Elliott Highway (Fox to Manley)
Open year-round, the Elliott Highway is paved until it meets the Dalton Highway at mile 73. But don’t let a little change in the road stop you from taking this amazing drive! Pass through the White Mountains where, depending on the season, you can hike, ski, snow machine, and skijor. Grab some coffee at the Arctic Circle Trading Post in the small town of Joy (pop. 30). Get the first good views of the Alaska Pipeline. Watch the land around you change as you drive from alpine to forested terrain. Then, relax from your exciting drive at a natural hot spring in Manley.
Not all rental vehicles are allowed on this road, so check with your rental agency before you travel. Or, rent from a company that allows their vehicle on gravel roads, like Alaska 4x4 Rentals or Alaska Overlander.
Originally the Fox Roadhouse, this old-style building has been renovated to house a brewery and brew pub. Ten miles from Fairbanks, the brewery has at least a dozen house-made beers on tap, and a huge selection of bottled brews, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in town. There’s a large, open beer garden out back, ideal for summer nights. And the food’s great.
The White Mountain National Recreation Area has over 200 miles of winter trails that are shared by dog mushers, skiiers, skijorers, and snow machiners and several cabins have been built along the White Mountain winter trails to provide visitors with safety and comfort during their adventures.
Take a break here and look for the sign about the experimental trenching site in this area. This experiment is part of a project studying the feasibility to construct a natural gas pipeline to transport natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to market. This site will be monitored for 10 years to evaluate the amount of fill substance and to study the success of several methods of re-vegetation.
The White Mountains National Recreation Area is home to 200+-miles of trail traversing a million acres of wilderness and a mountain range named for the dominant color of its limestone foundation. To get there, drive 28 miles on the Elliott Highway from Fox (where it splits with the Steese) and look for signs marking the trailhead. The trailhead is the starting point for both the Summit Trail, and the Ski Loop Trail, a 5‑mile loop and a nice ...more
Livengood (pop. 23) Nathaniel R. Hudson and Jay Livengood discovered gold on Livengood Creek in 1914. By 1915 there was a mining camp and post office. From 1915 — 1920, the claim yielded about $9.5 million in gold. A large-scale mining attempt in the late 1930s — 1940s failed and the post office was discontinued in 1957. There is active drilling in the area so do not trespass on mining claims.
The 414-mile-long Dalton Highway is Alaska’s only road to the Arctic. This highway was built to support the Prudhoe Bay Oilfields and is still used today by both commercial and recreational traffic. Make sure you are on the right highway, the Elliot make a sharp turn left here.
There is no road access, but this 11-mile moderate to strenuous hike is well worth the trip. The trail has spectacular views as it crosses over Tolovana Hot Springs Dome. The hot springs has two hot tubs, 3 cabins as well as outhouses.
In arctic and sub-arctic regions, the subsoil consists of permafrost, which is permanently frozen soil. Only vegetation with a very shallow root system can grow in permafrost. Now you will start to see spruce trees again as you make the transition from alpine to forested terrain.
Forest fires are endemic to this region, usually occurring once every 100 to 200 years in any one place. New growth quickly takes root and provides habitat and browse for many different birds and animals that might find it more difficult to survive in mature forests.