Off Road Spotlight: Dalton Highway

When a truck is built to have the power to push the limits of off-road capabilities, it seems vital to test them out. With our Land Rover Defenders, this often awe-inspiring driving aptitude comes coupled with a level of luxury rarely achieved by traditionally-built, off-road vehicles. There are many off-road opportunities in North America; some well-known and some obscure, but few combine the natural majesty and toughness of Alaska’s Dalton Highway.

Constructed in 1974 as a support path for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the main portions of the route’s 414 miles are still mainly used by long-hauling trucks and construction-based equipment. Regardless, it didn’t take long for off-road enthusiasts to see the potential in this rough and beautiful expanse. It’s a challenge that few vehicles of any sort are built for; only segments of the path are paved, and the type of terrain underfoot varies from gravel to mud to ice. Alongside that, elevation changes are frequent, and the weather can be perplexing even in the generally placid summer months.

The rewards for taking the journey are nothing short of breath-taking. Driving the Dalton Highway allows those looking for adventure to say they’ve sailed into the Arctic Circle (which you enter around 60 miles into the road) and have seen the mountains of the isolated Brooks Range. There is hardly any resemblance of modern civilization along the route, and the natural world is on full display with frequent sightings of bears, foxes, wolves, and deer.

One thing an experienced driver of the Dalton Highway will also mention is a less-inspiring sight that dots this scenic highway: abandoned vehicles. The course is punishing and built for only those with the proper gear and preparation. Some things you may want to consider if packing up your Land Rover Defender for an adventure this summer are:

 

  • Always travel with extra supplies: the Dalton Highway goes an entire 200-mile stretch without a gas station or stopping point, so you need to be prepared to support yourself.

 

  • Be ready for the scenery: Beyond getting your truck ready, don’t forget the lenses. This is the one of the most scenic roads in the world with a variety of unforgettable views; a world-class camera to go along with an all-purpose truck is wise.

 

  • Be adventurous: Respectable off-road drivers leave nothing to chance. But take your time, and soak in the Aurora Borealis that is frequent and enchanting in the summer. This highway is not meant to be a race.

Land Rover Defenders have conquered the Dalton Highway and will continue to do so. Are you up for a luxury adventure? To find your perfect adventure, follow our social media profiles, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and look out for posts that highlight new off-road excursions!

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