The Ice Road to Tuktoyaktuk

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The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road is an ice road that connects the Northwest Territories communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in Canada. It is open to traffic only during the winter (December to March) when the water of the Mackenzie River Delta freezes tracing a natural road over the length of the river and parts of the Arctic Ocean. During summer the road melts and forms a flowing river. During this season the village of Tuktoyaktuk can be reached only by plane or boat.


The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road is part of the Dempster Highway that connects the Klondike Highway in Yukon, Canada to Inuvik. During the winter months, the highway extends another 194 km to Tuktoyaktuk, when the ice freezes and the road materialize.

The ice that make up the road is about 8 feet thick and is littered from place to place with cracks and ridges, making it one of the most dangerous stretch of road. The road is soon going to be replaced by a bridge currently under construction and is scheduled to open in late 2011.

The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road was featured in the History Channel program Ice Road Truckers.


The Mackenzie river delta, in summer (above) and in winter (below). The frozen river is the main winter road.








Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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