Yukon River bridge trip

I drove to the bridge over the Yukon River, about 140 highway miles north from Fairbanks. The route out of town goes for about 15 miles on the Steese Highway, 75 on the Elliott Highway, and finally the first 56 miles on the 414-mile Dalton Highway. Both the Elliott and the Dalton are twisty, with many changes in grade. After Fairbanks, there are only two small towns along the way: Fox and Livengood.

I had never seen the Yukon River in person before. It isn’t much to see in the winter, and the bridge was deliberately put over an unusually narrow part of the river; it widens out to several miles in other places, often with multiple braids and channels. The bridge itself carries Dalton Highway traffic and the Alaska Pipeline. It’s Alaska’s only year-round bridge over the Yukon (Canada has a couple). This trip is definitely worth a redo in the summer.

2 replies on “Yukon River bridge trip”

Hi Jason,
I am glad you are having fun in the Last Frontier State. I have been reading a very melancholic best-seller novel which end with a tragic ending in the Stampede Trail. Of course, I remember you, while I was reading it, and how close you are to this place. I hope sometime in the near future travel to Alaska. May not be this summer but maybe the next. Cheers,

Hi Carlos,
Are you reading Into The Wild? If so, it’s actually a true story. Funny you should mention it, because this past weekend Blanka and I drove through Healy. A restaurant there has the movie prop of Bus 142, where Chris McCandless died. The real bus is still 20 miles out on the Stampede Trail. I’m gonna try to go see it later this year, when the river levels are lower.

You should visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It’s a world-class place for atmospheric science and space physics. I’m thinking of entering the space physics PhD program in fall 2014. We’ll see how that goes. In any case, if you come up, I can show you all the cool places.


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