Visiting The Salmon Glacier & Stewart, BC

Greetings,

I write this to you from a small town called Stewart in Northern British Columbia and on the border of Alaska. Stewart is a small sleepy town that was once a major supply station to an active mining scene. The area was first discovered in roughly 1896 and a few years later a Mr. Stewart came who was joined by his brother and where the town got its name. For sometime this was a very profitable area and Stewart was a happening place, that is no longer the case but you can still feel the history as you stroll the streets.

There are large mountains on most sides and if you drive a kilometer from town, you’re in Hyder, Alaska. You go through Alaska to get to the Salmon Glacier in British Columbia, quite the day trip. Hyder is an even smaller town of roughly 100 people and if you do go, make sure you get “Hyderized” in the one bar in town that has signed dollar bills from guests as wallpaper. The Salmon Glacier is roughly a 1 hour drive from Stewart and most of it is on a very bumpy road that gives you an idea what types of conditions logging trucks endure on the regular.

The glacier is stunning to say the least, it’s just gargantuan and we were lucky enough to view it on a sunny day as our drive from Terrace was plagued with torrential rain. Oddly enough, it was warm at the top of the glacier and found myself in a t-shirt. There is a gent called the “Grizzly Man” who lives on top of the glacier every summer in a tent selling dvd’s of bears and postcards. When we arrived he seemed busy doing something in his car and decided not to disturb him.

If you’re in Stewart, bring cash as they have no bank machine and many of the cities buildings have plaques on them explaining their part in the history of this town. My favorite building was the old Empress Express Hotel that was built in 1908 by a German financier. It cost over $100,000 at the time to build and today is left derelict and for sale. In fact many of the stores even on the main street are vacant. That said, when you stroll down the streets you can really imagine what it was once like.

Finally, they have a really cool bird estuary that seems a popular draw. You walk along this long boardwalk to an open area on all sides. If you just walk through, you’ll miss the action. If you go and silence your mind and just look around it won’t take long for your eyes to catch some action then see small birds of all types fluttering around and loving their lives. I had close encounters with some kingfishers and the red winged blackbirds. It was a sunny day and the estuary was quite the happening place, I assure you.

I’m here with the Explore BC Project, to learn more visit the Tourism BC Facebook Page and look up #ExploreBC on Twitter.

Tips hat,

17 Comments

  1. James Shannon

    July 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Never heard of Stewart before … BC just has so much to offer, it’s crazy!

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      It’s a cool place, I hung out in the bird estuary or a while and had some moments with a few cool birds flying by. Also has a lot of cool history but slow, very slow.

  2. Mandi

    July 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Nutso! From just a few posts ago, it looks like you have crossed over the several time zones from beautiful, warm coastal regions to frigid, cold snow capped mountain areas. That is a trip! It is so cool to be experiencing all this different cultures and varieties in nature that BC has to give.

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks or the kind words and I was thinking of that as well earlier, just how much ground covered in such a timeframe. It’s kinda nuts in the best way possible.

  3. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    What a beautiful place! Hoping to get to BC this summer. Probably not THIS far though!

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      You never know and you’ll love it.

  4. The Welsh Wizard

    July 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    What a n interesting Province with so many diverse facets of nature. Definitely the place to go.

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Indeed, glad I got a chance to experience and share it.

  5. Carrie

    July 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Hey Rob, incredible views! The pic where the clouds surround the mountain is a little spooky! Almost gives me chills. It almost seems like the sky is closing in on the town! Glad you had nice weather.

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      It was quite a feeling being up there. Very cool and not just because you’re above a glacier. We got super lucky, again!

  6. Leigh

    July 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I drove through this area a long time ago – and the photos reminded of that trip. Nice work on the photos.

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Leigh and quite the place!

  7. Dr. D.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    2 questions;

    what was the Grizzly man doing in his car and what is involved with getting Hyderized? I would like a detailed explanation of both if you can. Also, did you get your teeth cleaned again? Sorry, that was three questions. Blargh Life!

    • Rob

      July 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      The grizzly dude was messing around with something on his dashboard. He lives up there in a tent all summer and sells bear DVDs, postcards and the like.

      Hyderized is getting drunk at this bar of similar name on the left hand side right as you drive in, they have bills covering the walls. It’s in the town of Hyder which is like half of Stewart but on the Alaskan side.

      No but photo was taken and edited by a photographer…

  8. crazy sexy fun traveler

    July 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    This place looks amazing! The glacier is beautiful.

    • Rob

      July 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Indeed and the photos don’t even do it justice, it’s massive!

  9. Dirk

    January 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I did the same trip in 2010 and the same fellow was selling his post cards and DVD’s on the mountain at the Salmon Glacier, hope you got a chance to check out the old Granduc Mine just north of there, well worth part of the trip. My pictures and video’s of all this are at http://youtu.be/6y3Hb3WA20k
    Thanks for sharing

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