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Tongass NF

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Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
Kodiak is a rugged, beautiful island on the coast of southwestern Alaska. Established in 1941, the refuge provides habitat for brown bear, salmon and other wildlife. Kodiak's scenery is magnificient- rugged mountains, hundreds of miles of shoreline, lakes, marshes, bogs, and meadows. Four-thousan...
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Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site
Description: The Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site is a day-use recreation area in the Salmon River valley near Hyder, Alaska. Both brown (Grizzly) and black bears can be observed and photographed at the site in July, August, and September as they fish for chum and pink salmon in the clear, shallow waters of Fish Creek and Marx Creek. This is the only bear-viewing site in Alaska that is accessible by highway.

Bears use the site from mid-July through early September, following the arrival of salmon which return to the fresh waters of the creeks to spawn.

The site is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Forest Service employees are at the site during these hours to provide information about the bears and salmon, enforce site rules, and answer questions from visitors.

Facilities include a small parking area and an elevated viewing platform set in a grove of trees along the bank of Fish Creek. The boardwalk, platforms, benches and parking lot were all reconstructed in 2000. The site was improved to help accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the site, maintain a safe separation between people and bears, and allow the bears to feel “comfortable” enough to pursue their normal behavior without concern for observers.

Wildlife to Watch: Enjoy the thrill of seeing wild bears in their natural habitat in this beautiful glacial river valley. Our elevated walkway allows easy viewing of fish and bears. Other wildlife frequently seen include nesting Canada geese, harlequin ducks, common mergansers, mink, beaver, bald eagles, and a wide variety of songbirds. Wolves also occasionally visit the site. The Salmon Glacier is located nearby.

A self-guided auto tour brochure is available at the Forest Service office in Hyder, Alaska or in Stewart, British Columbia. The road to the glacier is narrow gravel with unmaintained sections; recreational vehicles are not recommended. Marmots are common in higher elevations near the Salmon Glacier. The views of the glacier and the Salmon River valley are spectacular. Hyder’s remote location and proximity to the interior of British Columbia offers other unique opportunities. Several bird species common to the interior of North America but rarely found in southeast Alaska can usually be seen at Hyder. These include American redstart, American crow, Western tanager, and veery.

Special Tips: Recreation Fee Demo site; seasonal fees begin in July and run through September. There are entry fees for this site: $5/day, $10/3 days, $20/week (7days), $65/season (July - September); fees apply to ages 17+; will also accept America the Beautiful passes Passes will be available at select merchants in Hyder, AK. For the most-current information, be sure to visit the Tongass National Forest website for site conditions and considerations.

Ownership: USDA Forest Service, Tongass NF, Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District 
Size:  
Closest Town: Hyder, Alaska and Stewart, British Columbia

Facilities:
RestroomsParkingTent CampingHikingLodgingHandicap Accessible

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:
Summer

Hyder Viewing Platform - Photo by USDA Forest Service
Map
Please use Map Link below

Driving Directions:
Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site is Hyder is a small community in the southeast corner of the Tongass National Forest. It is connected to the Canadian Highway system, and thus provides the only bear-viewing site in Alaska that is accessible by highway. A 41-mile detour off the Cassiar Highway at Meziadin Lake Junction (on Highway 37A) brings you to the neighboring towns of Stewart, British Columbia, and Hyder, Alaska at the head of Portland Canal. Follow the gravel-surfaced Salmon River Road through Hyder and continue three miles north. A sign marks the Fish Creek Observation Site, and the parking area is on the left just past the Fish Creek bridge. Commercial vans from Hyder and Stewart provide another way to get to the Observation Site for those who do not want to drive or park large RVs or trailers. Visitors are encouraged to use the commercial operators to help minimize traffic congestion at the Observation Site.

Map Link

 
Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site : Wildlife Viewing Area