During the glacial epoch this was part of a migration route for people, animals, and plants whenever ocean levels fell enough to expose the land bridge. Archeologists agree that it was across this Bering Land Bridge, also called Beringia, that humans first migrated from Asia to populate the Americas (see Models of migration to the New World).
The preserve was originally established on December 1, 1978, as Bering Land Bridge National Monument. On December 2, 1980, the designation was changed to a National Preserve. The Preserve's western boundary lies 42 miles from the Bering Strait and the fishing boundary between the United States and Russia. There are no roads into the preserve. Access to the preserve is by bush planes or boats during summer months and by ski planes, snowmobiles or dog sleds during the winter.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains several sites of geological and prehistorical significance. Serpentine Hot Springs is the preserve's most visited location, with the surrounding area used for subsistence and holistic activies by Native Alaskan's since time immemorial. These activities continue today with locals from the surrounding area coming to enjoy the hot springs and scenery. Less visited but just as significant locations in the preserve include the Trail Creek Caves, Devil Mountain Lakes, and the Lost Jim Lava Flow. There has been debate in recent years over allowing road access to the preserve, however this been highly contested by some individuals.