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Top of the World Highway

topofworldkmkevThe remote Top of the World Highway connects Klondike Loop from Dawson City and the Taylor Highway linking Chicken, Eagle and the Alaska Highway. The 65-mile Top of the World Highway is a winding, sometimes narrow road with frequent surface breaks, potholes, washboard and little to no shoulder.

Wet weather can make the surface slippery and you must be mindful of soft shoulders, the absence of guardrails and the necessity of traveling slowly. Plan for at least 3-4 hours between Dawson City and Chicken, Alaska (109 miles) and another 1.5 hours from Chicken to the Alaska Highway/Tetlin Junction.

topofworldmotorcyclisttkevTwo factors make this route particularly unique: You may only use it if U.S. Poker Creek Creek and Canada Little Gold Creek customs stations are open and the George Black ferry across the Yukon River is operating, and both the ferry and customs depend on the weather. When winter weather creeps in, the Top of the World Highway closes because it is unmaintained for snow. And when the Yukon River begins to accumulate ice, the ferry ceases operation. Either of these events thereby closes this route from freeze-up in late September or early October until spring break-up is complete some time in May.

Do your homework before setting out for this route and this river crossing, call ahead (867-993-5566) or look online to ensure that the river and road have opened or that they remain open (snow has closed this road in September). Click here to see dates that the river has opened and closed in the past, online. For example, in 2013 the ferry didn’t begin to operate until May 24th.

(Go to “George Black Ferry” feature to learn more)

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The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log
Miles from Dawson City (D) shown.

D 0 Ferry landing for free George Black ferry to cross Yukon River at Dawson City.
D 0.2 Yukon River government campground opposite Yukon River from Dawson City.
D 8.9 Double-ended turnout to large rest area.
D 54.2 Rest area adjacent an original supply and stopping place for the McCormick Transportation Co.
D 62.5 Gravel turnout to south with information sign about Top of the World Highway viewpoint.
D 64.7 Double-ended rest area to south with view of customs building. Highest point on highway (elev. 1,376 m/4,515 ft).
D 65.7 U.S.-Canada Border, U.S. Poker Creek/Canada Little Gold Creek Customs. The joint facility opened in 2001-2002. Road is gated after hours, open only summer, daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pacific time on the Canadian side and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Alaska time on the U.S. side.