census-designated place in Alaska, United States

Hyder is a small place with fewer than a hundred inhabitants in Southeastern Alaska.

Grizzly Bear as seen from the viewing platform at Fish Creek during the Salmon run
Information center

Understand edit

Hyder is at the head of the Portland Canal, a 130-mile (210 km) long fjord which forms a portion of the border between the U.S. and Canada at the southeastern edge of the Alaska Panhandle. Portland Canal is the second longest fjord on Earth.

Hyder has a colorful history as a wild west mining camp and border town that took advantage of its unique status as an American territory between the Canadian mainland and several Canadian mines that could only be accessed via Hyder. In its heyday Hyder was filled with saloons, ladies of the evening, gambling and all manner of other sin because it was just across the border and therefore out of reach of the Canadian Mounties and a long way from any American law enforcement presence.

The portion of Hyder built over the water and abandoned as mining activity declined burned down in 1948. Today the town is now only about one block long and it and starts right at the unguarded American border. Therefore, Hyder represents an unusual opportunity for travelers to visit Alaska, USA legally without a US visa.

Canada, however, does guard the border and visitors with inadequate Canadian visas or passports often get temporarily stuck in Hyder until they can get the right immigration documents. If you are visiting Canada on a single entry visa do not go to Hyder (or elsewhere in Alaska) as you may not be allowed back into Canada without getting a new visa.

As the easternmost town in Alaska and the closest and most accessible point in Alaska by road to the Lower 48 States, Hyder is a popular place to "collect" Alaska as a travel destination.

Hyder is notable for being the only place in Alaska not to use the +1-907 area code, instead using British Columbia's +1-250 area code. Unlike the rest of Alaska, Hyder unofficially uses the Pacific Time Zone like most of British Columbia and the US West Coast States. Hyder's nearly 100 residents observe Canadian holidays, send their children to a Canadian school, and if they call the police will find that a Canadian Mountie will respond. BC Hydro supplies the electricity from Canada. Hyder and Stewart share a mutual international Chamber of Commerce.

Get in edit

By plane edit

By boat edit

It is possible to reach Hyder by private boat. There is no scheduled ferry service.

By car edit

The only way to get to Hyder by car is via Stewart, BC which is 2 miles (3 km) to the northeast. Stewart is located on British Columbia Highway 37A, which connects to the remainder of that province's highway system.

Get around edit

You can walk around the whole town in minutes. The bear and eagle viewing area is a bi

  • 1 Metal border monument. At the border between the United States and Canada.
  • 2 St. Paul's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 202 International St, +1 250-636-2708. An interesting looking church.
  • 3 Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site. Mid-July through early September, 6AM–10PM daily. Park with salmon stream and bear viewing platform, where you can see plenty of bald eagles. The bear viewing is popular during the Salmon run, when hundreds of fish will be in the creek. $5 a day, payable at Hyder Forest Service Office and at local vendors.
  • 4 Old Stone Storehouse (just west of the border crossing between the United States and Canada). Storehouse erected by Captain D. Gillard in 1896, on US National Register of Historic Sites.

Do edit

  • Hyder became popular with long distance motorcycle riders in 1998 when author Ron Ayres set a record of riding to the contiguous 48 states in six days. Ayres went on to add to the 48 state record by continuing on to Hyder, Alaska to establish a new 49-state record of 7 days, 0 hours and 20 minutes. Ayres named the new long distance ride the "48 Plus" and the 49-state ride became popular with members of the long distance motorcycle riding Iron Butt Association. An annual Hyder-Seek gathering (1998–2012) brought long-distance motorcyclists who travelled from all over North America each Memorial Day weekend.

Buy edit

The preferred currency is Canadian (except the U.S. Post Office, which insists on American currency).

Border Bandit

Eat edit

Seafood Express
  • 1 Alaskan Premier Seafood (The Bus), +1 250-636-9011. Surf and turf, halibut, shrimp, scallops, salmon, chowder, burgers, corn dogs.

Drink edit

The bar in Hyder is the other big draw, famous for offering a drink with a pickled toe in it. A real taste of the wild west, Alaska style. Drinking age is 21 in Alaska and 19 in British Columbia.

  • 1 Glacier Inn, International St, +1 250-636-9248. Interior papered in signed dollar bills, seasonal restaurant, drink a shot of 150 proof alcohol to get 'Hyderized'.

Sleep edit

  • 1 Camp Run-A-Muck, +1 250 636-9006, toll-free: +1-888-393-1199, fax: +1 250-636-9003. Two campsites, one for RVs, second for tenters. Laundromat, pay showers, free WiFi, fire pits and dry pavilion.

Connect edit

Go next edit

  • Stewart - The gateway and only way out of Hyder by land. The road to Premier Mine, BC is a dead end.
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