It’s not often that I can say that I drove to Alaska, via Yellowstone, from Toronto. And back.
That’s what Simon and I did during the summer of 2013 after Yellowstone became a bit too crowded for our liking.
One afternoon, after waiting 45 minutes in a bison jam in Hayden Valley – with cars backed up for miles and miles – Simon’s brain started churning (as it always does) and out popped the question.
Not THAT question, that was a few October’s ago.
He popped the “Will you drive to Alaska” question.
I’m always a sucker for an adventure so I immediately said “Let’s do it!”
The next morning we were off, stopping on route in Glacier/Waterton International Peace Park – one of our favourite places in the world.
From there, we wound our way up to Jasper National Park. The plan was to stop there for the night, but I was in one of those determined moods to get as far as possible that evening. So after a quick stop at Jasper Pizza Place (a blog post for a later date), we continued on and made it all the way to Beaumont Provincial Park, near Prince George, British Columbia.
A quick camp overnight and began the final leg of our journey to Stewart, B.C./Hyder, Alaska.
Let me tell you, it was a stunning drive.
The Stewart-Cassier Highway is one that I would love to drive again some day soon. Spectacular glaciers, gorgeous mountains and plenty of black bear sightings along the way.
I recommend stopping in Prince George to visit the Visitor Information Centre. They were so helpful and assisted us with a plan on where to camp along the way, and where to detour to try to find me a ghost bear (unsuccessfully for us this trip). They also gave us a great map to point us in the right direction to find specific glaciers and other interesting sites to see.
A few highlights along the way:
1. At the Stewart-Cassier Hwy junction, take a turn toward Terrace and keep your eyes peeled for the spirit or ghost bear.
2. Stop at Beaumont Provincial Park and watch the sun set on Fraser Lake.
3. Take a driving break to photograph/watch black bears along the side of the hwy. They are everywhere. And PLEASE drive carefully, they pop out every which way.
4. View Bear Glacier just outside of the town of Stewart.
5. Drive past the town, into Hyder, Alaska, and continue on until you switch back into B.C. in what becomes a gravel road. Check out the spectacular Salmon Glacier near the end of the road. Jaw dropping.
In a few weeks, I will give a few tips on what to do and where to eat in Stewart/Hyder.
Happy road tripping!