Little Diomede is an island in the Bering Strait. It is part of the Arctic Alaska region but it is below the Arctic Circle.
Little Diomede is the smaller of the two Diomede Islands that lie in the middle of the Bering Strait. Little Diomede is the westernmost part of Alaska while Big Diomede, only a few km away, is the easternmost point in Russia.
The town of Diomede, on the island's west side, is home to all of the island's 135 inhabitants. The islanders are Inupiat Inuit.
|“||I did not realize you were this remote.||”|
—U.S. Senator Ted Stevens
The island is so far from anywhere that the senator representing Alaska between 1968 and 2009 noted down his amazement with the above quote on his visit to the island in 2002, after arriving by a Black Hawk helicopter—the first time Little Diomede was ever visited by a statewide elected official.
The more "usual" ways of getting to Little Diomede include:
- Bering Air flies from Nome in the winter. Planes land on the ice.
- Evergreen Helicopters fly to the island all year from Nome.
A $50 fee is charged to all arrivals by air or sea.
- 1 Diomede Heliport. There is helicopter service to Nome.
- 1 Russia (Big Diomede Island). Only 2 mi (3.2 km) away, the Big Island is easily seen from here.
- 2 The International Date Line. It's not marked but it passes between the two islands. It is the only place where the Date Line, and land on the other side of it, is visible from land (except maybe Antarctica, but Antarctica has no legal time zone borders so there is no well defined Date Line there).
Marvel at the "ends of the earth."
Owing to the remoteness of the place and the fact that almost everything has to be carried in by air or sea, expect to pay more even for regular groceries.
The Diomede school offers rooms for $70 a night.
The only way to phone others is to use satellite phone. Also, you can use the United States Postal Service; helicopters land at the helipad for mail roughly once a week.