NEWTON PEAK, 5 miles NNE of Nome.

  • Refer to geological survey map Nome C-1.

  • Difficulty: Very easy and relatively safe, even for little kids, though you do gain 500 feet elevation. The spaces are wide open.

  • On a clear day, you have a great view of Nome to the south, the mountains to the north. Distance: about 3 miles round trip.

Drive north on the Teller Road from Nome. As the main road curves to the left, turn right onto the narrow cutoff to the right, labeled "Nome Dexter Bypass." About three miles later, you’ll crest in the saddle between Anvil Mountain and Newton Peak. Near the crest, turn onto a small road to the left. This is the road to Anvil Rock, and you’ll need to park so as to allow other vehicles to pass.

Cross the main road and hike due east up the slope, to the saddle between North Newton Peak and Newton Peak. Proceed south about ½ mile to the very top, where the FAA has a cone-shaped radio repeater. You’ll want to keep kids away from the western edge of the top, which has a steep 300-foot dropoff.

Newton gives you a terrific view of the Nome River valley and the Kigluaik Mountains to the north. Ten miles to the east, you’ll see the long, 600-foot high Cape Nome along the coast. In 1859, a British sailor recorded "C. Name?" alongside this feature on a nautical map, and the notation was mistaken by a royal cartographer as "Cape Nome," giving Nome its name. East beyond Cape Nome you may see what appears to be an island in the extreme distance. That’s Cape Darby, a mountainous hillside about eighty miles away, not too far from the villages of Golovin and White Mountain, which are checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail. Retrace your steps. 

By:Tom Busch