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On the Alaska/B.C. border, Hwy 37A, 40 miles from junction with Stewart-Cassiar Hwy 37 at Meziadin Junction, 75 air miles from Ketchikan. Population: 100. Visitor Information: Hyder Community Association, PO Box 149, Hyder, AK 99923; Phone: (250) 636-9148
The only community in the southern part of Southeast Alaska accessible by road from the continental road system, Hyder is located at the head of the 90-mile long fjord known as the Portland Canal. The small, quaint community is nestled between the ocean and towering 8000-foot peaks in spectacular glacier country.
The 40-mile drive from the Stewart-Cassiar Highway to milepost "0" in downtown Hyder is one of nature’s finest, winding past 20 hanging glaciers looming over the paved road. The equally impressive 30-mile route north from town climbs above the 4300 summit of massive Salmon Glacier, the world’s fifth largest. Summit Lake bursts through its ice dam annually, rushing under Salmon Glacier into the Portland Canal, spewing icebergs into the Salmon River and raising it to near flood level.
Located near the end of the road, the old Granduc copper mine is the site of an eleven mile tunnel, the longest ever driven side to side. Just north of town, Fish Creek pours into the Salmon River, home to the largest chum salmon in the world. The Fish Creek Bridge Wildlife Observation Site has become a "World Class Destination" for viewing grizzly and eagles feeding on salmon spawn runs from mid-July through early September. Situated in the Tongass National Forest 4 miles north of Hyder on Salmon River Road, this is one of only 2 bear viewing sites in Alaska that are accessible by road. An elevated boardwalk runs along Fish Creek, allowing for safe and leisurely opportunities for unobstructed sightings. There is a $5 day use fee.
U.S. Army Captain David Gillard explored the Hyder area in 1896, building Alaska’s first stone building to establish claim to the land. Gold and silver lodes were discovered and the area boomed after the turn of the century, when nearby Canadian properties in the upper Salmon River Basin proved workable. As the only practical point of entry into the producing region, Hyder became the ocean port supply point and grew quickly outward onto the tidal flats. Hyder’s population was 10,000 during the boom years of 1920 to 1930, but by 1945 only 17 residents remained and Hyder was registered on the official roster of North American ghost towns. The year round population has stabilized at about 100 folks, dedicated to upholding their reputation as "the friendliest ghost town in Alaska". Tourist related businesses are the largest source of employment.
The Hyder Community Center houses the visitor information center and museum. There are several hotels, campgrounds and RV parks in the area, as well as bed and breakfast establishments and restaurants. Gift shops feature unique souvenirs handcrafted by local artists.
Hyder and Stewart B.C. host International Days July 1st to 4th every year, providing many fun filled activities including parades and pancake breakfasts, children’s games and scavenger hunt, a slo-pitch tournament and fireworks on the 4th of July. The two towns also work together on the International Rodeo held on the second weekend in June.