See photos of the Dalton Highway in Alaska in The Dalton Highway Dos and Don’ts photo gallery. Read all the tips for a great adventure in the The Dalton Highway Dos and Don’ts.
- The Dalton Highway runs through the most remote parts of North America. There is no infrastructure up there to deal with accidents. If you get into an emergency situation, chances are, you are going to have to get yourself out of it.
- The main purpose for the Dalton Highway is for the oil companies to be able to service the oil fields at the Arctic Ocean. Large 18-wheel trucks are constantly running this road.
- My suggestion is that you leave your street bike for the street, and ride a dirt-oriented motorcycle on the Dalton. All of the BMW GS models do well up there and any 650cc dual-sport style bike will be the most appropriate.
- Some riders seem to think that since the highway exists on a map, and looks like any other road on the map, it must be like any other road. Wrong.
- Before you ride it, be sure to know how to handle your bike in gravel, deep gravel, and mud. Practice on fire roads at home and dirt tracks. Spin that back tire and get familiar with acceleration.... these are the tools you need to master before going up the Dalton safely.
- The views are unlike anywhere else in the world on the Dalton Highway.
- The consistency of dirt on this highway is like clay.
- The Dalton Highway has relatively no places to stop for gas or supplies and can be treacherous in places. The payoff is a ride you'll never forget.
- The Dalton Highway has a 245-mile stretch without fuel. Most 5-gallon tank bikes will not make this if the rider is going over 60 mph. Therefore, bring a small, 2-gallon fuel container and strap it to you bike for your ride north out of Fairbanks.
- Stay alert for animals crossing while on the Dalton Highway.
- This road will throw everything at you, and your mistake can cost you thousands of dollars or worse.
- Bring the tools necessary to get you out of a pinch. Be able to take off your tire, replace an inner tube, patch a hole, plug a hole, take your bike apart, put air into your tire... All the things you wish you had brought seem to come to mind when your bike fails.
- During the long summer days, the rider on vacation who has drawn up an aggressive schedule to "see it all" in Alaska will not stop until the sun goes down. In the land of the Midnight Sun, this won't happen for a couple of months!!
- Be safe and plan ahead and you'll make it to the Arctic Circle.