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Thread: Looking for tips about the "Haul Road"

  1. #1
    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Default Looking for tips about the "Haul Road"

    My wife and I along with another couple are planning a scenic drive/camping trip up to Deadhorse/Pudhole Bay in July. Have done lots of research on the conditions up there and what to expect. However you can never have too much info nor can you be overly prepared. So I was curious if any of you have ever been up there and if you may have any suggestions or tips to pass on? We will be taking two Jeeps, with camping gear, extra fuel, food, water and all that. Thanks in advance.

    Doug
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

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    Member Matt S's Avatar
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    I will be watching this one with interest as I am planning on doing something similar. I have heard that late June is nice because the bugs are not in full force yet. Also once north of the Brooks Range there is not much in the way of dry ground for camping, or so I have heard. I have been advised that using the pullouts with a camper or sleeping in the bed of the truck is the way to go. However that is all second hand information.
    Thanks, Matt


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  3. #3
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default Haul road

    Well, it sounds like you have the basics. If you are looking to be well prepared, get a CB in at least one of your vehicles and keep it on channel 19. That is what the truckers use to talk to each other.

    Some things to watch out for on the road include, but are not limited to:
    Trucks. There are LOTS of trucks on this road. They kick up A LOT of dust. When you are going to be passed by a truck, it is best to find a place to pull over and let them go by and then let the dust die down. If that won't work, slow down, but make sure you don't get rear ended by another truck or car following behind.

    If a truck is coming the other way, the number one way to avoid a broken windshield is to slow down and pull to the side (without going off the road) before he gets to you. If they see you doing this well in advance, you will get kind treatment in return. I've found that something in the 30 mph range will prevent almost all rock chips and cracks.

    Even in July there can still be snow and ice.

    There will likely be road crews moving gravel around on the road. They will often times have a big winrow down the middle of the road. This can be really tricky trying to figure out which side to be on. This is a really good time to have a CB. The DOT crews will also be on channel 19 and can tell you what is up. Those winrows can be very dangerous. Big rocks and god knows what else in there can tear up the underside of you car/truck when you go over it. Make sure to do this slowly. If you have to drive in the oncoming lane on the wrong side of these, be ready to get back over in a hurry.

    There are always other people travelling by foot, bike, motorcycle, car, truck, RV, etc. Be ready for about anything. If you listen to your CB, you can hear truckers talking about these people.

    Make sure you have at least one and preferably two spare tires. If you are both in jeeps with the same size tire, then maybe you get by with one per vehicle.

    There is gas/diesel at Coldfoot. They also have food and lodging, but lodging might be tight that time of year with tourists and construction workers. It wouldn't hurt to check with them in advance to see if they are booked if you are at all thinking about staying there.

    Marion Creek campground is just up the road a bit from there, so unless things are falling apart on you, staying there would probably suit you better.

    Atigun pass can be tricky. I have seen Dall sheep and caribou in the road there. Truckers can't stop too well on the way down. If there is ice or snow on the pass it can be a mess. This is one place where the CB really comes in handy.

    Some other spots to watch out for are 25 mile hill (mile 25 on the Dalton). It has a narrow corner part way up. This is not a good place to meet a big truck that is coming down if you can avoid it. From about mile 40 or so until you cross the Yukon there are quite a few sharp corners and hills. Take it easy in this area. Some road signs to look out for (can't remember the mile markers), Gobbler's knob, Beaver Slide, Ice Cut (north of pump station 4), and Oil Spill Hill (north of pump station 4). Take it easy in all of these places.

    There is gas/diesel in Prudhoe, but I'm not exactly sure where (I've always fueled up inside the gate while working for the oil companies). The Prudhoe Bay hotel has rooms and food. It is across the street from the airport.

    You cell phone will last work at about mile 28 on the Elliot Highway and then again about 20 miles south of Deadhorse.

    That is about all I can think of. If you have other questions, post them here.

    Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by doug1980 View Post
    My wife and I along with another couple are planning a scenic drive/camping trip up to Deadhorse/Pudhole Bay in July. Have done lots of research on the conditions up there and what to expect. However you can never have too much info nor can you be overly prepared. So I was curious if any of you have ever been up there and if you may have any suggestions or tips to pass on? We will be taking two Jeeps, with camping gear, extra fuel, food, water and all that. Thanks in advance.

    Doug

  4. #4
    Member Matt S's Avatar
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    Richard that is great info. Thanks.
    Thanks, Matt


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  5. #5

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    Try not to slow the trucks down for the hills.
    Always slow down when meeting trucks to avoid rocking them and they will slow down too once you rock a couple of them words out on the radio and they may not be near as polite.
    Always even sightseeing be on your side of the road in the curves many of them you cant see and the possibility of meeting in the middle of a curve is good.
    Other than that make sure you have gas to get to coldfoot 250 miles parts will be rough parts will be dusty and in places gravel will beat on the underside of your rig.
    But you will enjoy it.

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    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great info. So it sounds like we should just take it slow, respect the big rigs and we'll be fine. I will more than likely take way more than needed but it's better to be over prepared than under I guess.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

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    Be prepared, the scout motto comes into play up here. Be advised there isnít any medical assistance for a long way out of Deadhorse. If you have a medical emergency your on your own for a while. The pump stations will help if you limp into one. Do not underestimate the mosquitoes. I have found out they prefer human blood over a caribous. Spare tires are a must as well as drive belts and know how to replace them. Call ahead to the hotels up there to reserve a room/s. Unless you book a tour thru the caribou hotel forget about seeing the Arctic Ocean as its on the oil field and is off limits. Once up there the Brooks Range store /Napa/post office is helpful. The only fuel station is the Tesoro and expect to pay a premium for gas. Extra gas cans are great insurance. As far as a jeep goes think twice about following off road trails as many lead to nowhere and can result in getting stuck/sunk.

  8. #8

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    With all the rocks on the road it does not hurt to keep a pair of sunglasses or safety glasses on. I believe it is a requirement on the slope and not a bad idea....

  9. #9
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    The safety glasses are a requirememt on the field.

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