|a l a s k a j o u r n e y . c o m|
Location/Size: 100 miles north of Nome, 50 air miles from Kotzebue. Northwest coast of the Seward Peninsula. 2.78 million acres (94 percent federal).
Main Activities: Camping, hiking, backpacking, coastal kayaking, historic observation.
Gateway Towns/Getting There: Nome/scheduled air service from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Monument access via charter air or coastal boat in summer; via snowmobile, dogsled, or skis in winter.
Facilities, Camping, Lodging: Visitor center in Nome. Six public-use shelters or cabins, bunkhouse at Serpentine Hot Springs; primitive camping elsewhere.
Headquarters and Information: Headquarters, P.O. Box 220, 240 Front Street, Nome, AK 99762, 443-2522, www.nps.gov/bela.
During the last and previous ice ages, the lowering sea level exposed much of the Bering seafloor, creating a land now known as Beringia. A remnant of this "land bridge" to Asia is preserved in the monument, where researchers study native history, flora, and fauna. The main attractions for the visitor are birding, wildlife observation, and access to the coastlands and lagoons. Musk ox and reindeer are found here, as are grizzlies, moose, wolves, wolverines, foxes, and smaller species. Many of the Seward Peninsulas 170 bird species are found within the monument.
Serpentine Hot Springs concentrates monument visitors. Located north of Taylor within the parks southern boundary, there is primitive camping and a bunkhouse that sleeps about 11, with additional floor space for sleeping bags. Expensive charter flights serve the springs from Kotzebue, and perhaps again from Nome. Its also possible to ride or hike to Taylor from the end of the Kougarok Road (Taylor Highway), and then hike an additional 8 miles to the springs.