The Miocene Ditch, completed in 1904, snaking along the hills on the west side of the Nome River Valley at a slight grade, carried water from the hills to the gold fields close to Nome for hydraulic mining. This 1,000-foot long flume was the longest siphon in the system.

  • Refer to geological survey map Nome C-1.

  • Difficulty: Easy. You gain about 200 feet elevation. Some of the walking may be swampy, depending upon the year.

  • Distance: About 3 miles round trip.

Drive the Glacier Creek Road to Grub Gulch, about 15 air miles due north of Nome, approx. 64° 44’ 15" N., 165° 23’ W. The gulch will not be marked. From Nome, after a ¾-mile downhill, the road cuts right to cross a creek, and bends sharply left again, with a little 50-foot knob of a hill to the right.

Follow the little trail leading up the knob, and park. Ensure that the grass in the area is not touching the muffler of your vehicle. Vehicles have burned when this has happened.

Hike due east. There’s an old cat trail, if you can find it. Depending upon the year, there may be a lot of brush, which you will want to avoid as much as possible. This is low country, so make lots of noise to alert any large animals to your presence.

As the upward slope lessens, aim slightly to your right, and just to the east of the top of the saddle, you should see the remains of the flume below you. It may only be visible as a line of brush. In addition to the flume, you will have a nice view of about ten miles of Nome River valley. You will plainly see the Kougarok road, which hugs the lower flanks of the hills on the valley’s east side.

There’s a broad, grassy area to the north, which you will want to avoid. Most of the time it’s very wet. Retrace your steps to the vehicle.