The Dalton Highway is the name for what was originally termed "The Haul Road" as it was constructed to haul equipment north for the construction of the Tran-Alaska Pipeline. The road is still a major supply route to Prudhoe Bay, Mile 0 for the pipeline.
The road passes through the goldfields in the Coldfoot/Wiseman area. Much of the land along the pipeline was closed to "mineral entry" or claim staking, but is open for casual mining. At the bottom of this page is a poor copy of the BLM handout listing these areas. A better copy will be posted when available. Please note that the area has many active mining claims, and all activity should be restricted to the sites listed.
The following is from BLM and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game:
Recreational Gold Panning:
What you can use: pan, pick, shovel, sluice box, rocker, metal detector. You can pan on any Federal stream segments along the Dalton highway south of Atigun Pass (mile 244) with the following exceptions:
No panning in the pipeline right-of-way (27 feet on either side of the pipeline).
No panning on Federal mining claims without the permission of the claimant.
For the latest information, visit the Yukon Crossing Visitor Contact Station or the Coldfoot Interagency Visitor Center.
From the Yukon River north, firearm hunting is prohibited within 5 miles on either side of the highway except by Federal subsistence hunters. Bow hunting is allowed within this 5 mile zone. The Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area is closed to hunting except that big game, small game, and fur animals may be taken by bow and arrow. No motorized vehicle, except aircraft, boats, and licensed highway vehicles may be used to transport game or hunters within the Management Area. Any hunter traveling on the Dalton Highway must stop at any check station operated by the department within the Management Area.
Seek more information before planning a hunting trip by contacting an Alaska Department of Fish and Game office for regulations and assistance.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
1300 College Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
The use of any motorized vehicle off the highway is prohibited within 5 miles on either side of the Dalton Highway without prior written authorization. This prohibition does not apply to off-road vehicles necessary for oil and gas exploration, development, production, or transportation or to a person who holds a mining claim in the vicinity of the highway, and who must use land within five miles of the right-of-way of the highway to gain access to their mining claim.
Here is a list of parking areas, access points, and facilities. In general, be aware that facilities are few and far between on the Dalton Highway. Bring everything with you that you may need, including tools and spare tires.
Small parking area and concrete boat launch to Kanuti River on east side of road.|
Arctic Circle Wayside||
Site is complete with a wayside, picnic tables, grills, restroom facilities, interpretive displays, and a campground.|
Wayside-Parking, toilet and scenic view.|
Day use campground area with restroom facilities and a boat launch area. Interpretation is planned.|
Parking and river access.|
A small turnout was identified as a potential site for interpretation of the archeology of the area.|
South Fork Koyukuk River||
Parking, unimproved boat launch at river crossing within highway ROW.|
Views of Brooks Range. Identified for improvements including a picnic area, restrooms, parking, and trails. |
Coldfoot/ Marion Creek Campground||
Amenities include a visitor center, restrooms, parking, campgrounds, and trailheads. Plans exist for interpretation.|
Offers views of community of Wiseman and Koyukuk River. Interpretation about community and mining history possible.|
Middle Fork Koyukuk Bridge #1||
Bridge No.1 with turnout. Dolly Varden, grayling, whitefish.|
Gold Creek Trailhead||
Established trails exist in area, parking and trailhead development at this site would improve access to the back country.|
Sukapak Mountain Overlook||
Small pulloff could be expanded. The BLM has identified two potential sites for photo and interpretive opportunities.|
Dietrich River Bridge||
Turnout to west at south end; burbot, grayling, whitefish and Dolly Varden.|
Served as a checkpoint during the development of the pipeline, interpretive opportunities exist, no scenic views.|
This site has been identified by the BLM as an interpretive site. Parking exists close by.|