Top of the World Highway

Last updated

Yukon Highway 9.svg

Top of the World Highway
Yukon Highway 9
Highway 9 map-YT.png
Route information
Length127 km [1] [2] (79 mi)
Existedc. 1955–present
Major junctions
West endAlaska 5 shield.svg AK-5 (Taylor Highway) near Jack Wade, AK
East endYukon Highway 2.svg To Hwy 2 at the West Dawson ferry terminal
Highway system
Territorial highways in Yukon
Miscellaneous
Yukon Highway 8.svg Hwy 8 Hwy 10 Yukon Highway 10.svg

The Top of the World Highway is a 127 km-long (79 mi) highway, beginning at a junction with the Taylor Highway (Alaska Route 5) near Jack Wade, Alaska traveling east to its terminus at the ferry terminal in West Dawson, Yukon, on the western banks of the Yukon River. The highway has been in existence since at least 1955 and is only open during the summer months. The entire portion of the highway in Yukon is also known as Yukon Highway 9. The Alaska portion is signed as part of the Taylor Highway and the Alaska Department of Transportation refers to it as the Top of the World Highway. [3]

Contents

Description

As of August 2016, the U.S. portion of the highway is paved from the Taylor Highway junction almost as far as Chicken, Alaska, and again for the final 10 kilometres from the Eagle turnoff to the Canada–United States border at Little Gold Creek. Most of the Canadian portion is unpaved. The paved Canadian sections are from kilometre 0 (at Dawson) to km 9 (mile 0 to mi 5.4), km 74 to 76 (mi 46.0 to 47.2), km 79 to 82 (mi 49.1 to 51.0), km 83 to 94 (mi 51.6 to 58.4) and km 99 to 104 (mi 61.5 to 64.6) at the Canada–US border.

The highway is so named because, along much of its length, it skirts the crest of the hills, giving looks down on the valleys. It is also one of the most northerly highways in the world at those latitudes. Two nearby, farther north highways are the Dempster Highway (Yukon Route 5) and the Dalton Highway (Alaska Route 11). It is not particularly safe in winter, even for snowmobile use, due to the lack of trees for shelter.

A ferry connects West Dawson to Dawson in summer, [2] and residents living in West Dawson and nearby Sunnydale cross on the ice during the winter. A bridge is planned by the Yukon government, although there is significant division among Dawson area residents as to whether such a bridge should be built. The west-bank residents received improved phone service only in 2004 but do not have a public electricity supply.

A 50 km (31 mi) branch road off the highway was used to reach the town of Clinton Creek, Yukon, site of a former asbestos mine shut down since 1979.

Border ports of entry

The Poker Creek - Little Gold Creek Border Crossing features one of the few jointly-built single building customs ports of entry along the Canada–US border. There is a one-hour difference in standard time zones at this border, which is only open in summer during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. period (Alaska time). The Border Post has warnings as far south as Whitehorse, Yukon, alerting travelers that the Border is closed between 9pm and 9am (Yukon Time) and there's absolutely no entry between those times. The immense Alaskan Taylor Complex Fire of 2004 burned up to the Canada–US border and was visible from the westernmost portions of the highway.

Related Research Articles

Trans-Canada Highway Highway and highway system in Canada

The Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental federal-provincial highway system that travels through all ten provinces of Canada from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the Atlantic on the east. The main route spans 7,821 km (4,860 mi) across the country, one of the longest routes of its type in the world. The highway system is recognizable by its distinctive white-on-green maple leaf route markers, although there are small variations in the markers in some provinces.

The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II to connect the contiguous United States to Alaska across Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. When it was completed in 1942, it was about 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) long, but in 2012, it was only 2,232 km (1,387 mi). This is due to the continuing reconstruction of the highway, which has rerouted and straightened many sections. The highway opened to the public in 1948. Once legendary for being a rough, challenging drive, the highway is now paved over its entire length. Its component highways are British Columbia Highway 97, Yukon Highway 1 and Alaska Route 2.

Pan-American Highway Network of roads of the Americas

The Pan-American Highway is a network of roads stretching across the American continents and measuring about 30,000 kilometres (19,000 mi) in total length. Except for a rainforest break of approximately 106 km (70 mi) across the border between southeast Panama and northwest Colombia, called the Darién Gap, the roads link almost all of the Pacific coastal countries of the Americas in a connected highway system. According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world's longest "motorable road". However, because of the Darién Gap, it is not possible to cross between South America and Central America with conventional highway vehicles. Without an all-terrain vehicle, the only way to safely navigate this terrestrial stretch is by sea.

Pan-American Highway (North America)

The Pan-American Highway route in North America is the portion of a network of roads nearly 48,000 kilometres (30,000 mi) in length which travels through the mainland nations of the Americas. No definitive length of the Pan American Highway exists because the Canadian government has never officially defined any specific route as being part of the Pan-American Highway, while in the United States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated the entire Interstate Highway System part of the Pan-American Highway System, although this has not yet been reinforced by any official highway signage. Mexico officially has many branches connecting to various interstate highways at the U.S. border.

Dawson City Town in Yukon, Canada

Dawson City, officially the Town of the City of Dawson, is a town in the Canadian territory of Yukon. It is inseparably linked to the Klondike Gold Rush (1896–99). Its population was 1,375 as of the 2016 census, making it the second largest town of Yukon.

Highway 99, also known as the Fraser Delta Thruway south of Vancouver, and the Sea to Sky Highway, the Squamish Highway, or Whistler Highway north of Vancouver, is the major north–south artery running through the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia from the U.S. border, up Howe Sound through the Sea to Sky Country to Lillooet, and connecting to Highway 97 just north of Cache Creek. The number of this highway is derived from the old U.S. Route 99, with which the highway originally connected. The highway currently connects with Interstate 5 at the international border.

Highway 97 is the longest continuously numbered route in the Canadian province of British Columbia, running 2,081 km (1,293 mi) from the Canada–United States border near Osoyoos in the south to the British Columbia/Yukon boundary in the north at Watson Lake, Yukon. The route takes its number from U.S. Route 97, with which it connects at the international border. The highway was initially designated '97' in 1953.

Stewart–Cassiar Highway Highway in British Columbia

The Stewart–Cassiar Highway, also known as the Dease Lake Highway and the Stikine Highway as well as the Terrace–Kitimat Highway from Kitimat to Terrace, is the northwesternmost highway in the Canadian province of British Columbia. A scenic route through some of the province's most isolated areas, the highway first gained designation as British Columbia Highway 37 in 1975. At that time, its southern terminus was at the community of New Hazelton on the BC Highway 16. In 1979, with the completion of a new bridge, the highway's Yellowhead junction was relocated to a point on Highway 16 just south of the site of Kitwanga. Highway 37 was then extended south to Kitimat in 1986, using a stretch of road that was previously designated Highway 25. At the north end, the highway briefly stretches into Yukon, becoming Yukon Highway 37.

Klondike Highway Highway in Skagway, Alaska, United States and Yukon Territory, Canada

The Klondike Highway is a highway that runs from the Alaska Panhandle through the province of British Columbia and the territory of Yukon in Canada, linking the coastal town of Skagway, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon. Its route somewhat parallels the route used by prospectors in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.

Dempster Highway Highway in Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories, Canada

The Dempster Highway, also referred to as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8, is a highway in Canada that connects the Klondike Highway in Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River delta. The highway crosses the Peel River and the Mackenzie Rivers using a combination of seasonal ferry service and ice bridges. Year-round road access from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk opened in November 2017 with the completion of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, creating the first all-weather road route, connecting to the Canadian road network with the Arctic Ocean, in Canada.

Haines Highway

The Haines Highway or Haines Cut-Off is a highway that connects Haines, Alaska, in the United States, with Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada, passing through the province of British Columbia. It follows the route of the old Dalton Trail from the port of Haines inland for about 180 km (110 mi) to Klukshu, Yukon, and then continues to Haines Junction. The highway is about 244 km (152 mi) long, of which 72 km (45 mi) is in Alaska.

Taylor Highway

The Taylor Highway is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska that extends 160 miles (258 km) from Tetlin Junction, about 11 miles (17 km) east of Tok on the Alaska Highway, to Eagle.

Elliott Highway Highway in Alaska

The Elliott Highway is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska that extends 152 miles (245 km) from Fox, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Fairbanks, to Manley Hot Springs. It was completed in 1959 and is part of Alaska Route 2.

Canol Road

The Canol Road was part of a project to build the Canol pipeline and a road from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, to Whitehorse, Yukon, during World War II. The pipeline no longer exists, but the 449 kilometres (279 mi) long Yukon portion of the road is maintained by the Yukon Government during summer months. The portion of the road that still exists in the NWT is called the Canol Heritage Trail. Both road and trail are incorporated into the Trans-Canada Trail.

The Mackenzie Highway is a Canadian highway in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. It begins as Alberta Highway 2 at Mile Zero in Grimshaw, Alberta. After the first 4.0 km (2.5 mi), it becomes Alberta Highway 35 for the balance of its length through Alberta and then becomes Northwest Territories Highway 1.

Denali Highway is a lightly traveled, mostly gravel highway in the U.S. state of Alaska. It leads from Paxson on the Richardson Highway to Cantwell on the Parks Highway. Opened in 1957, it was the first road access to Denali National Park. Since 1971, primary park access has been via the Parks Highway, which incorporated a section of the Denali Highway from Cantwell to the present-day park entrance. The Denali Highway is 135 miles (217 km) in length.

Interstate 70 (I-70) is a mainline route of the Interstate Highway System in the United States connecting Utah and Maryland. The Utah section runs east–west for approximately 232 miles (373 km) across the central part of the state. Richfield is the largest Utah city served by the freeway, which does not serve or connect any urban areas in the state. The freeway was built as part of a system of highways connecting Los Angeles and the northeastern United States. I-70 was the second attempt to connect southern California to the east coast of the United States via central Utah, the first being a failed attempt to construct a transcontinental railroad. Parts of that effort were re-used in the laying out of the route of I-70.

Arterial roads in Whitehorse, Yukon include:

Walter Muma is a Canadian man who is on record for completing a 3-month 11,500-mile (18,660 km) journey across Canada and Alaska by moped. The journey took place during the summer of 1978, began in Toronto, passed through Yukon and Alaska, continued up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and finally back to Toronto.

References

https://web.archive.org/web/20140202160411/http://www.topoftheworlds.com/the-top-of-the-world-highway/

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Top of the World Highway at Wikimedia Commons