Tuktoyaktuk Summer 2017

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The Journey

We decided a little while ago to plan and undertake a big journey in classic old Land Rover's and we wanted to do something unique, challenging and never done before. After some research we realized that we wanted to go to the Canadian Arctic and explore some of the least explored terrain in the world.

We found that there is a new section of dirt road being created across the Mackenzie Delta in the northern North West Territories and this road was yet to be travelled upon by anyone other than construction crews.

The iconic Dempster Highway currently runs from Dawson in the Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. This road is about 750km's long and is part of the famous winter ice-road. In the summer it is a maintained dirt road that passes through true wilderness with very very little human habitation or settlement. During the winter months an ice road is made across the Mackenzie River Delta from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk on the very edge of the Beaufort Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. During the summer months there has been no way to drive to Tuktoyaktuk from Inuvik until now. The Northwest Territories provincial government has been constructing an extension of the Dempster Highway to allow resource supplying and tourism within Tuktoyaktuk and area. The new section of road officially opens later this year or early next year.

Our trip is hugely unique in that we will be the very first public to be allowed to travel this new section of road before it is open to the general public. We managed to secure a permit to be able to travel this new section of road, escorted by the Northwest Territories Department Of Transport - a huge privilege.

Dates

Our journey starts at the US / Canada border on August 22nd 2017 and we hope to be in Tuktoyaktuk by August 29th 2017.

Who

Our journey consists to two vehicles as that is all our permit allows. Ray Hyland in his 1988 Land Rover - Range Rover Classic and myself in my diesel 1996 Land Rover - Defender 90.

The Route

The "first" journey itself is about 4000km in one direction from the Peace Arch Border Crossing just south of Vancouver, all the way to Tuktoyaktuk. Our route is planned as follows. Our aim was to take two separate routes there and back where we could to be able to enjoy the most of Canada's amazing scenery and to visit a couple of Ray's families historic sites.

View route on Google Maps here

Waypoints

The journey there, the world's first section

  1. Peace Arch Border Crossing, BC / WA
  2. Liard Hotsprings Provincial Park, BC
  3. Watson Lake, YK
  4. Tungsten, YK
  5. Ross River, YK
  6. Dawson, YK
  7. Inuvik, NWT
  8. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT

The journey home

  1. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT
  2. Inuvik, NWT
  3. Dawson, YK
  4. Whitehorse, YK
  5. Hyder, AK
  6. New Aiyansh, BC,
  7. Prince Rupert, BC
  8. Haida Gwaii / Gwaii Hannas, BC
  9. Prince Rupert, BC
  10. Port Hardy, BC - via the True Inside Passage
  11. Vancouver, BC
  12. Whistler, BC

Progress Images on Instagram

Christopher Walker

Overlanding BC, PO Box 1528, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada