- May 2017
The Dempster Highway begins in the Yukon and ends in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (Government of Northwest Territories). It is the only Canadian highway that crosses the Arctic Circle (Northwest Territories Parks). The Dempster Highway was named for a Northwest Mounted Police officer Sgt. W.J.D. Dempster who traveled down this road in the winter of 1910 in search of a “Lost Patrol”. The Lost Patrol was a group of mounted police who lost their way on the way back to Fort McPherson and all members died (Yukon). The highway is entirely gravel except for the last 10 kilometers in Inuvik (Government of Northwest Territories). The Dempster Highway was started in 1959, but was not completed until 1979 (Yukon). The Dempster highway is known for its ecology, including caribou, sheep, eagles, falcons, butterflies, bears, coyotes, foxes, and others. The highway passes through Angelcomb Peak, or sheep mountain, which is the breeding ground for the Dall’s sheep. The highway passes a region of “drunken” boreal forest, which got its name because it is located on an area of shifting permafrost that continuously thaws and freezes. The Dempster Highway crosses 217 of Canada’s ecoregions. After 405.5 kilometers on the highway, travelers will reach the Arctic Circle. After 465 kilometers, the highway enters the Northwest Territories. The highway ends after 272 kilometers in the Northwest Territories in Inuvik. A full map of the Dempster Highway can be found below.
References: "Dempster Highway Travelogue." Yukon. Accessed May 05, 2017.
"Highway 8." Transportation-Government of Northwest Territories. Accessed May 05, 2017. http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway_System/NWTHwy8.
"Dempster Highway." Dempster Highway | Northwest Territories Parks. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://nwtparks.ca/explore/dempster-highway.