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North to Alaska - 2017 Trip - Day 04

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Start Location: Smithers, BC
Ending Location: Stewart, BC
Miles Today: 222
Trip Miles: 1002
States Visited: 2
Provinces Visited: 1
Low Temp: 51.7° F
High Temp: 62.5° F
Min Elevation: -26'
Max Elevation: 1729'

Route Map:


Well we finally made it - we road in our fiftieth state today. We arrived in Stewart, BC around 2:00 PM and road into Hyder, Alaska around 2:45 PM.

Toady far exceeded out expectations for a number of reasons. The first was the bears. Bear viewing season at the Fish Creek Viewing Station starts around mid July so we were a little early for prime viewing but we hoped that we might get  chance to see a bear or two. We saw 5 bears before we ever got to Stewart/Hyder. Then we saw a 6th bear on the road in Hyder before we got to the viewing station. We stopped at the viewing station in the afternoon around 3:00 just to check it out although we didn't expect to see anything since prime viewing time is 6:00 to 9:00 morning and evening. Within 15 minutes we saw 3 black bears and 2 bald eagles. There are several bear pictures on todays map but I'll put up a separate page later with all of the bear pictures. We did go back this evening just to see what was going on and within 5 minutes we saw a grizzly that hung around for 5 or 10 minutes. We also saw 3 more black bears, a few bald eagles, and a pair of golden eagles. Overall our timing was incredible.

There were also many salmon spawning in the creek, which the bears feasted on, and Linda took a short video of the spawning fish but I can't upload that video from this WiFi connection so it will have to wait until we return.

We were also pleased with the weather. The forecasts for this area showed 100% chance of rain and we thought we would get rain all day. Once again our rain gear trick worked. We put the gear on before we left and, although it was chilly all day, we only got a few light sprinkles and arrived at our destination dry. The forecast for tomorrow is dry and around 70 for a high. After tomorrow the temperature continues to climb and we should have a warm, dry drive home - maybe.

The potential negative is that the forest fire situation has worsened. There are about 150 fires currently burning in BC and the road we drove up on is currently closed. We don't need the road until around Wednesday so hopefully it will be open by then. If not, there is a detour - if the detour road remains open.

We also checked out the road to the Salmon Glacier. It's a gravel road but easily passable at a reduced speed. The plan for tomorrow is to visit the viewing station again in the morning, take the ride to Salmon Glacier, and then return to the hotel. We will probably wash clothes in the afternoon, hit the viewing station one more time in the evening, and head for home Tuesday morning.