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questions about short summer visit

questions about short summer visit

Old Jan 6, 14, 1:24 pm
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questions about short summer visit

5-6 day visit (I know, not enough, but you work with what you have).

We're thinking of Nome (just because) and Kotzebue (specifically to see the 24-hour midnight sun).

Suggestions? This won't be a hiking/backpacking/camping/cycling/kayaking trip. Time (length and time of year) preclude serious in-depth exploration (and we're OK with that). We have a modest budget (the idea of slipping over to Russia from Nome 'just because' is cool, but not for the price).

The real downside I see to the Nome/Kotzebue idea is that there's no direct flights between both places, so we'll burn up 6 hours going through ANC.

Suggestions?
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Old Jan 6, 14, 5:19 pm
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Not sure when you are going but there are direct flights between Nome and Kotzebue. Best to go to Kotzebue first then to Nome if you are using Alaska Air. It is an evening flight from OTZ to OME.

Gardyloo will certainly chime in, since he is a huge fan of visiting those places. I have been to quite a few smaller, remote towns in Alaska but not either of these.
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Old Jan 6, 14, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
5
The real downside I see to the Nome/Kotzebue idea is that there's no direct flights between both places, so we'll burn up 6 hours going through ANC.

Suggestions?
Yes there is, but in reverse. AS 153 flies daily ANC-OTZ-OME-ANC, so you just visit Kotzebue first, then Nome, then back to ANC, all on the same flight (but presumably different days.)
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Old Jan 6, 14, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Yes there is, but in reverse. AS 153 flies daily ANC-OTZ-OME-ANC, so you just visit Kotzebue first, then Nome, then back to ANC, all on the same flight (but presumably different days.)
Excellent!

I thought I'd read one of your older posts mentioning a direct flight between the two places, but when I couldn't find the flights on AS, I assumed they'd been dropped. The ones I found connected via ANC.

We'll go to OTZ first, primary (only, at this moment) reason is so my sister can actually witness the 'sun dip', full 24 hours of daylight (I've been lucky enough to see it before, but it is pretty cool).

Any particular suggestions for either place (sights, activities, lodging, eats)? Walking/easy hiking, seashore, wildlife, museums?

(Second quick visit to Alaska, we're both really looking forward to it. Went last February, saw the Northern Lights and Denali shed her clouds to smile at us, we fell in love with AK, just that vacay time is wholly inadequate).
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Old Jan 6, 14, 10:38 pm
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Kotzebue - NANA regional corporation built a new Nullagvik Hotel about two or so years ago. It is located on Shore Avenue, overlooking Kotzebue Sound and offers fine views. It has a restaurant though I can't say how it is as I have not eaten there. I toured the hotel the day it opened - it's quite nice. There are also a few B&Bs in town. There is no longer a museum in town but the National Park Service has a visitor center with decent displays and a small bookstore (located near the airport). The Kotzebue Clinic has some nice displays of cultural items in wall cases.

Not all that much to do - can walk around town I suppose. If people are out at their camps along the banks of the sound you may have an interesting walk and be able to learn a bit about subsistence activities. If you are interested and have the funds to do so, you could charter an overflight of areas to the north, such as Cape Krusenstern. There are several local charter operators.

Kotz has a few restaurants - nothing great but some ok. In addition to the hotel restaurant, there is the Bayside (also on Shore Avenue) which has free wifi. A few others too. Haven't been there in two or so years so not sure of current eateries.


Nome - I don't know the status of hotels these days. Probably best to check tripadvisor. My personal favorite for eateries is Airport Pizza. The Carrie McLain Museum is a good place to visit for local history. Unlike Kotzebue, Nome has roads! You could rent a car or truck and drive out to points like Salmon Lake (N), Teller (W) or Council (E). The road out towards Council takes you to the "train to nowhere." Sometimes there are opportunities to see musk oxen in the environs of Nome. Pilgrim Hot Springs is located on a side road from the road to Salmon Lake. Roads out of town are gravel and getting flats is not unheard of so that may be a deciding factor.

Sorry to babble on! Hope it's of some help.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
We'll go to OTZ first, primary (only, at this moment) reason is so my sister can actually witness the 'sun dip', full 24 hours of daylight (I've been lucky enough to see it before, but it is pretty cool).

Any particular suggestions for either place (sights, activities, lodging, eats)? Walking/easy hiking, seashore, wildlife, museums?
You don't mention dates... Note that Kotzebue is only slightly above the Arctic Circle, and has 24 hours of sun only from June 3 through July 7th. Any date either side of that and the sun dips into the Arctic Ocean for at least a short time each night.

Speaking of other sights... If Nome isn't too high up on your priority list there is a pretty wild option if flying is something you enjoy. Fly Alaska Air into Kotzebue, spend a night, and then fly Hageland from Kotzebue to Point Hope, spend 10-15 minutes on the ground and head for Barrow. There will be a stop on the way, but it might be any of Point Lay, Wainwright, or Atqasuk. The flight literally takes all day. I'm not sure what they are flying now, but it is probably a Beach 99 (twin prop, 9 pasengers).

You can also go in the opposite direction, from Barrow to Kotzebue. Either way is about $420 one way. So it would cost significantly more that just the Kotzebue/Nome triangle, but wow is that a ride! If you managed to plan it just right it isn't impossible to have a two day stay in Wainwright either. Not exactly a five star hotel, but there is a hotel.

Putting Barrow on the route extends the time when there is 24 hours of sunlight from May 10th through August 2nd. Putting Point Hope and Wainwright on the schedule means you get at least a short look at a vastly different world. The planes probably do fly at 10,000 feet, but you can see a lot more than from a jet, plus of course as they land you get a great look at life in Bush Alaska (if nothing else, just look at the other passengers!).
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Old Jan 8, 14, 8:23 am
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Thank you! This is exactly the kind of information we're looking for!
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