Day 39 - Top of the World Highway
We set the alarm for 8:00am so we could get in line for the ferry to cross the Yukon River to leave Dawson City. Two days earlier the circus came to town and the wait was as long as six hours to make the crossing. Luckily, we were able to get on the ferry with no wait and rode across the Yukon River. We hitched the car to the motorhome on the other side and began today’s journey on the Top of the World Highway, an absolutely beautiful 108 mile drive was on a dirt rode that led to Chicken, Alaska.
The small ferry that crosses the Yukon River to get to Top of the World Highway on the other side.
Our vehicles safely loaded onto the ferry for our ride across the Yukon River
A paddlewheel boat navigated the river in front of us as we began the river crossing.
Top of the World Highway
The highway was mostly a dirt and gravel highway for 108 miles, but the views were absolutely incredible. We enjoyed every mile of the drive!
This is the beginning of the Top of the World (dirt) Highway
We are in the United States of America
After 65 miles on the dirt highway, we crossed the border into THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! For some mysterious reason for the first twelve miles in the US, the road was paved and in excellent condition. At mile 12 the road reverts to dirt and gravel and was in worse shape than on the Canadian side (which was in good shape—for dirt).
Our passports are taken and checked at the border and we answered the routine questions of “How many people in the vehicle? Do you have any drugs, firearms, alcohol or pets?” and we were on our way again.
Poker Creek, Alaska —the most northerly land border in the USA
The population of Chicken is 7 in the winter and between 23-30 in the summer and is comprised of only three businesses: Downtown Chicken, Chicken Gold Camp and the Town of Chicken RV Park. It’s the first and only fuel stop since Dawson (108 miles) and Tok (78 miles). This is one of those “been there, done that” bucket list items, but no reason to stay for the night.
From Chicken we drove 78 miles of the Taylor Highway to Tok.
Tok was a construction camp on the Alcan Highway in 1942. One of the largest such camps on the pioneer road, it was called the “Million Dollar Camp” a reference to the cost of maintaining the camp. Tok is the only town in Alaska that travelers must pass through twice: once when arriving into the state and once when leaving the state. Because Tok is the major overland point of entry to Alaska, it is primarily a service center for all kinds of transportation, especially for summer travelers coming up the Alaskan Highway. Tok is the “sled dog capital of Alaska.” because so many of the residents are involved with dogs and dog sledding, the official sport of Alaska.
We filled up with gas and the gas station offered free car washing , so we spent about 30 minutes getting the top ten layers of mud and dust off the car, motorhome, and bicycles, and then decided to head north to Delta Junction.
The rivers we have been crossing don’t have much water in them right now.
We reached the END of the Alaska Highway!
- We drove 300 miles today in the motorhome
- Gas was $4.29 a gallon in Dawson City and $3.50 a gallon in Tok, so we spent a total of $240 on gas today.
- We are spending the night at the Visitor’s Center in Delta Junction, Alaska for free.
- Sunrise this morning in Dawson Creek was at 4:09AM and sunset in Delta Junction will be at 11:57pm.