Hyder "the friendliest ghost town in Alaska."
     I can't believe we made it to Alaska!  But, as I was told by one of the locals, we didn't make it to the "real" Alaska.  We are actually staying in Stewart, BC.  If you look at a map and follow Alaska all the way down the coast to the bottom of the state, right next to Stewart, you should find a tiny town named Hyder and thats were we entered Alaska.  Hyder is the southern-most town in Alaska that is reachable by road.  The town has only 1 paved road and that road only extends for 6 miles. The population of Hyder is only 87 and it has only 1 bar/restaurant; which was closed before 8:00 on a Saturday night.  Hyder is a little weird and the US government agrees as you don't have to pass through customs to enter Hyder, but Canada will not let you enter from Hyder without a passport. However, Hyder has some of the most fantastic scenery we have ever seen!
The inlet into Hyder/Stewart.
     First, we traveled up the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia until we took a left and headed down to Stewart.  Almost immediately the scenery became extraordinary with the highlight being Bear Glacier.  This severely eroded river of ice displayed a bluish tint and crazy ripples and fractures as it descended to the lake below.  Along the way we spotted 3 black bears, including a mother with her cub.  We also had 2 moose cross in front of our car.
Bear Glacier
Stewart, BC
Bear Glacier
Stewart, BC
     Once we got to Stewart we immediately headed straight to Hyder, Alaska.  Beside being located in a fantastic scenic area, Hyder boasts a boardwalk above a small stream which is noted for its high concentration of grizzly bears fishing for salmon.  Unfortunately, the salmon don't start running until July, so no bears.
After hanging out for 2-3 hours on the bear viewing platform and seeing no bears we decided to leave.
Of course, 100 yards down the road we spotted this beauty.
I asked him why he didn't just show up at the viewing platform for all to see
but got no response--typical bear!
Nancy on an ice field.
Above the snow line
in Hyder, Alaska.
     The most spectacular part of Hyder was our 28 mile journey up a 1 lane dirt road which ended at a snow bank.  This road took us from sea level, around snowy mountains which approached 9,000', and above the snow line where we were treated to massive glaciers.  The highlight was Salmon Glacier which is the 5th largest glacier in Canada.  The massive ice flow winds around jutting peaks on it journey.  In fact, the highlight viewpoint is located where the glacier takes a 90 degree turn.  Way cool!
Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier
     In order to get to Stewart/Hyder we had some interesting stops in Smithers, BC and Hazelton BC. Smithers has its own beautiful mountain setting and offers impressive views of mountains and waterfalls along it scenic byways.  Hudson Bay Mountain was the primary mountain in the area. 
Smithers, BC
Hudson Bay Mountain 
Hudson Bay Mountain
However, Twin Falls and Moricetown Falls offered equally exciting views.
Moricetown Falls
Moricetown, BC
1 of the Twin Falls
in Smithers, BC.
     Another scenic area was Hazelton.  The Hazelton area was loaded with Northwest Coastal Peoples culture (i.e. Western Canadian Indians-sorry if this isn't politically correct.)  There was a wonderfully reconstructed Indian village named 'Ksan, as well as a heavy concentration of Totem Poles.  The Totem Poles were located in several communities and were fascinating.
Hazelton, BC
Kispiox, BC
Kispiox, BC
     Today we are just hanging out in Stewart/Hyder--translation=Nancy is in the studio!  Tomorrow we will be back on the Cassiar Highway heading to Yukon and the Alaska Highway.  We are less than 400 miles away.


  1. Really spectacular scenery. No wonder Nancy needed to pause to create!

  2. Great start, love it!!! Travel safe!!!!!


Post a Comment