It’s about a twenty hour drive between Seattle, Washington and Hyder, Alaska. So… why do people do it? I’m pretty sure most people who make the journey are doing so to say that they did. Hyder is a beautiful town and, if you want to go to Alaska, it’s the easiest to get to. It’s accessible by road and, while long, an easy drive through British Columbia to get to.
But, what do you do once you get to Hyder? Here are some ways to spend your time, before turning your car around and heading back.
What to do in Hyder, Alaska:
1. Take Your Photo Under the Welcome Sign!
Why drive 20 hours to Hyder, Alaska and 20 hours back to Seattle? The best answer I can give: to say that you did! And you cannot go all the way to Hyder and NOT take photos!!! (I mean, you have to prove you were there!) Hanging above the border is a “Welcome to Hyder, Alaska!” sign which makes the perfect road trip photo op!
2. Check out the Other Landmarks
While you have to visit customs while leaving Hyder, you can just roll right in to town! Near the entrance is a pole to the side announceing the “Hyder Townsite Limits,” that you are “Entering Alaska,” and that the speed limit is now 20 miles per hour…a sharp contrast to the kilometers we’d been driving all through British Columbia! You can also check out a land marker that shows you which side is Canada and which is Alaska, historic Storehouse No. 4 (Eagle Point Storehouse), and some local businesses, like Captain Terry’s Exotic Junk. All within about 10 feet of the border!
3. Get Hyderized
4. Go to the Post Office (and Check Out the Carved Wooden Bear)
As any town should, Hyder, Alaska has a post office. Mail is picked up at 8am daily, and dispatched Monday and Thursday only… by floatplane! It’s a fun place to check out and a great place to mail some postcards from. Be sure to check out all the listings on the message boards, there are always some interesting ones.
Outside of the post office, check out the carved wooden statue of a bear. Another great photo op! And the only bear in Hyder you should get close to!
5. Look for real bears at Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site
Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site is about three miles north of Hyder on the Salmon River Road. There you can stand on the wooden observation deck and look for bears and other wildlife. Read more about Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site here.
6. Head to the Pier
After driving into Alaska, you can turn right to go to the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site, but you can also turn left to walk the small pier and check out some glorious views of the mountains!
7. Admire the Beauty of the Town
Because Alaska is a beautiful state…no matter if you’re north or south, east or west… And Hyder is both the southernmost and easternmost part of Alaska!
8. Say Goodbye to the Friendliest Ghost Town in Alaska!
On the back of Hyder’s welcome sign, as you are heading out, there is another sign proclaiming that you are “Leaving Hyder — the friendliest ghost town in Alaska!” Be sure to say goodbye when you’re ready to leave and make your long journey back home!
Want to see more? Here’s a video montage of my road trip to Hyder, Alaska!