Friday, August 16, 2013

August 15 – Stewart, BC

We started out this morning from a little rest area on the north side of the Cottonwood River. It was a really nice private spot where stays were supposed to be limited to 8 hours but I didn’t see the sign until we left. We had the place to ourselves except for the first of four bears in a 24 hours period. He wandered by about 8 feet from the trailer. I was too busy closing the door on the other side of the trailer to get a picture.

The second bear wasn’t very helpful but we got a picture to prove we saw it. The third was also a black bear that dove into the berry bushes as we came to a stop. Decided not to take a picture of the berry bushes.

We stretched our drive today when we didn’t like the looks of the wayside that was penciled into the plan based on distance. Instead, we continued on to Stewart, BC / Hyder, Alaska in hopes of finally seeing brown bears. The drive to Stewart passes through a very steep walled, narrow valley with a number of hanging glaciers.

The biggest glacier was Bear Glacier. At one time it extended all the way across the valley.

Hyder (and Stewart) are located at the head of the Portland Canal. Hyder is accessible via water or by driving through Stewart. The US doesn’t bother with a Customs & Immigration station here, but you do go through Canadian customs when you return from Hyder.

The pink salmon were still running in Fish Creek. I chose this picture because they are relatively obvious, but there were many places where the fish were much more dense.

The US Forest Service constructed a board wall to try to keep the bears separated from the people wanting to watch them. I commented to the ranger about the number of fish and asked about viewing times. He stated they haven’t seen any bears for the last two days and they think it’s because there are so many fish the bears are getting them in other areas.

After we left the bear viewing area we figured out the problem. Apparently the bears need some berries in their diet to go along with all the salmon! We spotted this one about two miles from the bear viewing area!

I wanted to have dinner at the famous bus in Hyder

but she was closed today. I’m debating about hanging around until noon Alaska time tomorrow in hopes of being first in line.

I couldn’t resist a rust picture. I don’t think this RV is worth the effort to restore, but it is unique.

We haven’t seen any humming birds around, and based on the size of this humming bird feeder, I don’t think I want to!

Home for the night is Rainey Creek Campground in downtown Stewart, BC.

This post made possible by the wifi at McD in Smithers, B.C.


  1. What a showing of bears! I'd be on the lookout for berries too...kind of dessert after a full stomach of fish! Cool bus ... hope you got a chance to lunch there!

    1. No lunch at the bus. Guess I'm going to have to go back!

  2. How rewarding to see the bears! Wish we had been in a better place when we opted to bypass the Stewart/Hyder loop.

    Glad you are enjoying the trip home!

    1. I found the Cassiar to be very worthwhile. Almost all the turnouts and rest areas were lacking the "don't you dare overnight here" signs like the Yukon had everywhere. Once we got onto the Yellowhead, the signs started showing up, but not consistently.