SINUK RIVER

SINUK RIVER HEADWATERS, hike to 2754.

  • Refer to geological survey map Nome D-1.

  • Difficulty: Moderate. You gain 2,000 feet of elevation. At your destination, there are steep dropoffs. Since this hike takes you almost four miles off the road, be sure to follow the precautions listed at the top of this publication. On this hike, you get a bit of everything: whacking through willows, stream crossings, boggy tundra, high, rocky tundra and loose, scrabbly rock.

  • Distance: About 7 miles round trip.

  • Requires two river crossings.

  • Go on a clear day. Like the "Thrilling Kigluaik View," this is a view hike.

Park your vehicle about Mile 26 of the Kougarok Road, around 64° 52’ 55" N, 165° 14’ 30" W. For the safety of others, ensure that your parked vehicle is well visible from both directions.

Hike westerly from the road and cross the Nome River, which is only a mile from its origin to the north.

Two miles ahead of you is a broad saddle. Aim toward the north side, about a hundred feet of elevation up the hill, so as to avoid the low area to your south, which is swampy. Get above the brush and out in the open.

After a mile, you’ll drop down to Buffalo Creek, and take care crossing this stream, which can be tricky.

Proceed up to the broad knoll 1015, admiring the view north up the Buffalo Creek notch as you go, and proceed directly to the top of 2754. The hill is cleft by Hudson Creek: Hike up the eastern of the two shoulders.

At the top, you’ll enjoy a sweeping view of the Sinuk River headwaters valley stretching below you to the north, with peak of Mount Osborn 7 miles away.

You’ll notice that Tigaraha Mountain is mislabeled on the geological survey map: this dark, fanged mountain is 3 miles away, across and up the valley, to your NW. To the SW, enjoy the broad, braided Sinuk River as it meanders west to the Bering Sea.

Just for fun, take the hill’s southwest shoulder down. Don’t descend as far as the swamp, and enjoy stepping across the many bubbling threads of playful Hudson Creek at the thousand-foot level. Retrace your steps to the 1015 knoll, and then back to the road. 

By:Tom Busch