Although it has been a national monument since 1978, Alaska's CapeKrusenstern continues to sustain native Eskimos, who hunt, fish, and trap within the monument's 660,000 acres, as they have done for thousands of years. CapeKrusenstern's bluffs and 114 beach ridges along the ChukchiSea contain archaeological evidence of 6,000 years of prehistoric human use of the coastline. Some artifacts here are older than well-known remains of ancient Greek civilizations on the Mediterranean Sea.
The coastal people of CapeKrusenstern lived mainly on sea mammals, but they also ranged inland to hunt caribou and other land mammals. Caribou still roam in large numbers through the wild and undeveloped monument, foraging the tundra in a constant search for food. During the summer months, caribou feed on grasses and grasslike sedges, small shrubs, berries, and twigs. In the winter, they dig through the snow to find lichen, called reindeer moss.
Many other animals make CapeKrusenstern their home, including wolves, moose, grizzly bears, wolverines, foxes, and eagles. This rich coastal area also supports huge numbers of nesting birds and abundant sea life. In the summertime, wildflowers bloom on the treeless plain, and hordes of biting insects descend on the area.
CapeKrusenstern is a coastal plain, broken by lagoons and gently rolling hills. Shifting sea ice, ocean currents, and waves have formed -- and continue to form -- spits and lagoons, which can be explored by kayak or on foot. Combined with adjacent Kobuk Valley National Park and Noatak National Preserve, the monument protects more than 9,000,000 acres of subarctic and arctic wildlands in northwest Alaska.
CapeKrusensternNational Monument Information
Address:Kotzebue, AK Telephone: 907/442-3890 907/442-3760 (summer) Hours of Operation:
The Monument is open National Monument is open year-round, depending on weather