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65 Degrees North Tripping

We're just back from our northern tour on the Dempster Hwy and can confirm winter has arrived in the north! The Dempster Hwy, Canada's first all-weather road to cross the Arctic Circle first officially opened in 1979. The 671-kilometre (417-mile) unpaved road runs through the Arctic wilderness from south of Dawson City, Yukon, to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.

The highway doesn't look like your average road and has unique design and construction. It sits on top of a gravel berm to insulate the permafrost in the soil underneath. The thickness of the gravel pad ranges from 1.2 metres up to 2.4 metres in some places (four feet to eight feet). Without the gravel insulator, the permafrost would melt and the road would sink.

The area offers spectacular views and hiking/exploratory options. In the winter, when sufficient ice build up is present, barges for 2 of the river crossings to Inuvik are replaced with 'ice bridges' where one drives on the frozen river to cross. The weather conditions that can be encountered in these parts are some of the most challenging in the north and can be very dangerous for the unprepared.

One of the objectives of our trip was to test some new equipment on our HDJ81 Toyota LandCruiser under real world working conditions. Some new additions included the Safari Intercooler, custom 3" exhaust system and upgraded performance injectors. These performance upgrades allow the 81 (in automatic transmission configuration) to power up most gradients in final drive (4th gear), torque converter locked while heavily loaded. Fuel efficiency is also improved combined with lower exhaust gas temperatures for the engine. For more information on these performance upgrades for your Outback truck, please contact us.

Like many parts of the world, this area is extremely unique, delicate and under constant threat of new development initiatives. For more information on this region and current issues, please check out: and

We hope you enjoy the photos. If you'd like help making travels plans to the north, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Santa sends his regards!


We accept Mastercard and VISA payments We accept Mastercard and VISA payments