Drive this frosty freeway to the north

The slippery seasonal highway to the village of Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories is open for business, and you have until the weather warms, usually around March, to take a ride on this ice highway. The rest of the year this road defrosts into the Mackenzie River Delta, meaning the 870 residents of this isolated village can only reliably reach the outside world by air. A plan to build a non-weather dependent, full-time highway is in the works, but construction has yet to commence. Bundle up and check out this frosty freeway below.

The ice road to Tuktoyaktuk is a winter time extension of the Depster Highway, the sole year-round highway in Canada’s Arctic Circle. Image by Ra McGuire

If you want to make the 121-mile trek, be sure your car has a good heater. The daily temperature here rarely dips into positive numbers during the winter months. Image by Ian Mackenzie

Tires leave tracks on ice just like on any other road, except these will melt away in a few months. Image by Ian Mackenzie

If this road looks familiar it could be because it is frequently featured on the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers.” Image by Ian Mackenzie

Mother Nature isn’t always the best civil engineer. While ice thickness averages eight feet, disconcerting cracks and visible thinness can plague the road. Image by Ian Mackenzie

The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road is one of the more dangerous in the world and becomes increasingly more so as spring approaches. Image by Ian Mackenzie

If you wait until summer you can take a boat or airplane to Tuktoyaktuk. The only alternative in winter to driving is to travel by air, and only then if weather permits. Image by Pony Coach

Walking or driving on thinning ice is not recommended, as you’re a very long way from reliable roadside assistance. Image by Pony Coach