You can fly into Nome all year round, and your experience there will vary greatly depending on the time of year you visit.
In summer, the Nome road system is accessible, so you can foray onto the tundra, find a good fishing spot, visit small villages and explore historic sites by car. Wildlife abound, especially muskoxen, and hiking around the city is easy and affords great views of the Bering Sea. You could even try panning for gold in the creeks or simply watch the miners use off-shore dredges in their search for gold under the waters of Norton Sound.
Toward fall, the berries come out, the tundra looks like it’s on fire, Beluga whale chase tomcod down the Norton Sound, and the Bering Sea begins to freeze up, offering slushy waves and frozen seastars on the beach.
Winter is the domain of the sled dog, the “iron dog,” of ice hockey, indoor basketball, and of course, the Iditarod. Known locally as the “Mardi Gras of the North,” Iditarod season is bursting with celebrations, contests and the main event: the epic finish of the 1,049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
Spring offers excellent birding, especially once the roads open up again, as well as hiking and picturesque views of the pack ice breaking up. Days are longer and warmer, with locals out and about in t-shirts and mud boots, playing in the puddles and Bering Sea break-up as late as 11 pm.
If you visit during the birding season or Iditarod, be sure to plan your accommodations well beforehand (at least a year in advance for the Iditarod).
No matter when you go, you’ll find friendly locals who can give you advice for getting the most out of your visit. For more information, contact the Nome Visitors Center.
|Spotting for Beluga Whales||X|
|Berries||X (August)||X (September)|
|Iditarod Events||X (March)|
|Exploring Nome's Road System||X (Late May)||X||X (September)|
|Hiking||X (Late May)||X||X (Early October)|