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Old 08-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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Suggestions for the Dempster?

Hey all - adventure 2009 is going to start in about 1 month from now. This time it's north - from Whitehorse to Inuvik. Any suggestions on out-of-the-way must see places/hikes/paddles etc? I'm looking for free backroad style camping (although one or two nights in a full-service RV site would be good to get cleaned/dried/laundered etc).
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

On your way to Whitehorse try to stop at Muckluck Annie's, if it's still open. I believe there's free camping. Don't know how late in the season these places stay open. Stop at Rancheria Falls for the short walk in. Beautiful. The cafe at Rancheria makes the best homemade soup, buns and pies. That time of year you'll miss the bugs. Have never done the Dempster but have done Dawson City and an Alaska tour. Happy travelling. Will you be blogging?
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

No suggestions from me at all, but I sure am looking forward to reading of the adventures of Dirk and Fin.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

I definitely hope to blog - when I get internet. The plan so far is to paddle the Nahanni river from September 1-12, then head to pick up my girlfriend in Whitehorse on the 19th - driving up to Inuvik and stopping to do some long hikes from the Dempster. I will definitely take photos and update the blog when I can.

Thanks for the soup and buns and pie suggestion Ellen!! Definitely can't go wrong with pie or good buns!!
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitodirk
Definitely can't go wrong with pie or good buns!!
And, some of those yummy pancakes.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

I drove the first 100 feet of the Dempster last summer, so I am an expert.

Bring a spare spare tire for your tow vehicle, and one for your trailer. Bring a tire repair kit and foot-pump. Know how to use the repair kit before you leave.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

Dempster was CRAZY!! I have photos I'll post of the mud. Only took the trailer as far as Eagle Plains, but that was enough!! A good road going in quickly dissolved into a very bad one coming out. The trailer held up well given the hammering it took (for about 800km). The only thing that happened was the flip up shelf by the sink broke off (which was easily fixed with duct tape, new screws, and shoe goo.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:02 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

Hi

I'm back from my trip and I think I've bought an Escape,,,will know for sure on Mon,,,Re Dempster,,,,my wife travelled it 20 years ago in a westphalia and went through 5 flats!!! three tyres totally destroyed,,,she says the road is unbelievably bad and that honestly the trip was not really worth it. Hope it was better for you

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

Hi there. We did a 2 monther (June 15th to Mid Aug.) that took us up to Dawson City...over the "top of the world highway" to Chicken...Tok and on to Fairbanks. After some consideration and consultation we decided the Demster to Inuvik wasn't worth it. But surly the Demster can't be worst than "Top of the World". We went prepared with spares etc. but didn't have any problems...not even a flat tire. We didn't do much off road stuff....but we sure enjoyed the scenery, the wildlife, the culture and history, of course the glaciers....unbelieveable stories about the persuit of gold......the history behind the Alaska highway (Canadian portion built without our gov't approval etc.)We enjoyed everywhere and everything because it was all new to us. Check out Bonanza Gold Rush history and how gold was extracted. Whitehore is a very nice city (town). We parked on Walmart lot 2 nights. Each night there were 60+ RV's/campers of various types there....a real community. There is lots to do, lots of interesting places and we reccomend it at least once in a lifetime. Good luck and safe travelling
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

In August 2008, Top of the World was fine. I wonder what made such a difference a year later.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

What a difference a year makes. Miles and miles of washboard, pavement that didn,t exist, pavement that was broken and rutted, bare rocks, very narrow sections. The balance is just poorly kept gravel road. I'm originally from Newfoundland and have travelled on gravel & construction roads in Labrador, but Top of the World takes the cake.......but it wasn't sweet. Enough said....we had a great trip....enjoyed every daylight minute.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

It's all about the difference a rain makes - I went in on the Dempster and it was great (even took the Escape to Eagle Plains) - but it rained the night I was in Inuvik, and the road out was miserable. Brand new and rather large pot holes, massive unavoidable deep slippery mud sections - it was nuts! (but absolutely beautiful and I would do it again in a heartbeat).
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:39 AM   #13
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

I like adventure travel! Thanks for very nice discussions!
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:05 PM   #14
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

I drove the Dempster early September, 1997 in an ex-rental Elite camper van. Went very slowly to make it to Eagle Plains (340 kms) on a single tank of gas. Found lots of Territorial campgrounds enroute, some with grizzly bear warnings, passed lots of cyclists and saw the tundra turn red and the aspens and cottonwoods turn gold. The highway had been recently graded and was fine, and I didn't have a single flat on the whole trip.

The Top of the World was a piece of cake in comparison, and ironically the Canadian side was well paved and maintained and the Alaskan side was gravel. Arrived at Chicken, AK the first day of moose hunting season and was invited to a barbeque by an extended Alaskan family ( everyone from granny to a six year old). They were all off to shoot their one moose limit, all 14 of them. I think I now understand Sarah Palin a little better.

I would love to drive to Inuvik again with my 17' Escape. Just go slow, and if you go in late summer there are no bugs and the scenery glows. I took five days to get to Inuvik and loved every minute.

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Old 08-19-2010, 11:47 PM   #15
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Re: Suggestions for the Dempster?

My wife did this trip in a westphalia and before leaving Whitehorse she was told that Dempster is the reason they invented planes! She thought they were kidding, but after 5 flats and two new tires ,,,and a divorce,,,she knew they were not kidding. Once you take the turn off on the Dempster there is one hotel/campsite, before Inuvik,,They woke up at 3 am to see a grizzly looking down into the van . If you must go,,,FLY.

Do Top of the World Hwy to tok Alaska and back through Beaver Creek,,,way nicer. If you do go to Inuvik, she wants to her your story and how you survived. Good luck,,,you will need it! She is on the floor laughing.
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