Dalton Hwy Road Condition
Just thought I'd post this for any forum members planning to ride the Dalton Highway aka the Haul Road this season. I just drove from Fairbanks to Pump Station 3 today, for work. Our winter is hanging on a bit late this year, and it shows.
The road from Fairbanks to Coldfoot isn't too bad, except for some fairly major construction underway starting at Mile 8, and goes on for about 8 miles. A lot of dirt on the road, and very soft. I would not try to go through this area, if it has rained within a couple of days of your departure from Fairbanks. This construction zone will turn into a mud hole, with not much rain. Otherwise, it's pretty normal conditions to the Arctic Circle and Coldfoot.
North of Coldfoot, it gets progressively more "interesting". When I started up the Chandalar Shelf, it got worse, the higher I climbed. Very soft and muddy, due to snow melt runoff, and the roadbed thawing out. By mid way, it is totally impassable to a bagger with street tires. My Excursion was spinning out, and had to use four wheel drive. Antigun Pass was more of the same, and pretty much still snow and ice at the higher elevations. Between Pump 4 and Pump 3, there are numerous stretches where the road is still ice/packed snow, with mud and gravel in between them.
IMO, Coldfoot is the end of the line, until the snow melts, and the roadbed has a chance to dry out, and firm up somewhat. It will likely be early to mid June before that happens.
I'll be driving back to Fairbanks, in a week or so, and will update this post with any changes that I see.
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