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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This trip has been on the ‘list’ since they opened up the last 135 kms in 2018. Work and lockdowns have gotten in the way. 2023 is happening.
Anybody have any advice on the Dempster Hwy? Timeline? Equipment? Safety advice?
I’ve got fuel range from Dawson City to Eagle Plains, grizzly bear safety, and mosquito craziness as my top 3 concerns.
 

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i've driven up to just past the Arctic Circle in 2020, and up to the NWT border in 2021. (as far as we could go during NWTs lockdown).
July will be the best weather, but really buggy, and likely muddy.
August will be busiest, but less buggy and muddy.
Early September should be the best drive and view, although there is 100% the possibility of overnight snow or frost. But likely no mosquitos.

The road surface changes quite a bit depending on the section, as the fill comes from each other, and the geology varies greatly. The worst is the last 100 km before Eagle Plains (sharp shale like rock)
The mud will build up really badly due to the spray they use on the road, so pay attention to how its accumulating.
The road will go from smooth and perfect to pothole hell, in 100 ft. So you don't let your guard down.
The drive through the Tombstone area up to through the Ogilvie is incredible, and among my favorite of all time.
Most of it is safe for Grizzlies as long as you use common sense. Although i wouldn't camp at Engineer Creek, as that area seems to have high aggressive activity.

We traveled with a spare, plug kits, and tire foam/fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the great advice.
I’m throwing around 2-3 options for the ride. I’ll be riding up the Dempster on my much more capable off-road XR650L rather than my cosmetically perfect r1200gs. The ride from Van City to Dawson City on the XR will be not as luxurious but I don’t want permanent calcium chloride baked into the engine of the Beemer. I could put the XR in the back of my truck and park the truck in Dawson or Whitehorse. There is also the tenting versus hotel question. Hotel space up there is really tight during their 3.25 month tourist season. Taking my truck I could easily camp in the back, with security against grizzlies and bloody mosquitoes. But then I’d have to invest in a small bike trailer if I leave my canopy on for camping.
Decisions??
 

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I would ride the XR, and camp as much as possible. It wont be as comfortable, but it will be the version of the trip that you want/remember the most. I would also take the Robert Campbell hwy, and go direct from Watson Lake to Carmacks, rather than going through White Horse. The other option if you had lots of time, i would suggest taking the South Half of the Canol from South to North. Its an incredible drive/ride and will get you even further away from people and traffic.
Grizzlies are more of a concern in Northern BC, than they are in the Yukon.
 

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I've spent 3 weeks of September each of the past 3 years up there. So its definitely left a mark. I'm working on life changes that will allow me to work remotely up there for extended periods of the year.
What's the draw for you up there that you can't find in the S2S region?
 

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What's the draw for you up there that you can't find in the S2S region?
When i drove the South half of the Canol Rd, i saw 2 vehicles in two days. We stayed at a campground on an amazing lake for 24 hours and didnt see a single person or vehicle. Everywhere you turn there is a picturesque lake, river, or view, and without a person or powerline in sight.

Also, I haven't ran in to anyone named Mark up there....
 
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