Bear watching in Hyder, AK
Hyder, Alaska, population 87, is the easternmost town in Alaska and the only place in the U. S. which can be entered from Canada without passing through a customs border station.
The rain has slowed to a drizzle but it’s still with us–going on five days now. Hope this nasty weather system moves out sooner rather than later. Temperatures dropped to 42 last night, helped by the 4,000′ elevation.
We over-nighted at Dease Lake and got back on the highway and made an uneventful drive to Stewart and camped at Bear River RV Park on the edge of town.
The drive to Stewart was pleasant–tall mountains on both sides of the highway (a smooth road for a change)–and an impressive view of Bear Glacier from British Columbia Highway 37A.
Salmon Glacier is located 16 miles from Stewart, British Columbia, is only accessible by road from Hyder, Alaska.
We came to Stewart and Hyder to see grizzly and black bears at the extremely popular tourist Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site. Stewart is located in Canada and Hyder is in the United States but both towns run together. We crossed the Canadian border into the U. S. and drove a few miles to Fish Creek and found a full parking lot with vehicle license plates from both countries but no bears.
The observation area, which is elevated and mostly safe from wandering bears, was filled with tourists and only one bear which was in the process of slowly meandering his way out of the area. The bears are here feeding on hundreds, if not thousands, of pink and chum salmon spawning in Fish Creek. The water is only inches deep and easy prey for bears.
Salmon River valley from near Salmon Glacier.
Bear Glacier is located of BC Highway 37A entering Stewart, Canada.
We waited a half hour and drove back through Canadian customs (there is no U. S. border station), had dinner and then checked out Fish Creek early the next morning only to find we had just missed a couple of grizzly bears who had fed and left the area.
After waiting a half hour or so, we took a 15 minute ride on a mostly dirt road to see Salmon Glacier, one of the largest in the country which can be viewed from the road. The road climbs very quickly into the mountains past a gold mining operation and high above the Salmon River which runs off the glacier.There are steep drop-offs at the higher elevations and the road is wide in most places to accommodate the heavy mining equipment. Few tourists venture here which is nice for a change, however, leave the camper or RV at home.
Once at the top of the mountain the view of Salmon Glacier is breathtaking and well worth the drive.
DAYS ON THE ROAD: 78
GALLONS OF FUEL: 911
COST OF FUEL: $3091
MILES ON THE ROAD: 8,134