Day 3: Prince Rupert to Stewart, BC / Hyder, AK

Trip Log for 15 August 2009

Today was simply amazing, the best so far. We saw so much today, it was incredible. The day started out in Prince Rupert, leaving the Moby Dick Inn around 09:15 and heading east on the Yellowhead Highway 16. The mountain scenery was gorgeous and must remain in my memory as there just weren't any turnouts from which to take pictures.

As we turned farther inland after Terrace, we started to see more streams and eventually snow-covered mountains. At the Cassiar Highway 37 turnoff, it became clear that we were heading towards those mountains. The scenery along the main part of 37 isn't all that great as huge trees tend to block most of the mountains. But after crossing the Nass River and getting to the 37a junction, all that changed.

I have never experienced a more beautiful and majestic route than the road to Stewart. Mountains and snow, glaciers and waterfalls around every turn, so many that it was hard to know what to stop and look at. We could see bits of a receding glacier high up on some peaks and just beyond that a few kilometers was Bear Glacier. Soon after we reached Stewart but just drove through to Hyder.

In Hyder, there are no more paved roads. We traveled for about 60 km round trip over to the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site to look for bears then up to the summit of Salmon Glacier. In fact the road continued on for another seven km but we decided that was far enough and were starting to lose daylight. We even met a guy (the "Bear Man") who just lives up there in there a tent above the glacier and sells his books and DVDs of wildlife imagery (I bought his book).

We came back into Stewart to check into the Bayview Hotel, which is quite a neat old building. We ate dinner in the Bitter Creek Cafe which is the first floor of the hotel and I got to have more halibut. Afterwards, we walked around town and discovered that there are four liquor stores in about a three block radius. I'll sleep well tonight. Tomorrow we head farther east to Prince George.