covers the highway north of the Arctic Circle (mile 115), through Coldfoot (mile 175), to Atigun Pass (mile 245).
NOTE: If you want to see a more detailed version of one of the photos below, click it to view an enlarged, higher-quality (less .jpg compression) version, if one is available. Those alternate versions have much larger file sizes, so please be patient while they download.
(Page 2: Arctic Circle-Atigun Pass)
| Just as the Dalton Highway was steep and winding approaching Atigun Pass from the south, it is also steep and winding on the way down the other side of the summit. (August 2004, courtesy of Walter Haight)
| Two photos of the highway, approaching Atigun Pass from the north. (Both photos August 2004, courtesy of Walter Haight)
|| One of the pipeline's pump stations along the highway on the north side of the Brooks Range, probably Pump Station No. 4 near mile 269. (August 2004, courtesy of Walter Haight)
| The highway descends here toward the Atigun River, northbound on the way down from Atigun Pass. (August 2004, courtesy of Walter Haight)
| Pavement resumes near the north end of the highway as it approaches Deadhorse, here within 30-40 miles of road's end. (August 2004, courtesy of Walter Haight)
| The oil companies
love photos like this, taken somewhere on the coastal plain north of the
Brooks Range (probably between miles 326 and 400). Some environmentalists
had feared that the elevated pipeline would disrupt normal wildlife migrations, and some
portions were buried underground (in some places with insulation and even refrigeration systems,
to keep frozen the permafrost underneath). It turns out, however, that not only does the pipeline not bother the local
wildlife, but some of the critters like to scratch their backs on the supports. (July 1994)
|| The north end of the pipeline in Deadhorse, a few miles past the end of the Dalton Highway. (July 1994)
|I found this sign rather ironic. In California, AM/PMs are good places to look for cheap gasoline. Up here in Prudhoe Bay, however, it's extraordinarily expensive (over $2/gallon regular unleaded when I was there in 1994, and reportedly around $5.35/gallon in September 2008, both well over lower-48 averages), even atop one of the world's largest oil fields. With no refinery facilities at Prudhoe Bay, gasoline has to be refined elsewhere and then trucked back up here over the Dalton Highway. (July 1994)||
|| The design
on the tote bag I got from the oil companies on my 1994 visit, to carry
the handouts for the 30-minute propaganda film that was the "price of admission"
for our tour to go to the company-controlled Arctic waterfront (their permission
is required, for security reasons). The gist of the sales pitch was "we
haven't spilled much oil up here, we haven't spilled much along the pipeline,
the Exxon Valdez was someone else's fault ... oh, and we're starting to
run out of oil up here, so could we please please PRETTY please be allowed
to start exploration in the wildlife refuge next door?" (July 1994)
| Me, dipping
my toes in the Arctic Ocean. The water wasn't as cold as I had expected
(probably in the low 50s -- maybe two months of 24-hour daylight did the
trick), though the chill breeze was a reminder that even in mid-summer
there's still ice not too far offshore. Indeed, I was tempted to do a quick
skinny-dip in the Arctic (one of those "you only live once" kind of things),
but chickened out when I saw an oilfield security patrol about 200 feet
down the beach. (July 1994)
(Page 2: Arctic Circle-Atigun Pass)
See also the Dalton Highway page of my Road Geek Souvenirs Collection to see some colorful Dalton Highway T-shirts and other souvenirs I brought back from Alaska.
Some other sites and other information:
The Milepost, an annual print publication covering all significant roads in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, includes a very detailed route log and photos for the Dalton Highway. It provided many of the details in these pages' photo captions.
Great Outdoor Recreation Pages includes an article on traveling the Dalton Highway.
CNN did a travelogue of a tour of northern Alaska, including the Dalton Highway.
Bob Hoffmann's Alaska Adventure photo collection includes many photos of the Dalton Highway, including two also appearing in these pages.
Another of the more interesting personal travel photo collections of the Dalton Highway is one by Robert Marville and Mary Lizie.
The Northern Alaska Tour Company ran the two-day van tour I took, and offers a wide variety of tours of northern Alaska (including a popular three-day tour, adding to the Dalton Highway tour a night in Barrow, northernmost place in the United States).
The site for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., which operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, has lots of interesting tidbits about the pipeline.
Alaska Roads main page (under construction as of October 2007, but has some useful information and links).
Back to Andy Field's ISTEA/NHS/TEA-21 Corridor 24 (Dalton Highway) page.
Questions, comments? Please e-mail me.
© Oscar Voss 1994, 2001-2002, 2004-2008.