Follow the first-ever highway to the Arctic Ocean

view of the all-season road to  Tuk

Follow the first-ever highway to the Arctic Ocean

Wanna take the road less travelled? Then start revving up. Canada's brand new all-season highway to the Arctic Ocean opened to the public on November 15, 2017.

The Inuvik-to-Tuk Highway is a milestone – the first road in history to reach the polar shore of North America. The highway stretches 140 kilometres from Inuvik, the hub of the Western Arctic, to the dynamic Inuvialuit community of Tuktoyaktuk on the wild Arctic coast.

Here's why to start planning your northernmost road-trip.

Inukshuk in Inuvik under a blue sky

Head north from Inuvik, population 3,403. This is the regional centre of the Mackenzie Delta, linked to the south via the epic Dempster Highway.

Aerial shot of Mackenzie River in the summer

View the East Channel of the Mackenzie River as it snakes its way northbound toward its mouth at the polar sea.

Bridge over the highway in the barrenlands with water in the distance on a summer day

Leave the northernmost reaches of the boreal forest, crossing the treeline into the wide-open tundra of the Barrenlands.

Migrating reindeer herd in Inuvik in the snow

Pass through the grazing range of Canada's only herd of domestic reindeer, tended and harvested in the region since the 1930s.

Aurora Northern Lights over the road

Glimpse the Aurora as it dances over the tundra, far from the glare of city lights.

aerial view of Inuvik-Tuk Highway on a summer day

Visit Pingo Canadian Landmark, on the west side of the road, with the world's largest cluster of ice-cored "pingo" hills.

Tuktoyaktuk welcome sign beside the highway

Roll into Tuktoyaktuk, population 935, the Northwest Territories' Inuvialuit cultural hub.

man wading into Arctic Ocean from Tuk with his arms spread out in excitment

... and when you reach the shore, treat yourself to a brief, brisk dip in the Arctic Ocean.

Congratulations – you've driven to the top of the world.

For more information on driving the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, check out this guide.

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