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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quick update. Here at Pump Station 4 now, and we're in the midst of a winter storm warning. It's about 10F, windy, and 1"-3" of snow expected. Lovely day!

Jeff
 

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Thanks Jeff. Planning to be at Fairbanks on June 20 for the trip north to the Circle. Appreciate any updates you can provide.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hope it's thawed out by then! I'm currently at Pump 4, just north of Atigun Pass. It was -6F this morning...you read it right, six below zero! Drove south to Detriek and back yesterday, and the Chandalar Shelf, and Atigun Pass required four wheel drive, and totally impassable to motorcycles, save for hard core, and insane dual sport rider. I'll be driving back to Fairbanks sometime before Memorial Day weekend, and will give an update then.

Good luck, and have a great ride!

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just drove from Pump 3 back to Fairbanks on May 21, and the weather north of Atigun Pass was still pretty grim at the time, but coworkers have said that it has started to warm up. Still a lot of drifting snow, and mud. The Coldfoot to Livengood section, is beginning to get to its normal summer condition. The main tricky spot will be the Mile 8-16 road construction. If it rains, or the water truck goes through, it will be a mud hole. More construction is slated at about 20 miles north of Coldfoot, as well as just north of Pump 4. They will start as soon as it thaws out.

Good luck

Jeff
 
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