Arctic Highway (Edmonton – Tuktoyaktuk) Including Dempster and Inuvik-to-Tuk Highways

What to See & Do on the Arctic and Dempster Highways?

This is one of Canada’s most recently completed roads, and now lets travellers reach all three oceans. Starting in Edmonton, follow the Alaska Highway to Whitehorse, Yukon. From there, head north  to Dawson City and from there  to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. Myuch of the road north of Dawson is gravel and incredibly rugged and isolated.

Arctic (and Dempster) Highway from Edmonton to Arctic Ocean


This route has recently opened right up to the Arctic Ocean, providing travellers  driveable routes from ocean to ocean to ocean. The route follows the Alaska Highway route from Edmonton to Whitehorse in the Yukon (it’s no longer the “Yukon Territories”, just”Yukon”). From Whitehorse, you head north to Dawson City and from there to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and then the last little bit to Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean. This route is the only year-round public highway that crosses the Arctic Circle, and brings you to the northern end of the continent.  The route in 3,440 kilometers from Edmonton, 926 kilometres from Whitehorse, and 740 of them north of Dawson City.


The road is GRAVEL and the speed limit is generally 70 kilometres/hour on most of the route. Pay attention to  road conditions and any wildlife. You may see Caribou or fox on the road, in which case remain in your vehicle.

The most reliable driving weather is June through September, when the days are long and warm. During spring breakup and fall freeze-up, the rivers are impassible. You’ll also want to check the GNWT Department of Transportation  for opening and closing dates of the ferries and ice bridges so that you can time your trip.

Along the route there are few gas stations. You’ll want to purchase gas in Whitehorse, or Dawson City,  Fort McPherson or at the halfway point in Eagle Plains. There’s also a hotel and RV campground in Eagle Plains, if you need to rest. Gasoline, diesel, and propane services are available at Fort McPherson, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk (no propane in Tuk) in the NWT and Eagle Plains in the Yukon.

For updated road conditions and warnings, check the Highway Conditions Website . or call 1-800-661-0750. Be sure to also check in with the visitors centres in Dawson City or Inuvik for the latest road condition updates.

Be Prepared

Your road trip isn’t complete (or safe) without a well-packed vehicle filled with all the essentials, which should include these items:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Roadside emergency kit
  • Spare tires
  • Jerry can filled with gas
  • Food & water
  • A paper map
  • Bugspray
  • Bearspray