Colorful summer scenery in the mountains
Mushing a team of sled dogs in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
Taking in the sunset over Safety Sound
Preserving Alaska salmon using traditional Inupiaq techniques
Viewing the abandoned locomotives known as “The Last Train to Nowhere”
Umiaks on display in Anvil City Square
Musk oxen grazing in the grasslands
A geothermal pool at Pilgrim Hot Springs
The deserted Swanberg Gold Dredge
- Major Airports:
- Ted Stevens Anchorage (ANC)
A remote destination with captivating landscapes and history
Explore Dramatic Landscapes
Nome’s arctic environment provides a prime opportunity to traverse unique terrain and view diverse wildlife. Use the road system to take unforgettable scenic drives that wind through vast tundras, mountains and coastal plains. You’re likely to see reindeer grazing along the Nome-Teller Highway, as well as extraordinary wildflowers in the summer. Known locally as the Kougarok Road, the Nome-Taylor Highway passes old mining claims among hilltops and is a favorite for spotting musk oxen along the route. Make a side trip to Pilgrim Hot Springs, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters, or stop at Salmon Lake for a picnic lunch. For a seaside journey, head east on the Nome-Council Highway, which follows the Norton Sound coastline. You’ll travel past sandy beaches where you can beachcomb, and excellent bird-watching areas like Safety Sound and the Bonanza Channel.
Since long before gold was found, this area has been home to ancient and Indigenous peoples, including those that crossed the former Bering Landing Bridge from Siberia to North America more than 10,000 years ago. The remote Bering Land Bridge National Preserve lies about 160 kilometers north of Nome and isn’t accessible by car, but the visitor center is located in Nome. Stop in to view the exhibits and interactive map about the region’s natural history. The Katirvik Cultural Center serves to educate visitors about the traditions and history of the Inupiaq, Central Yup’ik and St. Lawrence Island Yupik peoples through displays, events and other programs. For a historical and contemporary look at Nome and the region, the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum features artifacts, photos and exhibits. And if you want to visit in the winter, plan your trip around the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March. Nome is the finish line for the famous canine-human competition that commemorates the events of winter 1925, when Nome experienced a diphtheria outbreak and a relay of dog-sled teams delivered the necessary life-saving medicine from Anchorage. These days, you can cheer on the finishers and partake in competitions, parties and special events.
Ghosts of the Gold Rush
The last big gold rush in the American West started in 1898, when the precious metal was found in Anvil Creek. In Nome and beyond there are remaining artifacts of the Alaska gold rush everywhere, including abandoned dredges, turn-of-the-century steam engines and old mining claims. At Anvil City Square, you’ll find life-size bronze statues of the “Three Lucky Swedes” who made that first discovery. There’s also a giant, 5.5-meter-tall gold pan that some say is the largest in the world. Both make for a fun photo op. Walking distance from town, get a look at the deserted Swanberg Dredge machinery that once sifted through the sand in search of nuggets. And farther east along the Nome-Council Highway is the site of three rusty steam locomotives – the remains of an abandoned project to build a rail system on the peninsula – fittingly called “The Last Train to Nowhere.” You can check out the viewing platforms and interpretive signs.
The gold rush of the late 1890s in Nome inspired the John Wayne movie “North to Alaska.”
Photo: Travel Alaska, Michael DeYoung
Nome is home to Alaska’s oldest newspaper, The Nome Nugget, which was established in 1897.
Photo: Travel Alaska