Alaska's haul road

| November 01, 2006

PRUDHOE BAY: Home to Few, Home to Many
After riding for hours through the unpopulated, treeless tundra of Alaska’s North Slope – everything between the Brooks Range and the Arctic Ocean – you would be inclined to agree with the 2000 census. It says Prudhoe Bay, terminus of the Haul Road, has one household. Population: 5.

In reality, the nation’s biggest oil field has far more people. Thousands of temporary workers live for days or weeks at a time year-around in Prudhoe Bay or in Deadhorse, the adjoining settlement with an airport, lodging, general store and other commercial facilities.

The area also draws tourists, curious about the area in general or about the Northern Lights, the Arctic Ocean or the vast tundra. Some are on two-day rides via bus or airplane.

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