Unalakleet, Norton Sound

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Unalakleet, Norton Sound

by | Jun 13, 2020

Unalakleet is an Iñupiat community on Norton Sound, at the mouth of the Unalakleet River, 145 miles (234 km) southeast of Nome and 36 miles (58 km) south-southeast of Shaktoolik, Alaska. The native name for Unalakleet was spelled “Ounalaklik” in 1850 by Lieutenant L.A. Zagoskin of the Imperial Russian Navy. The village is the terminus of a long used winter route from Anvik on the Yukon, that is now used as part of the Iditarod Trail.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual event held in early March that travels 1000 miles (1600 km) from Willow to Nome, Alaska, with a ceremonial start in Anchorage. The trail runs up Rainy Pass and through the Alaska Range into the sparsely populated interior, down the frozen Yukon River to Unalakleet on the Bering Sea, and then along the shore of Norton Sound to Nome.

The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state. The race is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing, including the 1925 serum run to Nome that transported diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay. Read more here and here. Explore more of Unalakleet here:

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