Hyder is the easternmost town in Alaska accessible by vehicle, with a population of approximately 87 (2010 Census). Originally, the town was known as Portland City, but it was rejected by US Post Office as there were other cities in the USA. In 1915, the town was named after Frederick B Hyder, a Canadian engineer working for Gastineau Mining Company.
This town is a hidden gem, where locals are highly dependent on Canada than the USA. Hyder does not connect to any other community in Alaska. Residents of Hyder rely on Stewart, BC, for groceries and electricity. You can say that Canada rules there ;). During the Gold Rush era, more than 10,000 residents called these two towns home.
Note: There is no American border control or Customs at the Hyder-Stewart Border Crossing. However, there is Canadian border control (CBSA) when you enter back to Canada.
Hyder has only a few services such as the US Postal Office, US Forest Service information centre, Camp Run-A-Muck, Hyder Community Association, Boundry Gift Store, General store, and Grand View Inn. There are no fancy hotels in Hyder.
Fun Fact: Hyder is the only town in Alaska that does not utilize a 907 area code, whereas they use British Columbia area code 250.
Hyder is famous for Grizzly and Black Bear viewing during the salmon spawning season at the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site. The Fish Creek Bear Viewing Area is a day-use site, with designated boardwalks along the river for a vantage point. The US Forest Service maintains this area, and there is a day-use fee of USD 5. Visitors can see bears in their natural habitat and river full of wild salmon. In addition to bears and salmon, visitors can spot various birds around the river. Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Bear Festival in August.
Be sure to pick up a The Salmon Glacier Auto Tour map from the visitor centre in Stewart, BC. This tour takes you through Hyder and into British Columbia’s Salmon Glacier. The tour map identifies 14 stops with points of interest, including the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation site and the Granduc Mine.
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