We continued our ascent to Atigun
Pass (4643 ft.) a high mountain pass
across the Brooks Range. It is the only
pass in the Brooks Range that is
crossed by a road (the Dalton
Atigun Pass is the northernmost pass
in the world that is kept open
year-round and the highest year-round
pass in Alaska.
As we approached the highest point on the Dalton Highway, we saw this
sign identifying the farthest north spruce tree on the Alaskan pipeline.
Sadly, someone killed the tree by "ringing" it--taking off the bark in a
complete circle around the tree to kill the tree.
From here north to the Arctic, the terrain is all tundra.
Below, Caribou grazing on the hillside.
We were very pleased to have
a close encounter with a
group of Ptarmigan, the state
bird of Alaska. This bird turns
white in winter and brown in
summer. It has feathers on its
legs to protect it from the cold
Keeping the pass open.
Just over the pass, on the North Slope, we encountered a group of Dall sheep grazing through the snow.
Wildlife on the Dalton