The Ultimate Guide to Traveling the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway
Part of the Dempster Highway, the Highway 10, more commonly known as the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway (or ITH), is a road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada.
The first all-weather road to Canada's Arctic Coast starts from Inuvik, passing through the tree line, onto the tundra and ends at the Arctic Ocean in Tuktoyaktuk (Tuktuyaaqtuuq), a hamlet located in the Inuvik Region. The concept of the highway had been considered for decades; however, final approval was not until 2013, with construction beginning in 2014. It was officially opened to the public on November 15, 2017 and allows Tuktoyaktuk and the Arctic Coast to be accessed by vehicles year-round.
It’s a very scenic gravel highway. It's 138 km (86 mi) long. Appropriate preparation is essential. Facilities are few and far between. It is strongly recommended to carry a full-sized spare tire as well as extra water and gas. Traffic will be very light so you must come well prepared. In the winter, carry a shovel, sleeping bag, stove, matches, emergency snacks, and of course, dress for cold outdoor temperatures. Road conditions can also vary drastically.
With its northern terminus at 69°27’, it doesn’t go as far north as the Dalton Highway in Alaska, but it deserves recognition as the only highway in North America that provides road access to the Arctic Ocean (the Dalton does not allow public access beyond Deadhorse, AK). This road replaced the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road.