Grizzly bear crossing a stream (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)
One of the most popular attractions in Stewart is bear watching at Fish Creek.
Stand on a platform in a grove of trees high above the creek, and watch Alaskan brown grizzlies and black bears fish and eat spawning pink and chum salmon. Grizzlies are distinguishable from black bears by their larger size, lighter colour, and shoulder hump.
On some days, only a single bear may appear, but on other days, mothers and cubs may frolic by the creek for hours. Most of the time eagles soar overhead, wolves join in the hunt, and salmon thrash in the creek, which makes for an amazing wildlife experience.
Fish Creek is north of Stewart, and is a five-minute drive past Hyder, Alaska. Cross the US border, and drive straight through Hyder. Continue along Salmon Glacier Road for about 10 minutes until reaching numerous parked cars. Fish Creek is open daily; the entrance to the platform features information about bears and their habitat. Forestry workers are also onsite to answer questions and enforce safety rules. The best bear viewing coincides with the salmon run in July and August, but the bears are also out and about in the area from early May until mid-September.
Bear Watching Safety
Stewart is so far north and in such a quiet wilderness area that bears are often spotted simply strolling around town or eating berries on the side of the highway. Viewing bears in this manner or from a platform requires a same attention to distance. Never approach or feed a bear. Also, keep in mind that all wild animals are potentially dangerous.
Stewart Visitor Centre has more information on bear watching.