Ear Mountain

A view of Ear Mountain on a sunny day.
A view of Ear Mountain on a sunny day.

NPS Photo - Erin Meade

Winter changes the landscape of the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve into a seemingly unending
blanket of snow. Imagine trying to find your way through the vast winter tundra without any directional
markers. Even today, people living on the Seward Peninsula sometimes face just such a challenge.
Ear Mountain, one of the highest mountains on the peninsula, rises up from the ground as a prominent
landmark visible from both Shishmaref and Serpentine Hot Springs. Villagers from Shishmaref still use the
mountain as a marker on the trip to and from Serpentine Hot Springs. For hundreds of years, Ear Mountain
also doubled as a weather forecaster for people hunting seals on the ice off the coast. The clouds above
the mountain warned hunters about possible dangerous weather, giving them enough time to
make it off the ice before storms hit. Ear Mountain has been an important natural feature for generations
of people residing near the preserve.

Last updated: October 27, 2016

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