Can You See Russia From Alaska? Yes, View Russia From Here…

“I can see Russia from my house!” Those words caused a stir and people started to really wonder if you can see Russian from Alaska?

The Diomede Islands, which are located in the middle of the Bering Strait, are about 2.4 miles (4 kilometers) apart. The westernmost of these islands, Big Diomede, is part of Russia, while the easternmost, Little Diomede, is part of the United States. This is where you can see Russia from Alaska.

You might remember Tina Fey’s impression of 2008 Vice Presidential candidate (and Alaskan!) Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, a parody of her real-life quote about seeing Russia from certain parts of Alaska.

But was she being hyperbolic, or can you really see all the way to Russia from Alaska?

We often think of Russia as being far away and on the other side of the globe, but at their closest points Russia and Alaska are only 55 miles apart!

How Close Is Alaska To Russia?

How Close Is Alaska To Russia - Map Of The Bering Strait
Distance between Russia and Alaska

People often wonder how far is Russia from Alaska? It seem like Russia and Alaska should be far apart but Russia is only 53 miles away from Alaska at their closest point. The map above will give you a good representation of how far apart both countries are.

The name of the body of water between Russia and Alaska is the Bering Strait.

The Bering Strait is a narrow body of water that separates the easternmost point of the Russian mainland from the westernmost point of the North American mainland.

It is located between the Chukchi Sea to the north and the Bering Sea to the south, and connects the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The Bering Strait is named after the Danish explorer Vitus Bering, who was the first European to sail through it in 1728.

The Bering Strait is about 55 miles (90 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point and about 86 miles (138 kilometers) wide at its widest point.

The distance from the mainland of Alaska to the Russian mainland across the Bering Strait is about 53 miles (85 kilometers). The water in the Bering Strait is very shallow, with an average depth of just 50 feet (15 meters).

The Bering Strait is an important waterway for marine life, including whales, seals, and fish, and it is also an important migration route for birds. It has a significant cultural and historical significance for the indigenous peoples of the region, including the Yupik, Inuit, and Chukchi.

The Bering Strait is also an important transportation corridor, with several ports on both the Russian and American sides of the strait.

Within the Bering Strait, there are two small islands, Big Diomede and Little Diomede. Big Diomede is under Russian control whereas Little Diomede is technically in the USA. During the colder months, ice forms between the two so technically you could walk to Russia! 

Can You Walk To Russia From Alaska?

It is not advisable to walk from Alaska to Russia. The two countries are separated by the Bering Strait, which is a long 55 miles wide at its narrowest point. There is no bridge or tunnel connecting Alaska and Russia, so truly, the only way to travel between the two is by boat or plane.

However, it would be possible to walk between the two countries if you start from the westernmost point of the mainland of Alaska and walk to the easternmost point of the Russian mainland. This journey would be about 53 miles across the Bering Strait, but it is not a practical or safe way to travel.

The water in the Bering Strait is too deep to walk through during the summer season, and there are no facilities or infrastructure to support such a journey. If you were to run into trouble for any reason, you would be stuck out there without rescue.

Where Can You See Russia From Alaska?

It is not possible to see continental Russia from Alaska across the open ocean. However, Russia and Alaska are relatively close to each other, separated by just a few miles of water at the narrowest point.

Alaska and Russia are also divided by the International Date Line, which means that when it is Monday in Alaska, it is already Tuesday in Russia. Despite their close proximity, the two countries have very different cultures and climates. Alaska has a subarctic climate, while Russia has a more diverse range of climates due to its large size.

However, it is possible to see some of the Russian islands in the Bering Strait from certain parts of western Alaska. The Diomede Islands, which are located in the middle of the Bering Strait, are about 2.4 miles (4 kilometers) apart. The westernmost of these islands, Big Diomede, is part of Russia, while the easternmost, Little Diomede, is part of the United States.

So, while you cannot see Russia from most of Alaska, you can see a small part of it, the island, from some parts of Alaska.

The Diomede Islands

The Diomede Islands, also known as the Tomorrow Islands and the Yesterday Islands, are two small islands located in the middle of the Bering Strait, between Russia and the United States. The islands are about 2.4 miles (4 kilometers) apart and are divided by the International Date Line. The westernmost of these islands, Big Diomede, is part of Russia and is known as Ratmanov Island. The easternmost, Little Diomede, is part of the United States and is known as Krusenstern Island.

The Diomede Islands are located in the Chukchi Sea, which is part of the Arctic Ocean. They are both rocky, barren islands with no vegetation or trees.

The islands are inhabited by native Alaskan Inuit communities, and are home to a small number of Russian and American military personnel who are stationed there.

The Diomede Islands have a significant cultural and historical significance for the indigenous peoples of the region, and they are also an important transportation corridor for marine and air traffic between Russia and the United States.

The islands are not easily accessible, as they can only be reached by boat or plane, and there are no regular commercial flights or ferry services to the islands.

So yes, you can technically see Russia from Alaska. However, only in very specific spots. You cannot see continental Russia from continental Alaska; but if you were to be standing on Little Diomede (or Krusenstern Island,) you could look across the water to see Big Diomede, (or Ratmanov Island.)

Did you know that Russia and Alaska were so close?

Up in the north, temperatures get extremely cold and destinations more remote. If you’re planning a visit to northern Alaska, make sure to schedule some time for polar bear sightings!

Photo of author

Megan McDonald

After living over 14 years in Alaska, Megan McDonald can confidently state that there’s not much of the state on the road system that she hasn’t visited. From the Brooks Range to McCarthy, Homer, and everywhere in between, every nook and cranny of Alaska is her always her new favorite place. As President and co-founder of Alaska-based boutique media agency HuMu Media, she spends her work time writing, photographing, and traveling, and her off time writing, photographing, and traveling. They say do what you love, and she is lucky enough to do so! You can follow her travels on Instagram at @theitinerantginger

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