This is an adventure that will take you deep into the Arctic Circle to the icy shores of the Arctic Ocean. This is not anything for the faint of heart but should you brave this winter road the rewards can be nothing short of extraordinary!

This adventure starts in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada and ends in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories Canada. But before I get into the journey itself let me elaborate a little more on the title. The reason they call this a winter road instead of just a road is because it is a road that is only accessible during the winter. The road in its entirety is carved out of the frozen Mackenzie River and frozen Arctic Ocean. It is a road made entirely of ice!

When you finally get on the road you probably won't encounter much traffic except for a few truck drivers just let them pass (Fun Fact: This was the road that they filmed season 2 and 6 of Ice Road Truckers). The road itself is about 100 yards wide so have some fun with it, I mean come on you're driving on ice! Finally after roughly 200 miles of slipping and sliding you will arrive at the icy shores of the Arctic Ocean in a little town called Tuktoyaktuk. The locals here are extremely friendly and even helped me get my car unstuck in the middle of a -40F night!

The scenery while barren is absolutely surreal, everything from mountains formed of solid ice to rolling plains of snow. If you choose to drive this road at night (I recommend on a clear night if you can) you will almost certainly be blessed with a display of the Aurora Borealis as long as there isn't too much cloud cover.

For up-to-date information, check the Destination Canada website.

Pack List

  • 4x4 Vehicle If Accessible (If not I've done the drive in a 2 wheel drive car)
  • Snow Chains
  • Shovel In Case You Get Stuck
  • Extra Gas (No gas for 200 miles)
  • Food (No food for 200 miles)
  • Tunes
  • Good People
  • And A Good Sense of Adventure!
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RT Distance 200 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Snowshoeing
Skill Level Expert
Season Winter
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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