The Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway provides access between the Northwest Territories communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. The 87-mile/140-km-long Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway/NWT 10 (also referred to as the ITH) provides a year-round overland connection between Inuvik, on the Mackenzie River, and the community of Tuktoyatuk (referred to locally as “Tuk”) on the Arctic Ocean. This all-weather 2-lane gravel road replaced the former winter ice road that connected the 2 communities when it opened in November 2017.
An all-season road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk was first proposed in the early 1960s, but construction did not begin until 2013. The bulk of the con- struction activities were planned for the winter months to preserve the permafrost. Additionally, a geotextile fabric was placed between the ground and construction materials along the entire highway. About half of the road is located on Inuvialuit Private Lands (IPL) and permission is required for hunting and other activities. The road travels through the grazing area of Canada’s only domestic reindeer herd, as well as wild caribou herds.
The ITH crosses more than 300 culverts and 8 bridges. Road grading is ongoing. Watch for steep drop-offs at the road edge. There are currently no campgrounds, day-use areas or any services on the highway outside of Inuvik and Tuk. There are 2 areas for overnight RV parking in Tuktoyaktuk: Tuk Souvenir Store and Campground (867-620- 2153), located on Beaufort Drive, and the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk’s camping area on the Arctic Ocean (867-977-2286).
Cell phone service is not available on some sections of the highway. Current road conditions are posted at www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway-Conditions.
It is approximately 95 miles/153 km from downtown Inuvik to the Arctic Ocean at Tuk. Field editor Judy Nadon drove up the ITH in about 3.5 hours, stopping for photos; her return trip was about 2.5 hours.
The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log
Miles from Inuvik (I) is shown.
I 0 Sign (in several languages) at Kilometerpost 0 reads: Welcome to Canada’s Highway to the Arctic Ocean. Speed limit 70 kmph/43 mph. Drive Safely.
I 21.7 Road passes through grazing range of Northwest Territories’ only herd of domestic reindeer.
I 83.8 Viewing platform for Pingo Canadian Landmark, a collection of 8 ice-cored hills, including the world’s second tallest—Ibyuk—at 49m/161 feet; interpretive signs. NOTE: Hiking to pingos is prohibited between May and September to preserve the tundra.
I 87 Entering TUKTOYAKTUK (pop. 935); limited visitor services, some amenities are seasonal. Tuktoyaktuk is one of the few places in Canada you can drive to and take a dip in the Arctic Ocean, if you are so inclined.