"Rolling Tundra" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Bering Land Bridge

Guide

brochure Bering Land Bridge - Guide
Bering Land Bridge Offcial Visitor’s Guide National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Superintendent’s Welcome Dear Friends, A Bridge to the Past, Present & Future COMPRISED OF 2.7 MILLION acres on the Seward Peninsula in northwest Alaska, Bering Land Bridge (BELA) is one of the nation’s most remote national park units. Because of this, it ofers unparalleled opportunities to not only experience some of America’s most isolated wildlands, but also the rich heritage of Alaskan Native cultures, past and present. Visitors to the preserve will fnd themselves in the midst of natural hot springs, ancient lava fows, and the largest maar lakes in the world in a land still used by local residents in the same way their ancestors have used it for generations. Bering Land Bridge was established as a National Preserve on December 2, 1980. This designation enables the land to be federally protected, but also utilized for public hunting, gathering, trapping, fshing, and subsistence use. With a coastline just 55 miles from Siberia, it is the westernmost national park unit in the continental United States. 1 The preserve protects a signifcant expanse of land remaining from the prehistoric “land bridge,” also known as Beringia, which spanned from modern-day Asia to North America over 12,000 years ago. The bridge was up to 1,000 miles wide, and was a land mass that allowed for the exchange of human, fora, and fauna populations between continents. As the climate warmed at the end of the last ice age, sea levels rose and the land mass was closed of, separating the continents. Today, evidence of ice age species and prehistoric human settlements can be found in the preserve. There are no roads into Bering Land Bridge, so travel opportunities can be limited. The most common access is by snowmobile, small airplane, boat, or on foot. With a growing body of information about North American natural history and indigenous cultures, the preserve ofers valuable opportunities for visitors to understand and explore the vast wildlands of northwest Alaska. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA TM Welcome to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, a little known park unit with a huge story! The preserve, which is just smaller than the state of Connecticut, lies at the heart of continental crossroads that profoundly infuenced the distribution of life in the Western Hemisphere. The park headquarters are in Nome, a rural community of 3,600 residents, which is known for its gold rush history, Alaska Native cultures, and as the end of the famous Iditarod sled dog race. The preserve is a place where the rich variety of wildlife, fsh, and plants have sustained the indigenous people of the region for thousands of years, and where subsistence is essential to the economic, cultural, and social existence of the region’s people. The villages of Shishmaref, Wales and Deering are located right outside the preserve boundary; residents consider the preserve part of their backyard. The story of Beringia and that of the park is near and dear to my heart, not only because my ancestors crossed this land bridge, but also because my grandmother was originally from Russia, and I have relatives who still live in the Chukotka region. I am honored to be the superintendent of a park that has played a unique role in the history of the Americas. I encourage you to browse our website, utilize this visitor guide, and to contact us for more information. Igamsiqanaghhalek- Thank you very much! Jeanette Koelsch Superintendent, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve 2 Navigate 3 Getting There Safety & 6 Backcountry Responsibilities 16 Subsistence 4 Prehistory 7 Bear Safety 18 Youth Perspectives 5 Plants and Wildlife 11 Reindeer Herding 19 More Information 13 Maar Lakes 17 Shishmaref 10 8 Chukchi Sea Coast Serpentine Hot Springs 16 14 Wales Imuruk Lake Imuruk 15 Lava Beds Lake 12Kuzitrin 19 Nome Park Headquarters Visitor Center Getting Around 3 A herd of reindeer crosses the beach in front of a bush plane The list below provides the contact information for commercial use operators, which offer aircraft transportation services into Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Commercial Use Operators AIR TAXI Air Juneau, Inc. PO Box 1846 Kenai AK 99611 907-252-7888 sheila@airjuneau.com www.huntandfshalaska.net Fox Aircrafts, LLC 6049Hart Lake Loop Wasilla AK Golden Eagle Outftters, Inc. PO Box 692 Delta Junction AK Arctic Backcountry Flying, LLC Northwestern Aviation, Inc. PO Box 924 Kotzebue AK Arctic Wild PO Box 80562 Fairbanks 99654 907-301-2770 stevefox180@yahoo.com www.foxaircraft.com 99737 907-388-2225 trips@alaskawildernessexpeditions.com www.alaskawildernessexpeditions.com 99752 907-442-3200 bruce.tweto@hageland.com www.fyera.com PO Box 1010 Kotzebue AK 99752 907-442-3525 Jimkincaid0@gmail.com www.alaskaonyourown.com AK 99708 907-479-8203 Sally@wildarctic.com www.wildarctic.com BIG GAME TRANSPORT Air Juneau, Inc. PO Box 1846 Kenai AK 99611 907-252-7888 sheila@airjuneau.com www.huntandfshalaska.net Golden Eagle Outftters, Inc. PO Box 692 Delta Junction Northwestern Aviation, Inc. PO Box 1010 Kotzebue AK 99737 907-388-2225 trips@alaskawildernessexpeditions.com www.alaskawildernessexpeditions.com AK 99752 907-442-3525 Jimkincaid0@gmail.com www.alaskaonyourown.com BIG GAME GUIDE Wittrock Outfters PO Box 61210 Fairbanks AK 99706 Back 907-322-9841 noainc@mosquitonet.com http://www.wittrockoutftters.com/ 4 Prehistory In BriefWHAT MAY APPEAR TODAY TO BE AN immense landscape of fat tundra, lava felds, rolling mountains, oxbow rivers, and shallow lakes was once the sole terrestrial passage between Asia and the Americas. With seawater frozen up into colossal glaciers, the ocean foor was exposed for thousands of years, long enough for plants, animals, and even humans to move back and forth between the continents. The Last Ice Age This time period is also known as the Pleistocene epoch, which lasted from about 2 million to 10,000 years ago. It was a time of extreme climatic change, where prehistoric hippopotamuses lived in a subtropical England, and humans crossed the Bering Land Bridge alongside now-extinct sabertoothed cats and American lions. Other ice age mammals that are known to have roamed this land include woolly mammoths, giant short-faced bears, and steppe bison. From cave art and fossil remains, we know that early humans observed and interacted with these creatures. Muskox and caribou were around during this time period as well. Muskox did go locally extinct in some areas, but they survived in other places. A small herd was brought over from Greenland to Nunivak Island in southwestern Alaska in the 1930s, and in the 1970s their descendents were reintroduced to the Seward Peninsula. Today the population has expanded its range into Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. It is believed there was no single cause for the ultimate extinction of so many ice age species, but natural The yellow area indicates the extent of the land mass that made up the 1,000 mile wide Bering Land Bridge Back Mamm found oth verteb ra in 201 2 climate change is one known factor. As the climate warmed, glaciers melted and the sea level rose, cutting of access to Asia and changing the available resources that so many species relied on for survival. Although some human populations were migrating via boat along the coast by then, in many ways the two worlds were severed. Today, climate change continues to cause sea levels to rise, further submerging the ancient land bridge. As the global temperature warms, sea ice has a harder time forming each season and staying frozen, so it melts into the oceans, which causes a domino efect (or feedback loop) of continuous melting and warming. Plants and Wildlife 5 Wild Iris Muskox Northern Pintails Plants Wildlife Due to its vast nature, it is possible to stay for days out in the backcountry of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and never see a large mammal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Brown bears, muskox, fox, caribou, moose, wolves, and wolverines all make their homes in the preserve, as well as a wide variety of other small mammals, insects, and arachnids. Visit the animals page on our website for more info! Far from the barren landscape it might appear to be, in summertime the tundra is vibrant with color and plant life, home to over 300 species of vascular plants, including wildfowers, berries, small trees, and shrubs. There are also several hundred more mosses, fungi, and lichens that survive year round. Check out the plants page on our website for more info about common species you’ll fnd in Bering Land Bridge. Hunting, fshing, and trapping Birds At the crossroads of the AsiaticNorth American Flyway, over 170 bird species are known to migrate up to 20,000 miles every year to spend the summer in Bering Land Bridge. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and seabirds as well as Asiatic species, sandhill cranes, ptarmigan, and tundra swans nesting in the preserve. Download a full checklist here. Because Bering Land Bridge is designated as a National Preserve, sport hunting and fshing are permitted with proper required state-issued licenses and permits. • Bag and possession limits vary by species and by area, so always check current hunting regulations. • Alaska State Regulations: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildliferegulations.main • Alaska Fish and Game: http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/ • Please keep in mind that some areas within the preserve are private land. Do not enter private land without the landowner’s permission. Back 6 Backcountry Safety Best Practices • • • • For ALL trips, pack at least 3 days of extra food (especially if you are fying in). Rapid, unexpected weather changes may prevent you from getting out of the backcountry. Be prepared for extremely variable weather, by packing rain gear and multiple clothing layers all times of year. Temperatures can range from 90o to -40oF depending on the season. Always bring a well-stocked medical kit. Anywhere in the preserve, you are over 80 miles from the nearest hospital and 540 miles from Anchorage, the nearest major medical facility. Under optimal conditions, expect a minimum 4 hour wait for any emergency medical assistance. Leave an itinerary with someone who is not on your trip and ensure someone knows where you are at all times. Leave No Trace 1. Plan ahead and prepare. • • • Due to its remote location, there is no cellphone service anywhere in the preserve. It’s advisable to bring a satellite phone, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), or other satellite tracking device. Call us at (907) 443-2522! Even though there are no backcountry permits required for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, you are welcome to contact park staf just to let us know you’re there. Tell us about current conditions, what you’re doing, the name of your pilot and plane tail number, and any other information you want to relay. Wildlife safety is of utmost importance. Make a lot of noise so as not to surprise bears or other large wildlife; bring several cans of bear spray; use bear proof containers for food and toiletries; and cook and store food at least 100 feet away from camp. Know the regulations where you’re going; prepare for extreme weather; travel in small groups; use a map, compass, and GPS. 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. These include established trails, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow; camp at least 200ft. from water sources; walk single fle on established trails and keep your campsite small. 3. Dispose of waste properly. Pack it in, pack it out. Deposit human waste 6-8in. deep and at least 200ft. from water, camps, and trails. Use biodegradable soap at least 200ft. from water for any sort of cleaning activity, and disperse any wastewater. 4. Leave what you fnd. Examine what you fnd, but leave it be. Avoid building structures, altering the landscape, or transporting invasive species. Leave natural and man-made objects where you fnd them. 5. Minimize campfre impacts. Use a lightweight stove for cooking, and a lantern for light. Keep fres small, put them out completely, and disperse cool ashes. 6. Respect wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance and do not approach or feed them. Control your own pets, and protect wildlife by storing food and trash properly. 7. Be considerate of other visitors. Respect other visitors by yielding to other trail users, camping away from others, and being quiet so as to enjoy nature’s sounds. Respect private inholdings and allotments. Well-prepared backpackers can enjoy the beautiful wildness of the preserve Back Bear Safety 7 Brown Bear Know what to do • • In Brief BROWN BEARS WILL NOT TYPICALLY • attack, but the key is to avoid surprising the bear, approaching it, or appearing as a threat. To get to see a bear on the tundra is an incredible opportunity, so enjoy, value, and respect the animal from a distance (at least 100 yards), and your experience in the backcountry will be truly rewarding. Know the Signs • • • • • Large piles of scat Bear tracks Claw marks Tufts of fur Large, dug-up areas • Animal trails of cleared brush Be prepared • • • • • Keep ALL food, toiletries, and cosmetics in bear-resistant food containers (BRFC). Prepare and consume food, clean your cookware, and store your BRFCs at least 100 yards away from your tent and equipment. Know how to use bear spray, and keep it handy at all times. Be visible and make noise. Sing loudly, clap, make whatever sounds you can, or call out “hey bear!” frequently. Travel in groups of at least 2 people, if not more. In the backcountry, there is safety in numbers. • Bear spray demonstration Be aware • • • • Scan the landscape periodically. Check the horizons for any signs of large wildlife moving around in the distance over hilltops, ridges, or tundra. Be especially vigilant around streams, lakes, and other water sources. Autumn is a time when bears fatten up for the winter; they also camoufage better against the brown tundra, so be extra watchful. Spend as little time as possible in places that could put you in impassable situations with wildlife, such as dense vegetation. Back • If you encounter a bear, give it as much space as possible and stay far away from it. If a bear approaches you, speak calmly but loudly to it and make yourself appear larger by waving your arms or holding your pack over your head. Stand your ground. Defensive behavior includes huffng, snorting, jawpopping, or charging. If you see this, stand your ground! Talk calmly and loudly, move slowly away, make yourself appear larger, and be ready to use your bear spray. If a bear charges at you, now is the time to use your bear spray (as long as you’re upwind -- otherwise you risk spraying yourself!). Continue to stand your ground. Most charges do not end in contact. In the unlikely event that contact is made by a brown bear, play dead. Lie face down on the ground with your hands covering your neck and legs spread apart so the bear cannot turn you over. Do not move until the bear is gone, or unless it begins attacking vigorously. If it does begin to feed on you, fght back for your life. 8 Serpentine Hot Springs “Iyat” In BriefS ERPENTINE Hot Springs is one of the most visited areas in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. With a gravel airstrip, hot springs piped in to an enclosed bathhouse, and a bunkhouse open year round, Serpentine ofers an accessible way to experience the unique and remote wildness of this region. Frequented by travelers and locals alike, Serpentine is a place of both cultural importance and geological signifcance. Visitors come to Hot Springs Valley to observe wildlife, bathe, relax, and hike among the extraordinary granite spires, also known as “tors,” which tower over the landscape. The Inupiaq Things to Know: • • • • • The water temperature in the hot spring outside of the bathhouse can reach a dangerous 170o F. Use the bathhouse for bathing and soaking instead. The water from the river contains high levels of coliform bacteria, so be sure to boil or flter it before consuming. Leave the spigots running inside the bathhouse at all times, as turning them off would cause the tub to dry up and shrink, resulting in structural damage. Serpentine Hot Springs is protected as a cultural resource and should be treated with respect as such. Please observe “Leave No Trace” ethics as much as possible, and leave Serpentine Hot Springs cleaner than it was when you arrived! word for Serpentine Hot Springs Springs is Iyat, which means “cooking pot” or “a site for cooking,” and with one step into this steamy oasis, you can easily see how it got its name. For centuries the hot springs have been recognized as a place of spiritual healing and tradition, a quality that continues to be valued and respected by all who visit. Serpentine has something diferent to ofer every season. In summer, mild temperatures provide ideal weather for hiking through the tundra. In fall, the slopes are teeming with wild berries and ablaze with brilliant colors. In winter, the bathhouse ofers a steamy escape from the frigid conditions outside. And in spring, the land is transformed into a rainbow of wildfowers. Features SECONDLY TO THE HOT SPRING, the large granite spires, known as tors, are one of Serpentine’s most unique features. Created through volcanic forces causing magma to cool into soft granite underground, erosion slowly scoured away the softer layers and left hard granite monoliths exposed on towering ridgelines. Wildlife including raptors, songbirds, brown bears, caribou, muskox, red fox, beavers, and moose can be sighted by the watchful eye. Hundreds of species of plants, mosses, lichens, and fungi are also found here. Water is fed into the bathhouse from the natural spring outside. Back Serpentine Hot Springs “Iyat” 9 How to get there: Summer/Fall: Located approximately 30 miles from the end of the Kougarok Road, Serpentine can be accessed via aircraft, by hiking, or by non-motorized vehicle. Private planes or fights chartered through authorized air taxies are permitted. Serpentine Hot Springs has something to offer all who visit Winter/Spring: When there is adequate snow cover, Serpentine may be accessed by plane with proper skis or by snowmobile. If traveling from Nome by snowmobile, visitors should be prepared to make a two day trip each way. The Bunkhouse: • The building is a barracks-like structure divided into 3 rooms that sleep about 12 people. First come, frst served. • The two living areas each contain: - Six bunks with thin mattresses (bring your own sleeping bag) - A large kitchen table with benches - A 3-burner Coleman stove (bring your own stove fuel) - A heat stove (bring your own oil or wood) - Cookware, dishes, kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies The middle room of the bunkhouse is used to store gear, frewood, tools, cleaning supplies, water flters, and other miscellaneous items. • • Camping is relatively unrestricted, with no formal campsites or developed water, power, or sanitation facilities (bring a good tent, water flter, and extra food). Geographic Coordinates: 65.8569N, 164.7142W Inside the bunkhouse • There is an outhouse approximately 100 feet west of the bunkhouse, near the air strip. • The bathhouse covers a redwood tub used for soaking. • The tub is fed directly from the hot spring and the cold stream outside, and spigots can be adjusted to control the temperature in the tub. • Some non-perishable emergency supplies may be available, so please leave these for others in need. • Recycling is available for aluminum cans in the bunkhouse, but please pack out any other trash you accumulate during your stay. Back The bunkhouse Web Exclusive Check out Serpentine Hot Springs on Youtube! http://youtu.be/JXAGodqRR2c 10 Chukchi Sea Coast Things to Know: • Coastal wetlands • In BriefTHE NORTHWESTERN COAST OF THE Seward Peninsula is one of the lesser-visited areas of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, and marks the westernmost region of any National Park unit in the continental United States. Carved out by seasonal freezing and thawing, the landscape is a patchwork of icewedge polygons and thaw lakes along the Chukchi Sea. Although people have been known to inhabit the area over the last several centuries, evidence of many of these sites has been lost in the erosion that prevails along the shoreline. Features CHANGES TO THE LANDSCAPE over time can easily be seen in the erosion that is slowly eating away at the tall blufs. On the higher part of the shoreline, archaeological sites are being surveyed to understand the impacts of this erosion, how much has been lost, and how much can be preserved. Evidence of human activity from the Arctic Small Tool tradition (about 2,250 BC) to more recent times in the last several hundred years has been found along the coast. These sites represent an invaluable link to our cultural and natural history, and to the heritage of modern Inupiaq communities. For this reason, it is vital to leave features, artifacts, and the environment as you fnd them so others may enjoy the same experience of discovery. Archaeological sites are protected by law and those who damage them are subject to fnes. In the summer, the coastal region is fragrant with the salty sea breeze and the zest of Labrador tea on the tundra. The Chukchi coast is an ideal place to observe the crossroads of the Asiatic-North American Flyway, the migratory route of birds that pass between the continents every spring and fall. Here you have the opportunity to see both North American and Asiatic species as they stop over on their epic journeys. In addition, one of the few remaining active reindeer herds on the Seward Peninsula is managed from the village of Wales along the western coastline. Herds can occasionally be seen throughout the tundra or on the beaches of the Chukchi Sea. Keep an eye out when you’re fying over or hiking in this region. Back • • Because of its location between the coast and the tundra, Ikpek can be incredibly windy. Be prepared with proper, durable gear and equipment Historical sites or artifacts are present along the coast, but please take only pictures, as it is illegal to alter, destroy, or remove archaeological and historic resources. There is limited freshwater, although some natural springs can be found on the coastal tundra. Water should always be fltered or boiled before consuming. Respect the local subsistence users who frequent the area for hunting and gathering, as this land plays an important role in the lives of many on the Seward Peninsula. In addition, there are many private inholdings and allotments along the coast, so please be respectful of private land. Short-eared Owl Chukchi Sea Coast 11 Reindeer herd on the beach Reindeer How to get there: Summer/Fall: Most parts of the Chukchi coastline can be accessed by boat or by bush plane. Landings can be made on the beach in areas clear of driftwood. Winter/Spring : Accessible by snowmobile or plane with snow skis. Geographic Coordinates: 65.9044444N, 167.0847222W REINDEER WERE FIRST BROUGHT to the Seward Peninsula in 1892, and Inupiaq communities were trained to herd them through apprenticeship programs that combined missionary education with vocational and English language training. By the early 1900s, herding became increasingly popular. With a total population of around 640,000 reindeer, the 1930s represented the period of greatest abundance in the herding industry. In 1937 the federal Reindeer Act was passed, which outlawed herding by nonNatives and improved the benefts to local Inupiaq communities. During the 1960s, the popularity of reindeer herding had diminished, and most herds were privately owned by families in villages on the Seward Peninsula. Resting caribou Back Today, all reindeer in western Alaska are managed by only a handful of herders, and herds on the Seward Peninsula can occasionally be seen on the tundra, the beach, or grazing in the coastal areas of the preserve. The preserve even has a special mandate allowing for herders to graze their reindeer on land within its boundaries. Caribou and reindeer are the same species, as they have the same scientifc name (Rangifer tarandus). However, the term “reindeer” identifes domestically managed populations, while caribou are free ranging and migratory. 12 Kuzitrin and the Twin Calderas Kuzitrin Lake and ancient stone structure Things to Know: • • • • Exercise caution when hiking on lava fows and the calderas, as there are large spaces between rocks and open pits that could be a falling hazard. Abundant lichens cover hidden holes. Respect the archaeological sites in this area and leave them undisturbed for the enjoyment of others. Freshwater from Kuzitrin Lake should be fltered or boiled before consuming, as it may contain harmful levels of bacteria. Be aware of wildlife in the area – Kuzitrin is home to wolves, brown bears, fox, moose, and caribou – exercise extreme caution by making a lot of noise when hiking. In BriefSITUATED IN THE SOUTHEASTERN region of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Kuzitrin Lake is known for its prehistory and geology. In addition to the beautiful lake at the foot of the mountain range, Kuzitrin boasts the Twin Calderas, a pair of inactive cauldron-like volcanic features. Preliminary research suggests that the man-made stone features in the area may date back to over 4,000 years ago, possibly used for caribou drives and hunting blinds. Features WITH EXTENSIVE LAVA FIELDS to the north and the Bendeleben Mountains to the south, Kuzitrin Lake is nestled in a strikingly beautiful region of the preserve. The Twin Calderas are situated about 1.3 miles from the western end of the lake, and hardened lava fows extend across the soft tundra. Although the calderas are now inactive, they were originally formed by the emptying of underground magma chambers in a violent eruption. The Twin Calderas For centuries, this area has been used by local populations for subsistence purposes. The ground is littered with caribou remains, and ancient herding drive lines can be identifed along the slope down to the lake. Artifacts and features may be encountered in this area; please respect the resources and leave Back How to get there: Summer/Fall: About 90 miles northeast of Nome, Kuzitrin is accessible by foat plane landing in the lake, by non-motorized vehicle, or by foot. Winter/Spring: Accessible by snowmobile or plane with snow skis. Geographic Coordinates: 65.385278N, 163.215278W them as you fnd them for others to enjoy, and for scientifc study. Archaeological sites are protected by law and those who damage them subject to fnes. In additon, if these are moved, the evidence can become contaminated or the original location of the artifacts can be lost or disturbed, efectively destroying any opportunity to piece together the past. Maar Lakes In BriefTHEY MAY SOUND LIKE THEY’RE FROM a diferent planet, but maars are in fact broad, low-relief volcanic craters from violent eruptions created by groundwater coming into contact with hot magma. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is the site of the largest maars in the world. Like most maars, these are flled with water, creating lakes. The largest of all are the Devil Mountain Lakes, an unusual double crater formation in the northern portion of the preserve. Features THE RECORD-BREAKING SIZES of the maar lakes in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve can be attributed to the permafrost layer on the Seward Peninsula. This creates an especially violent eruption when it comes in contact with magma. These range in size from 13,000-26,000 feet in diameter and can be nearly 1,000 feet deep. Although some maars erupted as far back as 200,000 years ago, the Devil Mountain Lakes are among the youngest maars in Alaska, created about 20,000 years ago during the last ice age. The North and South Killeak Maars are the second and third largest, respectively, followed by the Whitefsh Maar; together, these are known to be the northernmost maars in the world. If you stand at the water’s edge in the Devil Mountain Maar, you’ll be surrounded by 15-story high bedrock clif walls that were generated by the blast. Can you imagine the natural power it must have taken to create such an embankment? As you explore these unfathomable features, know that you are one of the fortunate few who have ever ventured to this wild and powerful land. Devil Mountain Maars Back 13 How to get there: Summer/Fall: The maar lakes are accessible by foat plane landing in the lakes, by non-motorized vehicle, or by foot. The Devil Mountain Maars are about 130 miles from Nome. Winter/Spring: Accessible by snowmobile. Geographic Coordinates: 66.394722N, 164.488333W North Killeak Maar 14 Imuruk Lake How to get there: Summer/Fall: Approximately 100 miles northeast of Nome, and about 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Imuruk Lake can be accessed in the summer by foat plane landing in the lake, by nonmotorized vehicle, or by foot. Winter/Spring: Accessible by snowmobile or plane with snow skis. Geographic Coordinates: 65.5977N, 163.2005 W In BriefTHE IMURUK LAKE AREA ENCOMPASSES about 1,100 acres of the southeast region of the preserve. In addition to brown bears, moose, wolves, and fox, wolverines can also be found around Imuruk Lake, as well as small mammals such as muskrats, arctic ground squirrels, shrews, and lemmings. Evidence of human activity from as far back as 6,000 years ago has been uncovered nearby as well. Features IMURUK LAKE IS ABOUT EIGHT miles long and no more than 10 feet deep, with surrounding rolling hills ranging in altitude from about 150-1,800 feet. Located just north of the Benedeleben mountain range, granite and metamorphic rocks make up the larger hills. The surrounding vegetation is typical of the tundra, and includes willows, alders, dwarf birch, and cotton grass tussocks. Fossil evidence of prehistoric mammals has been found as well. Woolly mammoths, steppe bison, and horses, as well as ancient plant matter in the older sediments of Imuruk Lake, have revealed some of the prehistoric past of Bering Land Bridge. More recently, Alaska Native populations inhabited the Imuruk Lake area up until about 1850, using it for caribou hunting and other subsistence activities. In the early 1900s it was also used for some gold mining. Today it is enjoyed by locals and outside visitors for hunting and recreational purposes. Kayak paddles found near Imuruk Lake Imuruk Lake Back Imuruk Lava Beds 15 Things to Know: • • Lava fows cover over 100,000 acres in the preserve In BriefTHE VOLCANIC BASALT FIELDS OF THE preserve are the result of eruptions from about 75 vents (small volcanic cones) in the region. Covering more than 100,000 acres, the lava felds provide an opportunity to watch vegetation recapture a landscape that has been totally devastated by harsh natural processes. The largest vent is the Lost Jim Cone, which is relatively recent in geological history, formed less than 2,000 years ago. • Planes cannot land on the lava fows – landings should be made on the nearby tundra or on Imuruk Lake, with the the lava felds accessed by foot. Make sure to have durable footwear, as the lava beds are sharp and can tear up most materials. Exercise caution when hiking across lava beds. There are often large gaps between boulders that can present falling hazards. Features ALTHOUGH THE MOST RECENT Lava formations How to get there: Summer/Fall: Accessible by bush plane, foat plane to land on the lake, on foot, or by nonmotorized vehicle. Winter/Spring: Accessible by snowmobile or plane with snow sk

also available

National Parks
USFS NW