The Top of the World Highway is one of the most scenic drives you will ever take. Connecting Dawson City, Yukon to Tok, Alaska this winding road highway will take you through mountains ranges and offer a truly breathtaking drive. The Top of the World Highway is 301km long and crosses a the Little Gold/Poker Creek Boarder Crossing from the Yukon to Alaska, which is the most northern international border crossing in all of North America. It only takes a few minutes to leave Dawson City and realize where the name of the highway comes from.
This remote northern highway will allow you to find relics of the gold rush abandoned on the side of the road and throughout towns.
What To See Along the Top of the World Highway
Gold Rush History
The abandoned Cowden dredge located 3km east of Chicken down a 4.5km woodland trail begining at Mile marker 68.3 along the highway. There is also the Pedro Dredge right in the town of Chicken that hosts guided tours daily during the summer season.
Viewpoints Along the Highway
There are so many pulloffs along the highway that give you those breathtaking views you can see along the highway. Spend some time to pull over and take in the view.
Services & Amenities
Being a remote northern highway, the Top of the World Highway has long distances between services including fuel, food and accommodation. Fuel, food and accommodation are only available in Dawson City, Chicken and Tok. The drive between Dawson City and Tok are 300 km and roughly seven hours depending on the conditions of the road.
Poker Creek Boarder Crossing
The Poker Creek Boarding Crossing along with the Top of the World Highway is open May to mid-September and will close upon first snowfall. For exact dates of opening and closing call the information centre in Dawson City at 1-867-993-5566. The northernmost international border crossing in North America and also the one at the highest elevator at 1,258m is open seven days a week and operates 8:00am – 8:00pm Alaska Standard Time Zone.
What to Expect While Driving The Top of the World Highway
The winding highway provides with seemingly never ending views of the mountains way off in the distance (hence the name Top of the World Highway). For much of the 127 km between Dawson City and junction with the Taylor Highway the Top of the World Highway climbs along high points of a series of ridges far above the treeline. The highway was originally paved (chipsealed) in the late 1990’s, the chipseal has not been maintained and as of 2013 half of it is now gravel. The Canadian side of the highway is much smoother and allows for you to move at the speed limit up until about 10 miles after the US border crossing where it turns to gravel. The Top of the World Highway has several steep drops on the Canadian side and provides breath taking views at the top of each hill. Once crossed into the USA the roads turn into more narrow and winding mountain roads that will force you to go slow but there is often little traffic and you can take your time.
There is only one official campground on the Top of the World Highway which is right at the beginning of the highway at the ferry crossing in West Dawson. Although there is only one official spot to camp there are many large parking areas where you can pull over and park overnight. The next accommodation spot in Chicken, the coolest little town in Alaska!
Make sure to take the time to experience those seemingly never ending views of the mountains way off in the distance, pull over and take a photo and just take in the view. This is a once in a lifetime drive you will never forget!