Top of the World Highway


Top of the World Highway

The Top of the World Highway, 105 kilometres (66 miles) long, connects West Dawson (across the Yukon River from Dawson City) in the Yukon Territory with the Alaska, USA border, and continues for another 13 miles in Alaska, where it then joins the Taylor Highway (Alaska Route 5). The highway existed at least as long ago as 1955, and possibly longer, as it was the only road access to Dawson City until completion of the Klondike Highway in late 1955 from Stewart Crossing. The highway is closed in winter, and is hard-surfaced with Bituminous Surface Treatment.

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 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, and residents living in West Dawson and nearby Sunnydale cross on the ice during the winter. A bridge is presently 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 only recently received improved phone service in 2004, but do not have a public electricity supply.

A 30 mile 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.

The border, known as Little Gold Creek in Canada and Poker Creek in the U.S., features one of the few jointly-built single building customs ports of entry along the Canada-U.S. border. There is presently 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 immense Alaskan Taylor Complex wildfire of 2004 burned up to the Canadian border and was visible from the westernmost portions of the highway.

ee also

* List of Yukon territorial highways

External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/bela/ Bering Land Bridge National preserve]
* [http://www.transglobalhighway.com Trans-Global Highway]
* [http://www.beringia.com/ Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre]


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