Prudhoe Bay is an oil field on the Arctic Coast of Alaska. With the entire coast leased to oil companies the only way for civilians to access the ocean is through an organized tour. This marks the starting point of the TransAlaska Pipeline and the Dalton Highway which parallels the pipeline. Deadhorse, an unincorporated town south of the bay, primarily houses oil field service companies and field workers. Ambitious tourists with the desire to reach the Arctic find themselves amidst a jumble of industrial chaos.


People: With workers constantly cycling in and out of the town “regulars” get accustomed to helping out the lost souls wandering around Deadhorse. From the time we deboarded our plane to biking out of town everyone we came across was more than willing to help us find our way. This included three unsolicited rides as we walked around town preparing for the trip.


Accommodations: The Arctic Caribou Inn was probably the least hotel for the most money possible in this hemisphere.  The room measured a sparse 12 by 15 feet plus small washroom.  The highlight was either the view of the trailer next door or the 12” TV (which did have cable!).  Their monopoly is tenuous however as there are now two competing hotels in Deadhorse so expect prices to go down.


Attractions: Touching the Arctic Ocean is the highlight of a half day oilfield tour.  Aside from that the wildlife on the tundra to the south will probably be of more interest to you than the assorted industrial complexes around town.

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Founded: March 12, 1968

Population:No permanent residents

Location:  70° 18′ N, 148° 43′ W

Altitude: 30ft (9m)


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The Dalton Highway

Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse), AK, USA