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Cape Krusenstern National Monument


Although it has been a national monument since 1978, Alaska's Cape Krusenstern 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. Cape Krusenstern's bluffs and 114 beach ridges along the Chukchi Sea 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.

Cape Krusenstern National Monument
©National Park Service
Visitors to Cape Krusenstern National Monument enjoy activities such as
kayaking and animal watching.

The coastal people of Cape Krusenstern 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 Cape Krusenstern 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.

Cape Krusenstern 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.

Cape Krusenstern National 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
  • The visitor center is open Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Learn about these other national monuments:

­Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

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Scotts Bluff National Monument

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument

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Tonto National Monument

Buck Island Reef National Monument

El Malpais National Monument

Hohokam Pima National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument

Cape Krusenstern National Monument

El Morro National Monument

Homestead National Monument

Pinnacles National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

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Chiricahua National Monument

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Montezuma Castle National Monument

Russell Cave National Monument


To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.