Fish Creek Bear Viewing Area

Fish Creek Bear in creek

Fish Creek is the first Alaskan stop on the way north to main land Alaska. It has a run of what may be the largest chum salmon known. The chum salmon in fish creek are large enough they were once thought to be a different species. Fish creek also supports a run of pink salmon.  The salmon in turn support brown (grizzly), black bears and wolves that feed at Fish Creek July through Mid-September. Beavers, mink, bald eagles, sharp Shined hawks, great blue herons, and gulls have also been seen at Fish Creek.

From July 5 through September 15, an individual pass is required to visit the Wildlife Observatory. Visitation outside this time period does not require a reservation or pass.


One Day Pass


Three Day Pass


Weekly (seven day) Pass


How will I know if the salmon are returning and the bears are beginning to show up? You can call 1-250-636-2367 beginning July 1 for daily updated wildlife activities at the Fish Creek Bear Viewing facility on the Tongass NF.

picture of the Fish Creek platform trail with trees and mountains in the background

 As of August 09, 2019, we are three weeks into the salmon run. Brown bears, black bears and eagles are fishing at the site. The bear viewing has been good but sporadic over the past week. There has been 3 to 5 hours of activity daily. Sometimes seeing bears 5 to 7 times per day. However, there have been periods of more than half a day without seeing bears. This is could be due to warm weather. Cooler weather and rain in the forecast should increase the amount of activity. Some of the bears we are seeing now are not accustom to people and the platform. Quietness and attention to site rules are essential for viewing the bears. The fish numbers and bear activity should continue at the site for the next three weeks.

Always follow good wildlife photography and viewing ethics. -


The Fish Creek Wildlife Observatory consists of a 600 foot elevated wooden viewing platform, 2 parking areas, a second raised walkway along a spawning channel connecting the parking areas to the main viewing area, and an outhouse.

You can purchase passes from vendors in Hyder.  Please purchase from, or display your pass to the Forest Service personnel in the cabin as you enter the viewing deck.  They will check your pass (if required) and brief you on site conditions and safety.  During the peak viewing season of July and August, Forest Service interpreters are also onsite to provide current information on bear safety, and wildlife activity.

Safety Information

Site regulations require that when visiting the Fish Creek bear viewing deck in Hyder you;

-Keep pets and food inside your vehicle.
-No Cooking at the site, including parking areas.
-Walk directly to the board walk to access the site. Do not walk along the road.

Bear on shore surrounded by tall grass

Photo taken from the viewing platform August 12, 2019 by Erwin "Wes" Weston
Always follow good wildlife photography and viewing ethics. -

At a Glance

Operational Hours:

6 AM to 10 PM July 5 through Sept 5, 7 AM to 9 PM Sept 6--




$5/1 day pass, $10/3 day pass, $20/7 day pass

Open Season:

July 5



Closest Towns:





1 Outhouse at Deck

Operated By:

Forest Service


General Information


The Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site is located in Hyder Alaska.  Drive 41 miles east on Highway 37A from the Cassiar Highway.  Continue on the main road through Hyder then go 3 miles past the town to arrive at Fish Creek.

Area Attractions:

Hyder Alaska, its Canadian neighbor Stewart BC and the Salmon River Valley is a region of rich scenic natural landscapes and mining history.   The drive into Hyder on Hwy 37a curves through a dramatic glacial valley.  The Bear glacier and lake below it can be viewed from the road.   Both Hyder and Stewart have amenities for the weary traveler.  The Fish Creek Wildlife Observation site is located in the equally dramatic and scenic Salmon River Valley. A jökulhlaup or glacial outburst floodhas occurred every summer on the Salmon River since 1969.  You can drive 20 miles past Fish Creek to view the 7 mile long Salmon Glacier and lake which drains completely every summer causing the flood.  The area’s scenic beauty, bears, wolves, and flora are major attractions for Photographers.

For more information call: 250-636-2367

Call after July 1 for regular updates on wildlife activity at Fish Creek.

Walkway of Fish Creek  Fish Creek Viewing Platform