The Safety Sound roadhouse still opens in summer to offer travelers shelter from the rain or a cool beverage to wash down the dust. It’s closed the rest of the year except for several weeks in March, when it serves as the final checkpoint for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The Safety Bridge is a good vantage point to watch changing tides and the movement of large and small fish and their predators. Scan for the bobbing heads of seals attracted by the summer fish runs. They are most likely young spotted seals, which remain in coastal waters for the summer rather than follow the ice edge north. Salmon enter through the channel during certain light, tide, and wind conditions. Birds feed on escaping salmon smolt or arriving capelin and herring. They include large numbers of eiders, scoters, gulls, kittiwakes, and terns. Look for herring eggs near the lagoon entrance among the mounds of eel grass that wash up along the beach in spring. On the lagoon side, shorebirds and gulls collect on the extensive mud flats at low tide. Take time to search for rare species that mix with the large numbers of common species.
- Nome, AK Driving Directions