Fish Creek Wildlife Viewing Site at a Glance


The Fish Creek Wildlife Viewing 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 as they fish for chum and pink salmon in the clear shallow waters of Fish Creek and Marx Creek. Visitors will see wild bears in their natural habitat in this beautiful glacial river valley. Other wildlife frequently seen include nesting Canada geese, harlequin ducks, common mergansers, mink, beaver, bald eagles, and a wide variety of songbirds. Visitors occasionally see wolves fishing for salmon at this site.

View species   View habitat  

Viewing Information:

Bears use the site from mid-July through early September, following the arrival of salmon that return to the fresh waters of the creeks to spawn. The site is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. PACIFIC TIME 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 parking area, viewing deck, and restroom.

Hyder’s remote location and proximity to the interior of British Columbia offers other unique wildlife viewing opportunities. Several bird species common to the interior of North America but rarely found.

*Special Note: Due to it's proximity to British Columbia, all times concerning Fish Creek are in Pacific Time (British Columbia Time). Phones set to automatically update the date and time will switch between Alaska Time and Pacific Time.

Safety First:

Visitors to the site should be aware that bears frequently walk on the road, through the parking lot, and along the dike. They are often very close to people. Remember that these are wild bears! Please respect their need for space in which to move between feeding areas and to avoid confrontations with more dominant bears. Move back and give them room to pass by if they approach, and follow the directions of on-site staff who help direct visitors to appropriate viewing areas.

Fees, Passes and Permits:

Located 75 air miles northeast of Ketchikan and three miles north of Hyder by road in the Salmon River valley. The site is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. PACIFIC TIME daily. From July 15 through September 20, an individual pass is required to visit the Wildlife Observatory. Visitation outside this time period does not require a reservation or pass. Entry tickets may be purchased online through or on-site by by credit card only. NO CASH OR CHECKS can be accepted. There is no cellular signal at the site. 


One Day Pass


Three Day Pass


Weekly (seven day) Pass


Parking area, viewing deck, restroom. Camping in Hyder. Look for: brown and black bears, eagles, geese, ducks, mink, beaver, songbirds, and chum salmon.

Find more information on the Tongass National Forest website.


Fish Creek Wildlife observation site is on the way to the Salmon Glacier, the largest glacier in the world that is accessible by road. This is also the only bear-viewing site in Alaska that is accessible by road.

From the Cassiar Highway (Highway 37) at Meziadin Lake Junction turn left on Highway 37A. Drive 41-miles to the neighboring towns of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska bringing you at the head of Portland Canal, the longest fjord in North America.

After crossing the border into Hyder follow Salmon River Road through Hyder and continue four miles north. A sign marks the Observation Site.


There are two parking areas: the first is just past the Fish Creek bridge and the second is another 600 feet down the road.

For your safety use the board walk from the second parking area to access the site.

Ownership & Management:

USDA Forest Service.

Closest Towns:

Hyder, Alaska

Best Viewing Season:

apring - fall viewing season
 Map of Hyder