Sledge Island, also known as Ayakulik, is a small, uninhabited volcanic island in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Located approximately 5 miles off the coast of Nome, this island holds a unique place in both natural history and local lore. Its remote and rugged terrain makes it a fascinating destination for adventurous travelers and those interested in natural history. ok

The Allure of Sledge Island

Sledge Island is a volcanic formation rising dramatically from the sea, with rocky cliffs and a relatively flat summit. The island’s stark, windswept beauty is complemented by its rich wildlife, including seabird colonies and marine mammals. Although it’s uninhabited today, Sledge Island has a history of intermittent human presence, primarily from indigenous Alaskan groups and later European explorers.

Adventure and Nature

Visitors to Sledge Island can expect to find a rugged and untouched landscape, perfect for hiking and exploring. The island’s rocky terrain and challenging weather conditions make it suitable for seasoned adventurers. Bird watchers will be delighted by the variety of seabirds, including puffins, murres, and gulls. The surrounding waters are home to seals, walruses, and occasionally, whales.

30 FAQs About Sledge Island

  1. Where is Sledge Island located?
    Sledge Island is in the Bering Sea, about 5 miles off the coast of Nome, Alaska.
  2. How big is Sledge Island?
    The island is approximately 1.9 miles long and 1 mile wide.
  3. Is Sledge Island inhabited?
    No, it is currently uninhabited.
  4. Can you visit Sledge Island?
    Yes, but access is typically by boat or helicopter, and the journey can be challenging due to weather conditions.
  5. What is the best time to visit Sledge Island?
    The best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is milder.
  6. What kind of wildlife can be seen on Sledge Island?
    The island is home to various seabirds, seals, walruses, and occasionally whales.
  7. Are there any accommodations on Sledge Island?
    No, there are no accommodations on the island. Visitors must camp or take day trips.
  8. What is the historical significance of Sledge Island?
    It has historical significance for indigenous Alaskan groups and was noted by European explorers.
  9. How was Sledge Island formed?
    Sledge Island is a volcanic island, formed by volcanic activity.
  10. Can you hike on Sledge Island?
    Yes, but the terrain is rugged and challenging.
  11. Are there guided tours to Sledge Island?
    Some local tour operators in Nome offer trips to the island.
  12. What should I bring if I visit Sledge Island?
    Visitors should bring camping gear, food, water, and clothing suitable for unpredictable weather.
  13. Is there cell phone service on Sledge Island?
    Cell phone service is very limited or non-existent.
  14. Can you fish around Sledge Island?
    Yes, the surrounding waters are good for fishing.
  15. What kind of plants grow on Sledge Island?
    The island has limited vegetation, primarily grasses and hardy shrubs.
  16. Are there any archaeological sites on Sledge Island?
    There are some areas of interest related to past indigenous use.
  17. What is the climate like on Sledge Island?
    The climate is harsh, with cold temperatures, high winds, and frequent fog.
  18. How do I get to Sledge Island from Nome?
    Travel is usually by boat or helicopter from Nome.
  19. Are there any dangerous animals on Sledge Island?
    There are no large predators, but caution is advised around marine mammals.
  20. What is the local legend about Sledge Island?
    There are several, including stories of ghostly apparitions and shipwrecks.
  21. Is it possible to kayak to Sledge Island?
    Experienced kayakers might attempt the journey, but it is not recommended due to strong currents and weather conditions.
  22. What are the geological features of Sledge Island?
    The island features rocky cliffs, volcanic rock formations, and a flat summit.
  23. Can you see the Northern Lights from Sledge Island?
    Yes, during clear nights in the fall and winter.
  24. Is Sledge Island part of a protected area?
    It is not currently part of a national park or protected area.
  25. What are the main activities on Sledge Island?
    Hiking, bird watching, and exploring the natural landscape.
  26. Is there fresh water on Sledge Island?
    No, visitors must bring their own water.
  27. What kind of rock formations are found on Sledge Island?
    Mainly volcanic rock formations.
  28. Can you swim around Sledge Island?
    Swimming is possible but not advisable due to cold water and strong currents.
  29. Are there any shipwrecks around Sledge Island?
    Yes, there are several historical shipwrecks in the vicinity.
  30. What should I be aware of when visiting Sledge Island?
    Be prepared for rough terrain, unpredictable weather, and ensure you have all necessary supplies.


Sledge Island is a fascinating destination for those seeking adventure and a connection with nature. Its remote location and rugged landscape offer a unique travel experience, rich in history and natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid bird watcher, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Sledge Island has something to offer.