Nome Beach

When you walk along the beaches of Nome between the Bering Sea and Front Street, it’s hard to imagine this place was once covered in tents, stretching for 30 miles up and down the coast.

Gold fever brought thousands here, eager to discover nuggets in the nearby creeks. Thousands more came when gold dust was discovered mixed in with beach sands, forever coloring this place as a golden wonder where you could get rich overnight. Many staked their entire life savings on this promise,

This beach has seen dramatic fall storms hurtle chunks of ice into the city and wipe out man-made structures. The seawall here, which extends about a third of a mile, was built to protect the city from such storms.

In late fall, you can see the tide come in like a slushy, as the water turns to ice. The ocean then transforms into pack ice, creating an icy, snowy vista that encases the city for months on end. Here you can watch dog teams swiftly mushing along the ice and snow, planes landing, and crab fisherman snowmachining out to check their pots. After the holidays, you can see the “Nome National Forest” sprout up off-shore. (This is where the locals “plant” their Christmas trees in January).

When the ice breaks up in late May, birds flock in, and beach sands are gradually revealed. In summer Nome-ites explore the beach for driftwood and sea glass (to make jewelry and art), build bonfires (especially on West Beach), and watch the amazing sunset over the Bering Sea.

The gold that originally brought the world to Nome is still here, in smaller quantities. Just off-shore on both West and East ends of the beach, recreational gold miners dredge the glittery sands under the waters of Norton Sound.

Getting There

Latitude: 64.49677
Longitude: -165.405262
Driving Directions