Visitors to Nome are encouraged to get a view of the city from on high, and the best place to do that is from the summit of Anvil Mountain, where you can also check out the White Alice Communication Towers and Anvil Rock. The trek uphill is also a popular activity for the alpine flowers and wildlife you can see along the way.
In the summer, runners conquer the mountain during two very different races:
Anvil Mountain Run
Starting from downtown Nome at 8 a.m., runners follow paved roads and then a gravel road up Anvil Mountain to the top. Runners call out their names when passing checkpoints, a sort of informal check-in that illustrates the small-town feel of the race. Once at the top, racers free-style down the face of the mountain however they choose: “as the crow flies” might require zigzagging through shale and hopping through wet boggy areas before making it back onto gravel trails. The 17k journey ends back where it started. If runners come in after 10 a.m., they’ll need to zigzag again – this time past spectators who are lining the street to take in Nome’s 4th of July Parade. Finishers get a certificate. Winners in three categories get trophies.
Anvil Mountain 59 minute, 37 second challenge
In 1994, Nome resident Leo Rasmussen set out to convince his daughter that one could get to the top of Anvil Mountain and back. His time that day was 59 minutes and 37 seconds. As a highly active community member, Rasmussen decided to organize an annual race, challenging participants to meet or better his time. That’s how the “Anvil Mountain 59 minute, 37 second challenge” was born. Starting at an elevation of 300 feet at the bottom of the Anvil Mountain access road, racers climb up 800 feet in just a mile and a half. More than twenty years after Rasmussen’s inaugural run, the record time is less than half of his original pace – coming in at just under 22 minutes.