Two Towns On The Alaska/Canada Border

Over the past several days we have traveled east from Tok, Alaska, across the Alaska Highway to the Cassiar Highway (which heads South from the AlCan, just west of Watson Lake, Yukon), down the Cassiar about 400 miles to Stewart, B.C./Hyder, Alaska.  The Cassiar was a fairly easy drive, with a few gravel sections, only a short one of which was really rough.

Why are we here?  To see the bears, of course!!  The tiny town of Hyder (permanent population, 100) is famous for its fishing bears.  In the evening, we watched a mother Grizzly teaching her cub how to fish for Salmon.  It was pretty funny, but also touching to see the mother caring for her offspring. 

We also drove about 20 miles up a gravel road to view Salmon Glacier, a unique experience in that we were able to look down on the glacier from above. This is an immense glacier that actually splits its flow and makes a 90 degree turn in the leg that goes toward Hyder.  If anyone doubts that ice can "flow," viewing this glacier should pretty much convince them that it can. 

Hyder is really an interesting town, with a permanent population of about 100.  It is totally isolated from the outside world, except for its proximity to Stewart, B.C.  Due to its isolation, there isn’t even a border checkpoint for the US.  No paved streets, US bank or US telephone service, either.  They actually use Canadian currency in most of the shops and share the telephone area code for northern British Columbia.  Only the US Post Office is on Alaska time and the mail is delivered and picked up twice a week by a float plane, weather permitting!! There are really steep, glacier-capped mountains on all sides, save for a narrow channel out to the ocean. 

We're in a nice, wooded campground here.  Our plans are to be here for a few days, and then we’ll head down toward the states, a trip that we expect will take up to a week, depending on how many stops we make along the way.

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Campsite Along the Cassiar

Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park

Welcome to Hyder

Viewed from the Canadian side of the border

Dining Out

"The Bus" seafood restaurant in downtown Hyder

Order Here

The freshly-caught Halibut fish and chips is outstanding!

Breakfast at the Wildflour

After the Lumberjack Breakfast, with Blueberry pancakes, a long walk is definitely in order.

Fish Creek

The Salmon spawning ground where the bears fish.

Mom and Cub

Two Grizzlys looking for fish.

Mom Fishing

When bears are on the prowl, the fish get really active.

Checking the Shoreline

The dead fish in the water die within three days after spawning.

Junior Eating

A pretty messy process.

Heading Back to the Woods

Today's fishing lesson is over.

Glacial Valley

Looking back down the Salmon River toward Hyder.

Waterfall Along the Salmon

One of many that drop up to a thousand feet from glaciers into the valley.

Salmon Glacier

Looking up toward the split.

Making the Turn

At this point, the glacier actually splits into two flows.

Looking "Upstream"

The majority of the flow makes a left turn at this point,

Sue with Glaciers

Above the Salmon Glacier, smaller glaciers in the background.

Glacier Panorama

Showing the turn.

Glacier Ice

Enough to make a few Gin and Tonics.

Fireweed Demise

The fields of beautiful pink colors have been replaced with nearly bare stalks of cottony seeds.