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Dempster Highway

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Dempster Highway

The Dempster Highway officially opened in 1979 linking Inuvik with southern communities. It is the only gravel highway connecting Inuvik to Whitehorse, Yukon some 1253 km away. 

Sections of the Dempster Highway close seasonally for approximately 6 to 8 weeks in the Fall when the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers freeze and again for 4 to 6 weeks in the Spring when they begin to thaw making Inuvik accessible only by air during those times.

Please note that the Dempster Highway is an incredible journey through backcountry wilderness.

Road Trip Information for the Spectacular Dempster Highway all the way to the Arctic Ocean

Weather and driving conditions are varied throughout the year and can change quite quickly with very little notice.

It is important that drivers are prepared and be aware of current weather & driving conditions as you travel.

Download a Local Highway Information Sheet for Contact Info on Highway Conditions


Ferry service operates on both the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers.  Both the the Peel River Ferry and the Mackenzie River Ferry operate on demand from early morning to late in the evening.

Please refer to the Government of the Northwest Territories website for updates and current sailing times.

GNWT Ferries Information Page

Highway 10, more commonly known as the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway is a road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in Canada's Northwest Territories. Its is the "first all-weather road to Canada's Arctic Coast". The idea for the highway had been considered for decades; however, final approval was not until 2013, with construction beginning in 2014. It was officially opened on 15 November 2017 and is a 144.7 km drive.

Information on travelling to Tuktoyaktuk

There is also a seasonal Ice Road to Aklavik (112 km) from Inuvik. In the summer and fall, air service and boat are the only ways to access the community of Aklavik.

Inuvik operates on Mountain Standard Time, the same time zone as Alberta.