Saturday, February 27, 2016

Deadhorse ~ Prudhoe Bay ~ Arctic Ocean in Alaska

We visited the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay

We had 230 km (143 mi) ahead of us before we would reach the Arctic Ocean.  With all eyes watching for the wildlife of Alaska we had hoped to see, we set out on this dark day.

Misty morning on the Dalton Highway
We left Galbraith under heavy mist and clouds hanging on the mountaintops.  This does make for some dramatic photos at times, but thankfully we will be returning on this same road tomorrow so hopefully the weather will allow better photos.

Fireweed in Alaska
Fireweed is a perennial bloom that brightens up the roadside and fields on our travels throughout Alaska.  Fireweed is not the national flower for the state but many believe it should be, it is plentiful.  It grows very well after a fire has cleared away other vegetation, hence the name, and we did see many examples of that on our travels.  It is also a food with great benefits, used to make candies, syrups, jellies and ice cream in Alaska, as well.

A very flat tire
We made it to Deadhorse but had a flat tire as we arrived at our destination.  Thankfully, the ‘royal we’ did not have to change the tire roadside and was at a more convenient spot when this happened.  The mud on the truck is just part of the travels on these roads, made worse on wet days. 

We have arrived in Deadhorse
Deadhorse is the camp on the Prudhoe Bay for the oil industry.  It is private property, with limitations to the public but we signed up for a tour of the area so we could see the Arctic Sea.

Camp living at Prudhoe Bay, AK
The seasonal oil industry workers number anywhere from 3500 to 5000 and are housed in this kind of accommodations while they are there.  The airport is a busy place with lots of traffic bringing workers in and taking them home for their days off with shift changes.  

Fox, ducks and swans in Deadhorse camp
On our tour around Deadhorse, we saw several areas of marshy land and ponds that were home to different birds and lots of babies in the group.  One distant sighting was a fox family who had a keen eye on the shopping list that could possibly include some of those same birds for dinner.

Beach of the Arctic Ocean
Our tour driver was very familiar with the area and gave us lots of interesting info about Deadhorse but the most interesting of our tour to me was the fact we were on Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean.  Our only access to this is via the tour and worth taking the time for that.

Very brave swimmers
We had booked our tour for the following day but because we were in early enough, thought it worth trying to get an afternoon tour, there really is nothing else to do in Deadhorse if you’re not a worker!  The tours are not big groups and there was room for us to join the afternoon tour.  Some of the group were very brave and actually swam in the water, albeit brief swims.

We walk in the cold Arctic Ocean
We did it!  The water was cold, but not unbearable.  At least so that we could stand long enough for a photo to prove we dipped our feet in the Arctic Ocean.  This now adds to the growing list of oceans we’ve been fortunate to have “dipped our feet” in on our other travels.

Heading back down the Dalton Highway, click here to see the adventure on the return to Fairbanks trip,.


  1. Posting you and the Arctic Ocean on Facebook. xoxox

  2. Wow! Unbelievable. Sheila, I love your blog; we haven't travelled much and for sure will never make that trip so I must say I love your photos and comments. I never even knew of Prudhoe Bay.
    L Parent

    1. Thanks, L. I love to share our adventures and it is great knowing others enjoy them, too!



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