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The two RV Gypsies went
to Hyder, Alaska
to see bears, Bear Glacier
& Salmon Glacier
July 24-27, 2015

map showing location of Hyder, Alaska

To get to Hyder, the two RV Gypsies drove Highway 37A past Bear Glacier and into Stewart, British Columbia.

sign: North to Stewart and Hyder
Bear River Interpretive Centre building

Below: BEAR GLACIER

Bear Glacier Park is located on Highway 37A, between Meziadin Junction and Stewart. The closest community, town and city is Stewart. Just a short side trip on Highway 37A towards Stewart, the Bear Glacier descends towards Strohn Lake, down Bear River Pass.

history bookIce once filled all of Bear River Pass. In the 1940's, Bear Glacier began to retreat and Strohn Lake formed in the exposed basin. Acting as an ice dam, the glacier prevented the lake from draining down the Bear River Valley. If enough water collects behind an ice dam, a glacier may begin to float. Water flowing under the ice quickly creates a large tunnel. The lake empties, the ice dam resettles, and water again begins to collect until another flood is triggered. Five times between 1958 and 1962 Strohn Lake emptied underneath its ice dam in a catastrophic tumult of muddy water, rock and ice. In 1967, Bear Glacier melted away from the valley wall and Strohn Lake was no longer dammed. The threat of sudden destructive icy floods in the Bear River Valley disappeared with the glacier's retreat. Bear Glacier Park was designated as a Class A Provincial Park in 1998. Bear Glacier Park lies within the Nass Wildlife area and protects part of a large glacier and a glacial lake. There is no longer access to Bear Glacier.

Bear Gkacier near Stewart, BC

The road followed the fast flowing river that is often high level an very close to the road.

fast flowing river fast flowing river
fast flowing river fast flowing river

There is nice scenery with several waterfalls along the road, but when driving a big RV, it is not usually possible to stop for photos, but Karen captured one waterfall along the way.

waterfall waterfall

And then the two RV Gypsies noticed that cars were stopped in the road. So they had no choice but to stop too. And Karen got some nice photos of a bear through the window of the RV.

bear number one bear with leaves in his mouth

A bit further down the road, the two RV Gypsies lucked out again because a mama bear and her cub were right beside the road. There was not any traffic so the two RV Gypsies stopped the RV and Karen took a few photos through the window.

mama bear and cub mama bear and cub

A Canada Border Services Agency customs post is located between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder Alaska. It is used by all visitors to Hyder and all Hyder residents as it provides the ONLY road connecting in or out of Hyder. Customs did not check cars going into Hyder from Stewart, but did check all vehicles leaving Hyder and going into Stewart, so a passport is needed.

sign: Welcome to Stewart

Hyder is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 87 at the 2010 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.8 square miles all land. Hyder has achieved fame as a point in Alaska accessible to automobile and motorbike travelers in Canada and the USA who want to say that they have been to Alaska, and as a place to likely see bears.

Hyder is also the easternmost town in Alaska and is located at at the head of the Portland Canal, a 130-mile long fjord which forms a portion of the border between the U.S. and Canada at the southeastern edge of the Alaska Panhandle. It sits about 2 miles from Stewart, British Columbia by road, and 75 miles from Ketchikan by AIR. The only way to reach other parts of Alaska from Hyder is by air, or going back through Stewart, British Columbia, Canada.

The AMHS ferry that used to connect Hyder to Ketchikan stopped running in the 1990s, leaving the only public transportation between Hyder and the rest of Alaska the Taquan Air floatplane that arrives twice a week with U.S. Mail at Hyder Seaplane Base.

entering Hyder, Alaska

town of Hyder, Alaska

There are few local services in town; Hyder Water Works, US Forest Service Info Kiosk, Camp Run-A-Muck, Hyder Community Association – home to museum, information center and library, This N That Shop, Sealaska Inn, and the Boundary Gift store.

Alaska State Troopers patrol the town, but are not located in town. The nearest policing is sometimes provided by stopovers by the Stewart Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment from the Canadian side. There is no fire or EMS services in town. When required they are provided by nearby Stewart.

 

Below: As the two RV Gypsies headed towards the campground in Hyder, it began to rain. The last time the two RV Gypsies were in Hyder, they stayed at a campground in Stewart BC.

road to the campground

Camp Run-A-Muck, Hyder, Alaska, July 24-26, 2015
'250.636.9006
SPECIAL COMMENTS & PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS
OF THE TWO RV GYPSIES

Camp Run-A-Muck is on the left side of the street shortly after entering Hyder, Alaska from Stewart, British Columbia. Border Patrol did not stop traffic arriving into Alaska, but does stop traffic leaving Hyder back into Stewart. When the two RV Gypsies were here in 2009, they stayed at a nice campground in Steward, just before the border. But this time they decided to stay at Camp Run-A-Muck. The Steward campground is a lot nicer.

Camp Run-A-Muck is only 3 miles from the US Forest Service Bear Viewing Bridge and 22 miles from Salmon Glacier.

Camp Run-A-Muck lists U.S. TV Reception as an amenity. They were not lying, but only ONE TV station came in. It also listed free Wi-Fi and gave the two RV Gypsies a code, but it did not connect to the internet at all. The two RV Gypsies did get a pull-thru 30 amp full-hook-up site. The road and sites are gravel/dirt combination, nothing special. (see photos below). Other amenities are laundromat, free firewood, secure 24-hour host, shuttle service, fishing and bear viewing information, book exchange. There are 65 sites total, 52 of which are pull-thru sites. If the two RV Gypsies used their cell phones it would be considered roaming charges at $1 a minute. They did not even check to see if their cell phones worked.

arriving at Camp Run-A-Muck
Camp Run-A-Muck office
temperature in C and F
Camp Run-A-Muck sign

A rotating tin man hanging outside of the campground office.

A rotating tin man
A rotating tin man

The Laundromat

The Laundromat

The RV of the two RV Gypsies' at Camp Run-A-Muck, and the view from the front of the two RV Gypsies' RV.

the RV of the two RV Gypsies
view in the campground

look below
please continue on to the next page Salmon Glacier (the 5th largest in the world),
a marmot, & more bears