Chukotka

National Park Beringia (Национальный парк Берингия)

The National Park Beringia was founded in 2013. However, early, in 1990, the Soviet Union and U. S. Presidents, M. Gorbachev and G. Bush, signed the agreement on the establishment of Soviet-American specially protected reservation of nature in the Bering Strait area.

Colorful autumn Chukotka tundra, Arctic Circle Russia

History

North America and Asia have been repeatedly connected with some kind of land bridge over the last million years. As a result of melting of glaciers this territory that was used by ancient people migrating from Asia to America began to go underwater around 14,000 years ago. Over time nothing was left of it except a few islands in the Bering Sea and the Bering Strait and the migration of people and animals continued but only by water. This is proved by rich material found by archaeologists on the islands as well as on both sides of the Bering Strait.

Geography

The National Park Beringia has a total area of 1,819,454 hectares and consists of 5 independent areas: “Kolyuchinskiy” (Колючинский), “Mechigmenskiy” (Мечигменский), “Chegitunskiy” (Чегитунский), “Dezhnyovskiy” (Дежневский) and “Providenskiy” (Провиденский).

They all have a diverse relief which is moderately mountainous in general. The highest ranges are Genkanyiy (Генканый) and Iskaten (Искатень) with peaks elevation difference ranging from 900 to 1,200 m.

To date, 9 groups of thermal springs have been discovered on the territory of the National Park. The hottest ones are in the group of Mechigmenskiy springs located at Chuckotskiy district which water temperature is +97° C.

There are a lot of lakes of different types the best-known of which are the Chegitun (Чегитунь), the Loran (Лорэн), and the Marich (Марич).

The shoreline of Beringia National Park is heavily indented by a number of bays and fiords. Over the course of history, the Providence Bay, as well as Saint Lawrence Bay (залив Лаврентия), have been used for mooring of the sea-vessels more than any other bays of the area.

Climate

The National Park is located in the subarctic marine climatic zone. Strong winds are constantly blowing here. The Bering Sea is rough in the time period from the middle of October to the middle of December.

The weather changes very quickly in 1-2 hours. The temperature may change in the range of nearly 70 (!) degrees during the whole year. Snow cover may set in some areas in early September.

Flora and Fauna

Threatened species of plants that are protected by the state can be found in Beringia National Park. They include Chukotka bellflower, cranberry tree, roseroot, etc. Snowy owl, gyrfalcon, Ross` gull, emperor goose, sandpiper, whistling swan and other bird species permanently live here or come to the islands and the shoreline in the period of their seasonal migration. One can see arctic wolves, brown and white bears, Siberian bighorn sheep and other animal species typical for this region. Waters of the Bering Sea are inhabited by different kinds of seals, walruses, sea lions as well as 15 species of whales 12 of which are protected by the state.

Tourist attractions

Whale Bone Alley (Китовая аллея)

Whale Bone Alley (Китовая аллея) is located on the island of Ityigran (Итыгран). It allegedly appeared there about 500 years ago when the Eskimos collected bones of giant whales on this tiny piece of land.

Monument to Semyon Dezhnyov

An obelisk was erected at Cape Dezhnyov in honor of Russian Cossack pioneering explorer who was the first man in the history of mankind who had made his heroic naval crossing around the eastern tip of Asia. The monument was erected in 1956.

“Paypelgak” (Пайпельгак) Lighthouse and Settlement

There is a lighthouse on the Providence Bay which surroundings is the favorite promenade for locals. A “street” with three lodgings of ancient inhabitants of Chukotka called “Paypelgak” is also a place of special interest.

Rules of Attendance

It is necessary to submit an application in the appropriate form not later than in 15 days before the day of attendance in order to visit Beringia National Park. It is possible to do this via the Internet as well. See more

How to get to the National Park Beringia

Flight from Moscow to Anadyr, then:

  • or flight from Anadyr to Providenia,
  • or flight from Anadyr to Lavrentia

See schedule at the flight operator Chukotavia official website.

Links

The National Park Beringia website in the Russian language

PHOTO depositphotos.com

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