Go north young man.
February 5, 2009 5:49 PM   Subscribe

How far north can I drive in Canada?

A friend and I are looking to go on a northward-bound road trip, looking to see the great white north. We'd be leaving from southern Ontario. What's the northernmost place we could realistically drive to?

After a bit of google mapping, I've discovered Flin Flon Manitoba and also Goose Bay, Newfoundland. Am I missing anything obvious?
posted by Newbornstranger to Travel & Transportation around Canada (16 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Why not Yellowknife?
posted by sunshinesky at 5:55 PM on February 5, 2009

You could take the Dempster Highway in the Yukon to Inuvik near the Arctic Ocean
posted by canoehead at 6:02 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can also drive to Cochrane ON and then take the Polar Bear Express train to Moosonee which is about the same latitude as Flin Flon. It's not driving per se, but you get there.
posted by GuyZero at 6:03 PM on February 5, 2009

Am I missing anything obvious?

I'm still wondering how you seemed to have missed the obvious Territories above the provinces you mentioned.
posted by sunshinesky at 6:04 PM on February 5, 2009 [3 favorites]

Drive the Dempster Highway from Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories? That's pretty far north (68 degrees). But first you'd have to go a long way west.
posted by Emanuel at 6:10 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to cross into the USA, you can drive to Deadhorse, Alaska, which is farther north than Inuvik (70 degrees 12 minutes).
posted by Flunkie at 6:28 PM on February 5, 2009

You can still drive to Tuktoyuktuk but only in winter. To reach Tuktoyaktuk you must drive on the Ice Road, which is the frozen Mackenzie River plowed to allow for vehicles to drive on it. The drive on this ice road from Inuvik is approximately 150 kms and takes up to 3 hours.

Now THAT is a road trip. take pictures and post!
posted by Country Dick Montana at 7:22 PM on February 5, 2009 [5 favorites]

Another interesting location is Chisasibi, QC, which is the only place you can drive to James Bay from the rest of North America (and the closest you can get to Hudson Bay.) You could even continue along the Route Transtaïga if you were feeling particularly devil-may-care. Here's a pretty detailed website about the James Bay Road and the Transtaiga.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:58 PM on February 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

In Ontario, Pickle Lake is where the paved roads end and the Northern Ontario Resource Trail begins. I really want to see that someday.
posted by avocet at 8:27 PM on February 5, 2009

From Johnny Assay's James Bay Road link: "It is paved for its entire 620km length, but there is only one gas station." Wow.

The Dempster Highway (up Tuktoyuktuk way) looks like a beautiful drive.
posted by Songdog at 8:35 PM on February 5, 2009

I strongly encourage taking me with you. For I would like to see these northern places. Yes.

There are ice roads that go fairly far north in Sask, which I've always wanted to go up. But now Chisasibi looks like a good road trip. Hm, hm.
posted by Casuistry at 8:50 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tips from hunters I know who go Caribou hunting:

- Take a 4x4 truck (a real 4x4 truck, not a Ford Escape).
- Take at least 2 extra cannisters of fuel.
- Bring lots of food with you, and some form of water purification system.
- Beware logging trucks, they hog the middle of the road and drive at ridiculous speeds.
- Bring lots of maps, and talk to locals about points of interest or areas to avoid.
- Bring a rifle.

Good luck, this sounds like an awesome road trip!!
posted by Vindaloo at 5:47 AM on February 6, 2009

I've been to Pickle Lake in Ontario. Unless you're going to go camping or fishing, which is awesome around there, you're not missing much.

In 1994 we drove as far north as there are summer roads to drive in Ontario, put in canoes and kept going north. I think the lake where the gravel roads ended was called Windigo Lake. There will definately be winter roads that go further north to service the native reservations up there.

Take survival equipment if you're going north in the winter.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 7:38 AM on February 6, 2009

Take survival equipment if you're going north in the winter.

Absolutely. If your vehicle breaks down in winter you will probably die.
posted by chugg at 8:53 AM on February 6, 2009

If you want to go NORTH by car you have to head west. Pickle Lake?? Is that even as far north as Edmonton?

As noted, Inuvik. West. Not Ontario, for Christ's sake.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:49 PM on February 6, 2009

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