Information for Pilots

Serpentine Hot Springs is located in the Serpentine Valley of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. No roads lead into the preserve from the surrounding communities. Access to Serpentine Hot Springs can be done by small airplane in the summer and winter months.

Serpentine Valley is primarily wet tundra with low growing shrubs along the Serpentine River. High winds, frequent turbulence, and changing weather conditions are common here. The pilot is responsible for providing adequate supplies.

Serpentine Airstrip Location

65 X 51.118 N 164 X 42.177 W

Physical Description

  • Length 1,100 feet
  • Elevation 460 feet
  • Significant grade up valley
  • Surface:
    • Soft/gravel/mud
    • Ruts and ditches may be present both lateral and perpendicular
  • Unlit windsock

What to expect

  • Landing strip is open to the public
  • No fee is required
  • Runway is unattended and no services are provided by the park service
  • Recommend day Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations only
  • Tie down anchors for 2 planes are located near the airstrip

Charts

Use Nome Sectional Aeronautical Chart

Communications

  • Phone services are not available from Serpentine Hot Springs
  • Nome is the nearest RCO at 122.5 MHz
  • Communication frequency suggested CTAF is 122.9 MHz

Climate and Weather

The preserve is located in a harsh and unpredictable environment. The climate of the Seward Peninsula and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve shows both maritime and continental influences.

Summer
Summer temperatures on the coast are usually in the low 50s°F. with mid-60°F to 70°F and an occasional 80°F or 90°F in the interior. Summer is the wettest period, with perhaps 3-4 inches of precipitation occurring on average.

Severe weather conditions can occur in summer, with below-freezing temperatures, snow, and long periods of cloudy, windy, and rainy weather. These weather patterns can cause delays in ground and air transportation, making it sometimes difficult, time consuming, and costly to plan an expedition.

Winter
Average January lows are -15°F on the coast and -50°F in the interior. During the winter, snowfall averages 50-60 inches per year. Although this is a relatively small total, windy conditions can cause extensive drifting in some areas while keeping others nearly bare.

Winds are moderate to strong year-round but are strongest during winter. Winds average 8-12 mph, but 50-70 mph gusts occur frequently. Winter winds are predominately from the east.

Lakes and Ponds

Inland lakes and ponds thaw at varying times according to their depth, location, and exposure to winds. Many lakes that serve as important floatplane access points may not thaw until early July.

Where to obtain weather information?

Weather information can be obtained by calling toll free to Fairbanks FSS at 1-(800) WX-BRIEF. Local weather may be obtained through the Nome and Kotzebue National Weather Services as well as Shishmaref, Wales, and other villages surrounding the preserve.

The preserve encourages pilots to obtain weather information before entering the preserve. The local weather changes may become severe weather conditions at a moment’s notice.

Recommendations

Bering Land Bridge National Preserve recommends that you file a flight plan with the FAA and the National Park Service. This important information will be used to assess current conditions of the runway for maintenance needs and to assist other pilots.

Other Airstrip

Quartz Creek is the nearest maintained gravel landing strip outside the preserve, with a 20 minute flight time south of the Serpentine runway. Road access is a 2 hour drive from Nome and may be useful if you need to make several trips to transport all personnel and cargo.

Last updated: April 28, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 220

Nome , AK 99762

Phone:

800 471-2352
Due to the pandemic, most of our employees are working from home with limited office hours, we are unable to answer our phones on a regular basis, but are checking voicemail two times a week. Please leave a detailed message with your name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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