Things to Do in Winter in Nome, Alaska

The winter season in Nome is a fascinating time of year. Though the road system closes for the winter on October 30th every year, our unique sub-arctic landscape offers endless miles of treeless wilderness to explore.

Nome offers many activities and events to our winter visitors including:

The Annual Fireman’s Carnival

A fundraiser for our volunteer fire department, a much anticipated event by local residents. Held every year at the Nome Recreation Center on the first Saturday of December.

The Iron Dog Snowmachine Race

Nome is the halfway point for the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race. The race begins in Wasilla, Alaska, and ends in Fairbanks. Racers travel almost 2,000 miles through some of the most rugged wilderness in the world. There is a halfway point banquet in Nome which is held by the Iron Dog committee every year. For more information visit www.irondograce.org

Iditarod Sled Dog Race

The world famous Iditarod Race finishes on Front Street in Nome every year in March. Nome hosts two weeks of festivities to celebrate this incredible race including: the Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic, a Pool Tournament, a Dart Tournament, the Lonnie O’Connor Iditarod Basketball Tournament, the Nome-Golovin Snowmachine Race, an art show and craft fair, and so many more events for visitors and locals alike to enjoy! Nome becomes the “Mardi Gras of the North” during the Iditarod, and we encourage you to join the party!. The Iditarod ceremonial start is on the first Saturday of every March in Anchorage, Alaska, the official start is the following day in Wasilla, Alaska. www.iditarod.com

Watch a local snow machine race

There are two major snow machine races held in Nome. The Nome-Golovin Snowmachine race is held on the second Saturday of March. Racers compete for the fastest time from Nome to Golovin, and back to Nome. The Cannonball Run Snowmachine race is held in April.

Cross Country Ski

Nome, especially in the warmer winter months of March and April, is a cross country skiers paradise. Our treeless terrain offers miles and miles of pristine wilderness, in combination with long sunny days in April, and frequent viewing of Musk Ox, Reindeer, and occasionally Moose, guarantees a cross country skiing trip you’ll never forget.

See the Northern Lights

On occasion during the months of November – March, mother nature blesses us with a show of her own. The Aurora Borealis is viewable from just outside of the city lights, about 1 mile. Typically, green and white are the only colors we see here, we do occasionally see other colors including red and purple. Regardless of color, the show is always spectacular, this natural phenomenon is awe inspiring.

Norton Sound King Crab

Highly sought after Norton Sound King Crab is available commercially at our local seafood store Norton Sound Seafood Products for a fraction what others pay not only in the lower 48, but elsewhere in the state of Alaska. Norton Sound Seafood Products can also package and ship, please inquire at (907) 443-2304. Pulled almost daily from the icy waters of the Norton Sound by local crabbers, King Crab is also occasionally available at the Polar Café 443-5191. For the adventurous visitor, you can inquire about catching a ride with a local crabber to check his pots on the frozen Norton Sound, inquire at the Nome Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Shopping

Nome offers some of the most incredible shopping for Alaskan Native art in the state. Many well known artists are from the Norton Sound Region, and shops in Nome usually offer their wares for less than other places in the state. Artists can sell directly to the shops, and cut out the middle man, making the price less for the item, and giving more to the artist themselves. In addition to Alaskan Native art there are many local painters, potters, and more whose creations are available at our local shops, as well as authentic Russian goods. If you are lucky enough to be in Nome during an art show or craft fair, you can buy directly from the many local artists and crafters.