Teller Highway
Wildlife Viewing

Group of muskox
Muskox in defense. Photo by T. Kohler

Officially named the Bob Blodgett Nome-Teller Memorial Highway, this road is generally referred to as the Teller Highway. Though gravel, the road is well-maintained and runs 72 miles northwest from Nome to the Inupiat village of Teller, located at the base of the sand spit that divides Port Clarence from Grantley Harbor.

Traversing rolling upland tundra meadows with many creek and river crossings, the road skirts the western flank of the rugged, glacier-carved Kigluaik Mountains. In good weather this road offers stunning views of these mountains, also called the “Kigs” or “Sawtooths.” The Bering Sea is to the west of the highway route. On particularly clear days you can see King Island, 40 miles offshore.

The road leads through some of the country’s earliest gold mining areas and ends at the only Native village on the summer road system. Gas service in Teller is unreliable so be sure to leave Nome with a full tank. There are several village stores where you may purchase a few food items and local crafts.

Some Tips for the Road

  • Safety: Please don’t park on bridges. If you wish to view from a bridge, look for wide shoulders or a gravel pull-out for safe and easy parking.
  • Binoculars: As with all the roads in the region, it is difficult to identify specific viewing locations for wildlife – particularly grizzlies, moose, muskoxen and reindeer, wide-ranging animals that can be found in a number of habitats. While you may be treated to a close encounter, you will greatly enhance your viewing opportunities by carrying binoculars and stopping to scan the surrounding countryside, especially in areas where there is a mix of habitat types.
  • Orientation: The mileages listed are measured from the nearest green and white highway mileage markers generally placed at one mile intervals along the road. Some are missing, however, and the distance between them is not always exactly a mile, but they remain the best point of reference.