How Far Is Alaska from Russia

Ever wondered, “How far is Alaska from Russia?” Well, you’re not alone. Alaska, while a part of the United States, shares more geographical kinship with neighboring nations like Russia and Canada due to its location. Separated by the Bering Strait, Alaska and Russia are closer than many may realize, with the narrowest point spanning approximately 55 miles. The unique positioning of the two Diomede Islands—one controlled by Russia, the other by the United States—significantly reduces this distance. Let’s embark on a geographical journey to unravel the intriguing facts about the proximity of Alaska and Russia.

How Far Is Alaska from Russia

Where is Alaska?

Alaska, the land of the midnight sun, is a colossal state located in the extreme northwest of North America. It’s flanked by the Bering Strait and Russia to the west and shares its eastern border with Canada. The state is encapsulated by the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to the north, which are mostly frozen throughout the year. On the south and southwest, the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean unfolds. The state’s largest cities include Juneau, Fairbanks, and the capital, Anchorage. Interestingly, Alaska is the only US state not sharing a physical border with any other state.

Where is Russia?

Home to a rich tapestry of history and culture, Russia is the world’s largest country by land area, spanning one-eighth of Earth’s habitable land mass. This colossal nation extends from Eastern Europe to Northeast Asia, creating a rich mosaic of landscapes and ecosystems. A remarkable 14 nations border Russia on land, while its maritime borders encompass the US, Japan, North and South Korea. Russia’s major cities, including Moscow—the capital, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Sochi, add to its diverse character and charm.

Distance Between Alaska and Russia

While the geographical span of Alaska from east to west might lead to assumptions of a vast gulf between it and Russia, the reality is surprisingly different. The closest distance between mainland Alaska and mainland Russia is a mere 55 miles. The proximity becomes even more startling when considering the Diomede Islands—it’s just 2.4 miles apart!

Yet, in terms of human habitation and travel, the distance between communities in Russia and Alaska becomes more relevant. The most eastern town of Russia, Uelen, home to 720 people, is separated by around 62 miles from Wales, Alaska’s easternmost mainland community with 145 residents. It’s a complex geographical jigsaw puzzle with the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea, and the Pacific Ocean all playing their parts.

1. The Bering Strait Crossing

The Bering Strait, named after Danish explorer Vitus Bering, is historically significant as a potential land bridge for the migration of people and ancient creatures from Eurasia to North America during the ice age. The two Diomede Islands—stepping stones in this watery expanse—significantly reduce the distance between the Russian mainland and Alaska. Future plans even indicate the possibility of constructing a tunnel from the islands to the Russian mainland, further facilitating movement between the two regions.

2. Traveling by Air from Alaska to Russia

If you’re traveling by air from Alaska to Russia, the journey is about 2,949 miles, equivalent to roughly 5.27 hours if you’re flying at a speed of 560 miles per hour. There are several viable flight routes, including from Anchorage to Moscow via Seattle and Doha, Qatar. While the journey is multi-leg and somewhat prolonged, the experience of traversing half the globe is undeniably fascinating.

3. Time Zones: From Alaska to Russia

When it comes to time zones, things get a bit mind-bending! Russia stretches over 11 time zones, from Kaliningrad Oblast to Kamchatka. Alaska falls within the Alaskan Standard Time (AKST). Despite the geographical proximity, there is a considerable time difference between the two. When it is noon in Anchorage, Alaska, it’s 4 AM the next day in Moscow. Time zone changes can be a significant factor to consider when planning your travels.

How Far is Russia from Alaska by Plane?

Venturing across the globe, the journey from Alaska to Russia by plane is an intriguing adventure. The closest distance, measured in a straight line between the airports of Alaska and Russia, is approximately 2,949 miles. A direct flight, at an average speed of 560 miles per hour, would see you traversing this distance in around 5.27 hours. However, direct flights are rare. Travelers usually have to undertake a multi-leg journey, which can stretch the duration up to 36 hours. Always remember, the thrill of journeying is as valuable as the destination.

How Far is Russia from Alaska by Water?

Bridging the gap between Alaska and Russia, the waters of the Bering Strait present a unique travel opportunity. The narrowest part of this body of water measures about 55 miles, with the famous Diomede Islands acting as midway points. However, traveling these waters isn’t as straightforward as it seems due to varying sea conditions and freezing temperatures. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with experienced mariners or travel guides before setting sail.

How Far is Russia from Alaska by Boat?

Setting sail from Alaska to Russia is a bold journey filled with unparalleled sights and experiences. A boat journey across the Bering Strait would cover a distance of about 55 miles. Remember, these waterways are unpredictable and can pose unique challenges. Boating adventures should always be planned under the guidance of professionals, ensuring your safety while you marvel at the beauty of the open seas.

Why Can’t You Fly from Alaska to Russia?

While it seems logical to take a direct flight from Alaska to Russia given their proximity, there are practical reasons this isn’t typically done. Logistics, air traffic regulations, and a lack of demand mean direct commercial flights aren’t frequently available. However, private charter flights can be arranged for those eager to make the journey across the skies.

How Far is Russia from Alaska at Its Closest Point?

At its closest point, Russia is a mere stone’s throw away from Alaska. The Big Diomede Island (Russia) and the Little Diomede Island (USA) in the Bering Strait are only about 2.4 miles apart. During winter, when the waters between the islands freeze over, you can even walk from one to the other!

Can You See Russia from Alaska?

On a clear day, it’s possible to see Russia from Alaska. From Little Diomede Island or from the high vantage points of mainland Alaska such as Cape Prince of Wales, the Russian mainland and Big Diomede Island can become visible. It’s a sight that truly bridges two continents together.

Alaska to Russia by Boat

Making the journey from Alaska to Russia by boat is an adventure that brims with breathtaking views and lasting memories. The passage through the Bering Strait takes you through about 55 miles of open water. This journey, though relatively short, should only be embarked upon with proper planning and consultation with maritime professionals.

How Far is Alaska from Russia in Hours?

The travel time between Alaska and Russia varies greatly depending on your mode of transportation. By plane, a direct flight would take approximately 5.27 hours. By boat, the time needed to cross the Bering Strait would depend largely on the vessel’s speed and sea conditions. Traveling these mesmerizing waters is not just about reaching the destination, but also about enjoying the unique journey that bridges two continents.


The proximity between Alaska and Russia is more than just a geographical curiosity. It serves as a reminder of the historical, cultural, and ecological ties that bind the two regions. Despite political boundaries, they share similar environmental challenges and opportunities, giving rise to potential cooperation in areas such as climate change, wildlife conservation, and sustainable resource management. Understanding this interconnectedness is a step towards greater global awareness and responsibility.


Q: How far is Alaska from Russia?

The shortest distance between Alaska and Russia is about 55 miles at the narrowest point of the Bering Strait.

Q: How close are the Diomede Islands?

The two Diomede Islands, located in the Bering Strait, are about 2.4 miles apart.

Q: What is the time difference between Alaska and Russia?

The time difference can vary significantly, considering that Russia spans 11 time zones. For instance, when it’s noon in Anchorage, Alaska, it’s 4 AM the next day in Moscow.

Q: Can you drive from Alaska to Russia?

Currently, it’s not possible to drive directly from Alaska to Russia due to the absence of a physical connection such as a bridge or tunnel.

Q: Is Alaska Closer to Russia or the US?

Alaska, in its geographical placement, presents a captivating quandary. Being one of the 50 states, it is unquestionably part of the United States. However, the mainland US is approximately 500 miles away at its closest point to Alaska. In contrast, Russia, specifically the Big Diomede Island in the Bering Strait, is a surprising 2.4 miles away from Alaska’s Little Diomede Island. So, geographically, Alaska is closer to Russia than the contiguous United States.

Q: What is the Least Distance Between Russia and Alaska?

A world apart, yet within an arm’s reach! The least distance between Russia and Alaska is quite a fascinating fact. The two are closest in the Bering Strait, where Russia’s Big Diomede Island and Alaska’s Little Diomede Island are a mere 2.4 miles apart. The closeness of these two landmasses belonging to different continents is an astounding geographical marvel.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get from Russia to Alaska?

The travel time between Russia and Alaska depends largely on the mode of transportation you choose. By plane, a direct flight covering the shortest distance of 2,949 miles would take about 5.27 hours. However, direct flights are unusual, and multi-leg flights could stretch the journey to 36 hours. By boat, crossing the 55-mile wide Bering Strait depends on the speed of the vessel and the sea conditions. A voyage through these waters is an experience that extends beyond mere travel time.

Q: Can You Fly from Alaska to Russia?

While the proximity between Alaska and Russia might suggest an easy flight, direct commercial flights between the two are uncommon due to logistical challenges, air traffic regulations, and a limited demand. Nevertheless, for those intrepid enough to fly this route, private charter flights can be arranged. Every journey holds its unique set of thrills and experiences, making the trip as memorable as the destination itself.

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