A lot of people want to know how far Russia is from Alaska and if it is possible to get from Alaska to Russia. This is mainly because of the statement that Sarah Palin made in an interview with Charlie Gibson of ABC. Palin referred to Russia as a next-door neighbor. In addition, she revealed that we can see Russia from Alaska. How accurate is this?
Technically speaking, the distance from Russia to Alaska is 2,936 miles. That’s close to 3,000 miles so you have to wonder how you can see Russia from Alaska. However, there are other details that you have to know.
The Bering Strait
In order to know how far Russia is from Alaska, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the Bering Strait. After all, it’s the one that’s dividing the two nations. It was named after Vitus Bering who was a Russian explorer from Denmark.
The strait has varying widths. Its narrowest point is just 55 miles wide.
Can You See Russia from Alaska?
Right in the middle of the Bering Strait are two small islands. They’re not that populated, but their population is not the thing that makes them popular.
There’s the island of Big Diomede. This small island is located in a territory that’s part of Russia. In fact, it houses a Russian weather station. On the other side is the Little Diomede which is also a small island but is a part of the United States.
By their names alone, sharing the word Diomede, you can just imagine how close they are with each other. They’re actually just less than 2.5 miles away from one another. This means that on a good day, you can clearly see one island from the other. So if you want to see Russia from Alaska, your best bet is to go to Little Diomede and you can see Big Diomede from there. Of course, there’s really nothing to see since it’s a small island that’s not really populated.
You can stand on sea level and see a little less than 3 miles towards the distance. This means that one island can really be seen from the other. You can go higher up the island if you want to see more of the other island. If you’re in Little Diomede, you can go to its highest point at 919 feet and you can see a lot of Big Diomede as you can see 37 miles out.
You have to wish for a good day though because fogs regularly blanket the two islands. When fogs have rolled in, it’s really hard to see Russian island from Alaska side.
Is it Possible to Travel from Alaska to Russia?
First off I have to say, that even Russia is very close to Alaska, it is not that easy to get from one side of the Bering Strait to the other. There is no legal ferry/boat service that can take passengers from Alaska to Russia.
It’s sounds crazy, but to get from Alaska to Russia you can… walk there. In theory, it is possible to walk from one side to the other during the winter, when the Bering Strait freezes. We know 2 reported cases of successful ice crossing. Last one’s to do so were two crazy men’s: Karl Bushby and Dimitri Kieffer. They crossed the Bering Strait by feet from Alaska to the Russian side. In fact, they were immediately deported from Russia for entering the country illegally.
If you looking for more realistic “tourist” way of getting from Alaska to Russia, you should try to get a flight. There are few options:
- Bering Air operates charter flights from Nome, Alaska to Provideniya port in Russia. Provideniya is a small settlement across the Bering Strait from Alaska. Flights between Nome and Provideniya are approx. hour long (60 or 80 minutes – it’s up to the type of aircraft). To learn more information about flights from Nome to Russia check out Bering Air website.
- During the months of July – August, the Russian airline Yakutia operates flights between Anchorage (Alaska) and the Russian Far East. This way you can fly from Anchorage to Petropalovsk-Kamchatsky (Kamchatka) and Yakutsk in Russia. They are regular flights for a descent price – cheapest round trip flight from Anchorage to Petropalovsk-Kamchatsky will cost you $1040. To find out more information and to book your flight from Alaska to Russia visit this website.
As we learned from the information above, Russia is located very close to Alaska, but it’s not that as easy to get there as it might seem. For tourists and visitors the best way to get from Alaska to Russia is to take a flight from Nome or Anchorage.