Teller Highway
Mile 47–58 Tisuk River to Bluestone River Bridge

Habitat: Tundra meadow, side slopes, and river valley

caption follows
Fireweed along Teller Road

The views of the Kigluaik Mountains recede as you travel across high rolling hills of tundra meadows with occasional creek and river crossings. You may spot moose, grizzly, muskoxen and reindeer on the surrounding slopes.

Mile 52.7 Gold Run Creek

Habitat: River valley

Please note: You are entering “gold country,” but much of it is privately held land and recreational gold panning is not allowed. Check with the Bureau of Land Management in Nome for land ownership.

Notable Wildlife

  • Arctic grayling are found in the river.
  • Pink salmon are found in years of peak returns.

Mile 53.7 Mine Dredge

Miners worked this dredge up and down the Bluestone River and Gold Run Creek in the early 1900s. Now it serves as a nesting and perching site for common ravens.

Mile 54.9 Sullivan City

Once a bustling mining camp and supply center, Sullivan City sprang up downriver from the upstream dredge. A few hardy, small-scale mining operations continue today. This is privately owned property and trespassing is forbidden.

Mile 56.9 Bluestone River Bridge

Habitat: River valley, side slope, and rocky outcrops

caption follows
Reindeer silhouettes

The Bluestone River is unlike other river crossings along the Teller Road because it flows northward to Imuruk Basin rather than south to Norton Sound. The river is deeply incised as it cuts through steep mountains, creating steep rocky slopes and cliffs. The scenery is dramatic if you take time to climb to nearby hilltops. The bridge is adjacent to a dome-shaped rock cliff that has color, vegetation, and appearance typical of the area.

Notable Wildlife

  • Rough-legged hawks, golden eagles, gyrfalcons, and common ravens may nest on nearby rock cliffs
  • Say’s phoebe sometimes nests under the bridge or on nearby cliff-side ledges or crevices.
  • Northern shrike nest in taller willows along the river and their predatory diet includes small mammals and the young of other songbird species.
  • Cliff swallows build gourd-shaped mud nests under the Bluestone Bridge.
  • Bluethroat nests in side drainages with mixed-height willows.
  • Yellow warblers, Wilson’s warblers and American tree sparrows nest in shrub thickets.
  • Arctic grayling are present in the river.
  • Pink salmon are found in years of strong runs.
  • Chum salmon are present further downstream.