When you look at a map of Alaska, the north coast of the state feels truly remote, a faraway place that seems only reachable by air. But there is a road to the top of the world, and it's one of North America's great drives. The Dalton Hwy, also known as the Haul Rd, is a long, winding truck route that cuts 414 miles from Alaska’s Interior to the North Slope, paralleling the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to its source at the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. Along the way it passes evergreen quilts of taiga, the Gothic majesty of the Brooks Range and the chilling flatness of the Arctic tundra.
The road is open year-round, but you should only tackle it between late May and early September, when there’s virtually endless light and little snow and ice. Expect a 40mph average and two hard days to reach Deadhorse, at the edge of everything.