Lighthouses of Russia: Northern Chukotka

The Chokotka Autonomous Okrug (autonomous district) is the unit of the Russian Federation that occupies the easternmost extension of Siberia, reaching toward Alaska. It is a peninsula, with coastlines facing north on the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea and south on the Bering Sea. This page has lighthouses of the Arctic coast, and there is a separate page covering the Pacific coast.

Although Russian explorers reached this remote area in the 17th century and mapped it in the 18th century, full control by the Russian Empire did not occur before late in the 19th century.

During the Soviet period, Russia's Arctic coast was not open to foreign visitors, and even today tourism in the Russian far east is slight. As a result, no photos are available for many of the lighthouses. If you have or can locate additional photos, please let me know.

Special thanks to Michel Forand for his careful research on lighthouses of the Russian Arctic.

Russian lighthouses are owned and operated by the Russian Navy, although some of them have civilian keepers. The Russian word for a lighthouse is mayak (маяк); mys is a cape, ostrov is an island, and buhkta or zaliv is a bay.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Russian light list (RU) numbers are from Russian Navy Publication 2111 as reported by the Admiralty. Admiralty numbers are from volume L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals, and U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 115.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Arctic Coast of Russia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Ostrov Kolyuchin Light
Ostrov Kolyuchin Light, Iultinsky District, August 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Harry Shave; used by permission

Bilibinsky District Lighthouses

Kolyma Gulf Lighthouses
Note: The Kolyma Gulf is a bight of the East Siberian Sea extending eastward from the delta of the Kolyma River.
Mys Letyatkina
Date unknown. Inactive (?); focal plane unknown; white flash every 5.5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo has been posted by a snowmobile expedition, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the headland. Located on a high bluff about 80 km (50 mi) east of the Kolyma River Delta. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17660.
Mys Bol'shoy Baranov
Date unknown. Inactive (?); focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5.5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the headland. Located on a prominent cape about 100 km (60 mi) east of the Kolyma River Delta. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17664.
Malaya Baranikha
Date unknown. Inactive (?); focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 7 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on the west side of the Malaya Baranikha River delta. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17668.
Mil'kera
Date unknown. Inactive (?); focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on the west side of the Mil'kera River delta. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17672.
Rauchua-Vostochnyy
Date unknown. Inactive (?); focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on a sand spit fronting the Rauchua River delta. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17676.
Mys Letyatkina Light
Mys Letyatkina Light, Bilibinsky District, April 2011
Snegohod.org photo; reproduction permitted with attribution

Chaunsky District Lighthouses

Ayon Island Lighthouses
Note: Ayon Island is a large, roughly rectangular island on the west side of the entrance to Chaunskaya Bay.
* Ayon
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 1.3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. The tower carries a slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe on each side. The tower is barely visible at left center of a distant view of the town, there is a YouTube video taken from the top of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Ayon is a Chukchi settlement on the northwestern side of Ayon Island; the village had a population of 440 in 2006. Located on a bluff above the East Siberian Sea on the west side of the village. Site open, tower closed. RU 2111-8600; Admiralty L9658.8; NGA 115-17680.
Ayon Severnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white flash every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a ridge near the northern tip of Ayon Island. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17684.
Ostrov Chenkuul'
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on a barrier island off the northeastern coast of Ayon Island, marking the entrance to Chaunskaya Bay. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty. NGA 115-17688.

Pevek Area Lighthouses

Note: The district town of Pevek, on the east side of Chaunskaya Bay, has a population of about 4000. Pevek formerly served gulag camps where the prisoners mined uranium; during the Cold War it also supported a nearby Soviet Air Force base, now closed. Pevek is now an icebreaker and coast guard base and the home of the Marine Operations Headquarters that manages the Northern Sea Route between the Bering Strait and the mouth of the Lena River. The town is sheltered behind Routan Island, and the approach from the East Siberian Sea is through the narrow Pevek Strait between the island and the mainland.
Kosa Routan (Rautan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. Oleg Fomin's photo is at right, and the shadow of the lighthouse is visible in Google's satellite view. The light guides vessels approaching Pevek. Located on a sand spit extending from the east end of Ostrov Bol'shoy Routan, an island that shelters the Pevek area. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17692.
Bol'shoy Routan Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; yellow flash every 4 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This northbound range guides vessels leaving Pevek. Located on the east coast of Ostrov Bol'shoy Routan, about 3 km (2 mi) south of the base of the sand spit. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. NGA 115-17696.51.
Bol'shoy Routan Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; yellow flash every 2 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the east coast of Ostrov Bol'shoy Routan, about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the rear light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.NGA 115-17696.5.
Mys Prolivnyy Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; quick-flashing white light. Approx. 15 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located near the southern tip of Ostrov Bol'shoy Routan, about 6.5 km (4 mi) due west of Pevek across the Pevek Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.NGA 115-17696.1.
Kosa Routan Light
Kosa Routan Light, Chaunsky District, August 2010
Dirty.ru photo copyright Oleg Fomin; used by permission
Mys Prolivnyy Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white light, 1 s on 1 s off. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 500 m (0.3 mi) west southwest of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.NGA 115-17696.11.
* Proliv Pevek (Pevek Strait) South Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; yellow flash every 2.5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the mainland coast about 8 km (5 mi) south of Pevek. Accessible by road. Site probably open, tower closed. NGA 115-17696.3.
* Proliv Pevek (Pevek Strait) South Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; yellow flash every 5 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located 650 m (0.4 mi) east northeast of the front light. Accessible by road. Site probably open, tower closed. NGA 115-17696.31.
* Proliv Pevek (Pevek Strait) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white light, 1 s on 1 s off. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. The lighthouse is partly seen at the right edge of a photo of an adjoining fuel tank farm, and Google has a satellite view. This is the main entrance range for vessels approaching Pevek. Located on the mainland coast about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Pevek. Accessible by road. Site probably open, tower closed. RU 2111-8720; Admiralty L9659; NGA 115-17690.
* Proliv Pevek (Pevek Strait) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white light, 2 s on 2 s off. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the coast about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Pevek. Accessible by road. Site probably open, tower closed. RU 2111-8721; Admiralty L9659.1; NGA 115-17690.1.

Yanranay and Cape Shelagskiy Lighthouses
Mys Yanranay
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 7.5 s. No description available. The lighthouse is barely visible in an aerial photo (click on the photo for enlargement). Google has a satellite view; the shadow seen is consistent with either a skeletal tower or a concrete tower. Located on a cape on the east side of the entrance to Chaunskaya Bay, about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of the Chukchi village of Yanranay. (NGA misspells the name as Yanrangay.) Site probably open, tower closed. NGA 115-17697.
Shelagskiy Zapadniy (Mys Shelagskiy West)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 5 m (17 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower covered with a slatted daymark painted with black and white horizontal bands. Wikimapia has a photo, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. This light probably replaced the Mys Shelagskiy light (next entry). Located on the cape on the east side of the entrance to Chaunskaya Bay. Site open, tower closed. NGA 115-17700.
Mys Shelagskiy (Tumannaya)
Date unknown. Inactive since 1981; the light had a focal plane of 61 m (200 ft). Light mounted atop one end of a 1-story wood keepers house. The building appears quite dilapidated in Alexander Mazur's September 2008 photo at right. Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the station. Located about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of the Shelagskiy Zapadniy light. Site open, tower closed. NGA 115-17704.
Mys Koz'mina
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark painted white with a black diagonal stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the headland. Located on a bluff about 50 km (30 mi) east of Mys Shelagskiy. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17712.
Mys Shelagskiy Light
Mys Shelagskiy Light, Chaunsky District, September 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Alexander Mazur; used by permission
Ostrov Shalaurova
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white flash every 9 s. 6 m (20 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark painted orange with a black vertical stripe. Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Shalaurov Island is a small island strategically located just off a prominent cape about halfway between Capes Shelagskiy and Billings. Located on heights at the north end of the island. Site status unknown. RU 2111-8830; Admiralty L9660; NGA 115-17716.

Iultinsky District Lighthouses

De Long Strait Lighthouses
Note: Named for a British captain who explored this coast for Catherine the Great in the late 1700s, Cape Billings marks the division between the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea. The wide De Long Strait (Proliv Longa) separates the cape from Wrangel Island.
Mys Aachim
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted black. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a barrier beach on the point of the cape, about 105 km (65 mi) west of Cape Billings. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17720.
Mys Shalaurova Izba
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located on the point of the cape, about 60 km (37 mi) west of Cape Billings. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17724.
Mys Billingsa (Cape Billings)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 26 m (85 ft); one long white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a barrier beach on the point of the cape. Site status unknown. RU 2111-8880; Admiralty L9660.5; NGA 115-17732.
Mys Yakan
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 82 m (269 ft); one long white flash every 12 s. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located on a bluff, about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Cape Billings. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17736.
Mys Enmykay (Enmykey)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with black and white stripes. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a promontory at the eastern entrance to the De Long Strait. Site status unknown. RU 2111-9103; Admiralty L9847; NGA 115-17747.

Wrangel Island Lighthouse
Note: Wrangel Island (Ostrov Vrangelya) is a substantial island, 125 km (78 mi) long, lying 140 km (88 mi) off the coast of Chukotka. The island divides the East Siberian Sea to the west from the Chukchi Sea to the east. After early exploration of the area by British, American and Canadian captains, the island was annexed by Russia in 1916. The Soviet government established the settlement of Ushakovskoye on the south coast of the island in 1926. Following the fall of the Soviet Union Ushakovskoye was gradually abandoned; the last resident was killed by a polar bear in 2003. Wrangel Island is now a nature reserve.
Bukhta Rodzhers (Rogers Bay, Ushakovskoye)
Date unknown. Probably inactive at least since 2003; listed with focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 7 m (23 ft) orange square pyramidal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the area. This light is near the former village of Ushakovskoye on the southeast coast of Wrangel Island. Site status unknown. RU 2111-9050; Admiralty L9800; NGA 115-17744.
Somnitel'nyy Kosa
Date unknown. Inactive and abandoned. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramaidal wood skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark. Harry Shave has a second photo, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located on a spit sheltering Somnitel'nyy Bay on the south coast of Wrangel Island. Site open, tower closed.
Mys Florensa (Bystryy Beacon)
Date unknown. Inactive and abandoned. Approx. 5 m (17 ft) square pyramaidal wood skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark. One of Harry Shave's photos is at right, he also has a second photo, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located on a headland on the northwestern coast of Wrangel Island. Site open, tower closed.
Mys Florensa Light
Mys Florensa Light, Wrangel Island, August 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Harry Shave; used by permission

Chukchi Sea Lighthouses
Pil'gyn
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted black with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a 50 km (30 mi) long barrier island about 125 km (75 mi) southeast of Mys Enmykay. The island is called the Kosa Dvukh Pilotov (Two Pilots Spit) after two American pilots whose plane crashed nearby in 1929. Site status unknown. RU 2111-9155; Admiralty L9886; NGA 115-17758.
Dvukh Pilotov
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted black with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located near the village of Dal'stroy in the southeastern portion of the barrier island. Site status unknown. RU 2111-9160; Admiralty L9888; NGA 115-17760.
Nutevgi (Nutaugye)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) square black skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a barrier beach about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Cape Vankarem. Site status unknown. RU 2111-9170; Admiralty L9890; NGA 115-17764.
Vankarem
Date unknown. Probably inactive. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower mounted on the roof of a dwelling. The light is in the foreground of an aerial photo, a 1975 photo is available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view. This light was apparently replaced by the Mys Vankarem Light (next entry). Located in the Chukchi village of Vankarem. Site status unknown. NGA 115-17768.
Mys Vankarem
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 30 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) square black skeletal tower carrying a triangular slatted daymark. A photo is at right, and the tower is visible in the distance an aerial photo, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the point of the cape, northeast of the village of Vankarem. Site open, tower closed. RU 2111-9185; Admiralty L9892.
Ostrov Kolyuchin
Date unknown. Inactive. Light mounted on the roof of a 1-1/2 story polar weather station building. Building painted yellow; the roof is gray. Harry Shave's photo is at the top of this page, and a closeup and another photo are available, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Kolyuchin Island is about 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long and 11 km (7 mi) off the coast, about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Cape Vankarem. The island is uninhabited; both the weather station and a small Chukchi village have been abandoned. Located near the north end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, buildings closed.
Mys Vankarem Light
Mys Vankarem Light, Iultinskiy District
photo copyright RussiaDiscovery.ru; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Alaska | South: Eastern Chukotka | West: Sakha Republic

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Posted May 19, 2006. Checked and revised November 27, 2013. Lighthouses: 36. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.