Dettah Ice Road is a cold highway in the Northwest Territories

Dettah Ice Road is located in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. This ice road connects Yellowknife and the small community of Dettah in the winter through the Great Slave Lake.

Dettah Ice Road

How long is the Dettah ice road?

The road is 6.4 km (3.97 miles) long, running across Yellowknife Bay on the Great Slave Lake. When the ice is 1 meter (42 inches) thick, it can support a truck fully loaded with over 40 metric tons (44 tons) of fuel.

Where does Dettah ice road start and end?

The road runs from Yellowknife, the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories, to Dettah. Non-essential travel is discouraged. Drivers are reminded that speed limits on the ice road are established to ensure public safety. It has to be rebuilt each year.

Is Dettah ice road open?

The road is open to vehicles weighing a maximum of 40,000kgs and may have rough sections. Please drive with caution and obey all posted signage. The winter road season is fleeting, running from late December to early April. While the road has historically opened in late December, the last years have seen the opening delayed to early January. The road was open for the longest period of time in 1995 and 1996, at 140 days; in 2017 and 2019, it was open for the fewest days, at 91. Remember it's illegal to drive on the ice road until it's officially open. In summers, the drive between both cities is 27km long via the Ingraham Trail, an all-weather track.

How long does it take to drive the Dettah ice road?

To drive the short and scenic drive across Yellowknife Bay without stopping will take most people between 15 and 20 minutes. The road features a vehicle pull-out approximately halfway along the ice road. Residents and tourists benefit from the pull-out by having the option of safely stopping to enjoy winter activities. Since the road is extremely wide, pulling onto the shoulder to snap photos and investigate bald patches of ice is easy. The ice road is a tourist draw, attracting visitors who want photos on one of the most readily accessible and stunning ice roads in the world.
Image credit: Depositphotos