Bear Watching in Hyder, Alaska

Last August, my partner and I went to spend a week on the Southeast Alaskan coast in Hyder. The main purpose of the trip was to watch the bears fishing on salmon in Fish Creek and maybe if we are lucky enough have a glimpse of the coastal wolf. It took us almost two days to drive down there by the Stewart-Cassiar Highway from Whitehorse, including all the breaks along the way to capture some memories.

 

Silhouette of a Grizzly Bear catching a salmon at twilight. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM

 

Grizzly bear feasting on salmon. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM

 

Grizzly Bear shaking water off in the blue lagoon. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM

 

Our week spent in Hyder (Alaska) and Stewart (British Columbia) was pretty good, we had a bit of cloud cover and sprinkles but not the usual rain of Southeast Alaska. A third of our time was consumed at the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site waiting for a bear to show up. The facilities in place are managed by the US Forest Service and consist of a long viewing deck overlooking a part of Fish Creek. Having the habit of usually be just by myself when out in the wild photographing the wildlife, there was no other choices than to be part of the crowd this time. So, not the best experience of my life, but at least now I know that I won’t go back there for bear watching. Finally, we didn’t see many bears, just four in five days, and most of them late in the evening when the light was gone. Fortunately, the sceneries of the surrounding area were fantastic, we enjoyed the rest of our time photographing the landscape, specially mountains and glaciers.

 

Grizzly Bear fishing on salmon at twilight. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM

 

After some hours waiting on the site, we finally got the chance to see a coastal wolf visiting briefly the creek to fish on salmon before heading back into the coastal forest.

 

Coastal Wolf in Fish Creek. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM + Canon Extender 1.4x