2nd Class City
in the Nome Census Area
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (wailz); a.k.a. Kingigin
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Cape Nome
Geography and Climate
- Wales is located on Cape Prince of Wales, at the western tip of the Seward Peninsula, 111 miles northwest of Nome.
- It has a maritime climate when the Bering Strait is ice-free, usually June to November. After the freeze, there is an abrupt change to a cold continental climate. Average summer temperatures range from 40 to 50 °F; winter temperatures range from -10 to 6 °F. Annual precipitation averages 10 inches, with 35 inches of snow. Frequent fog, wind, and blizzards limit access to Wales.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- A burial mound of the "Birnirk" culture (500 A.D. to 900 A.D.) was discovered near Wales and is now a national landmark. In 1827 the Russian Navy reported the Eskimo villages of "Eidamoo" near the coast and "King-a-ghe" further inland. In 1890 the American Missionary Association established a mission here, and in 1894 a reindeer station was organized. A post office was established in 1902. Wales became a major whaling center due to its location along migratory routes, and it was the region's largest and most prosperous village, with more than 500 residents. The influenza epidemic in 1918-19 claimed the lives of many of Wales' finest whalers. The city government was incorporated in 1964.
- Wales has a strong traditional Kinugmiut Eskimo whaling culture. Ancient songs, dances, and customs are still practiced. In the summer, Little Diomede residents travel between the two villages in large traditional skin boats.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Wales
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Watering Point, Honey Bucket Hauling, Washeteria, Volunteer Fire, Roads, Clinic
- Wales is accessed by air and sea only. There is a state-owned 4,000' long by 75' wide gravel airstrip, and the ice on the straits is frequently used as a landing area by planes in the winter. Scheduled and charter flights are available. Cargo is delivered by barge and lightered half mile to shore. Skin boats are still a popular method of sea travel, and snowmachines are used in winter. There is a 6.5-mile road to Tin City.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District