Alaska’s Dalton Highway offers 350 miles of do-it-yourself big-game access. Park your rig, glass a herd, and then hike into the wilderness with snow-capped mountains, rolling tree-less hills, vast tundra valleys, and rushing fish-filled rivers. Big game like caribou, moose, black bear and grizzly … bowhunting-only land for 3,500 square miles… Best of all, you don’t need an expensive air charter for access, since a gravel road winds right through the middle. The Dalton Highway corridor offers one of the nation’s most incredible wildlife adventures for hunters, fishermen, and campers. You can drive your vehicle (or rent one), take all your favorite gear, and then hike, camp, fish, and hunt just about anywhere.
A five-mile corridor on each side of the Dalton Highway (which follows the Alaska pipeline) is open to bowhunting only. Non-residents may harvest from one to five caribou, beginning every July 1. Despite liberal bag limits for residents, the Central Artic Caribou herd has grown from 7,000 to nearly 23,000 in recent years. Most streams contain hungry, scrappy arctic grayling, noted for its large, sailfish-like dorsal fin. Others species include northern pike, burbot, Arctic char, Dolly Varden, lake trout, and whitefish. King and chum salmon spawn north of the Yukon River.
If you’ve dreamed of an Alaska hunting adventure for caribou, this is the ticket. You can begin hunting in July through early August, when snow becomes a problem. The Dalton Highway is all gravel, yet well maintained to support pipe-line maintenance. You’ll see incredible landscapes with the ability to drive all the way to Prudhoe Bay. I spotted one bull caribou, made a stalk, and downed a trophy with a single shot. These resources may be helpful as you plan this trip: Alaska Fish and Game Regulations | Alaska Travel | David Lazer Tours | Joe Byers, outdoors writer