Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Three More Bears (ok, one was a Glacier) – Cassiar Highway (day 2, pt. 2)

Bear near Meziadin Junction, British Columbia     Bear near Meziadin Junction, British Columbia

We met up this guy at the Meziadin Junction.  He seemed to be playing “hide and seek” with vehicles which passed by…but by the time we got up to him he was in definite “hiding mode” because he turned around and off he went.

Bear Glacier along Glacier Highway to Stewart/Hyder

Bear Glacier along Glacier Highway to Stewart/HyderThis is “Bear Glacier” (above and left), which is right along the road to Stewart/Hyder.  Look at those various colors of blue in glacier…we had not seen that much blue in a glacier before.  The picture to the left is a close up of the middle section.  Not really sure where the blue comes from, but the “dirt” comes off the walls around the glacier during rain storms.

Bear along Glacier Highway to Stewart/Hyder

This big guy was not too far from Stewart, our destination for the next three nights.  He let me drive right by him…but I did not dare stop next to him.  Why?  See those teeth??  That’s why.  But again I have jumped way to far into our trip…let’s go back to where we saw the mama bear stand up to protect her cubs…

Near Bell 2, Cassiar Highway

After we saw mama bear and cubs, we continued along the Cassiar Highway.  I got to hand it to Marcia, despite her right shoulder hurting, she continued to take lots of wonderful shots during the two days from Watson Lake to Stewart/Hyder.  Remember, Stewart is in British Columbia, Hyder is in Alaska.  This little lake is just north of what they call “Bell 2”, a resort, right near where the Bell Irving River crosses under the Cassiar Highway.

Note:  Our destination is Stewart/Hyder. The bigger town is Stewart, and it has the better RV Park.  These two towns, though accessible by car, are way out in the nowhere land.  Verizon Cell Coverage is ZIP.  Most Internet is by satellite and is slow, and cost the user (RV park) lots of $$$, so they restrict usage to 2 hours every 24 hours, and limit total use to 40 megs…which means you cannot do anything at all.  Anyway, that is why I had to wait until we got back to a Verizon area where we can use our aircard…so this post (part 2) is being written 150 miles south of Stewart in a small Canadian town called Kitwanga.  The last two post, although they were posted from here, I wrote while we were in Stewart.

Bell Irving River near Bell 2, Cassiar Highway

Here is the Bell Irving River near Bell 2.  This is in the heart of Skeena Mountains, and it is a very pretty area.  There is a RV park in this area that looked ok as we drove by…but their Internet is pretty much non-existent too.  We have now been on the road for 100 miles since we left Mountain Shadow RV Park.

Skeena Mountains, Cassiar Highway     Another river near Meziadin Junction , Cassiar Highway
And now we are at Meziadin Junction where we saw bear #4 for the day, 40 miles from our destination in Stewart.  For these 40 miles we will be on the “Glacier Highway”, officially called Highway 37A.  Should be less than an hour away…but no, it takes us a good 90 minutes to cover these 40 miles…

Meziadin Lake and Coast Mountain Range, Glacier Highway

We drive along Meziadin Lake, although you can’t get a good picture of the lake alongside the road, and come to the eastern portion of the Coast Mountain Range which we will be driving through to get to Stewart/Hyder.  The Coast Mountain Range extends from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the Coast of British Columbia. 

 Coast Mountain Range, Glacier Highway

Glacier along Glacier Highway     Glacier along Glacier Highway 

Glacier along Glacier Highway

We quickly see why the call it the Glacier Highway.

Bear Glacier along Glacier Highway

And that’s when we come to Bear Glacier.  This is the Bear Glacier in British Columbia, and not the on in Alaska.  Back in the 1940’s it covered the lake shown in the third picture in the post.  When it did, the lake would dam under the glacier, and eventually burst, pouring water down the Bear River Valley.  In the 1970’s the glacier stopped covering the lake.

Waterfalls near Bear Glacier along Glacier Highway     Waterfalls near Bear Glacier along Glacier Highway

I think they could also have called this highway “Waterfalls Highway”, because there are a bunch of them along the road.  The top picture is near Bear Glacier, the other two are just down the highway.  The one on the right is a closeup of the top of the one on the left.  Although there is a sheet of ice running along the top, two waterfalls are split off from the large rock with a lot of water running down each fall.  This is all from the same snow pack on Otter Mountain, which contains the Bear Glacier.  I assume the ice sheet is part of Bear Glacier.

Glacier along Glacier Highway

This glacier may be part of Bear Glacier too…just not sure.  The lack of signs providing information, and the lack of information on the websites just makes it hard to determine.

Bear River near Stewart B.C.

A few more miles down the road and we cross over Bear River, take a left and pull into Bear River RV Park.  We did not have reservations, but they had a spot for us for three nights.  More about the RV Park and the Stewart/Hyder area in my next post.

It took us two days to get from Watson Lake to Stewart/Hyder area.  It took three posts, of which this is the third posting.  If you missed the first two, you can find them by clicking the below links:

Cassiar Highway is Breathtaking – and a Moose with a Calf


  1. I totally understand why it took you three post and so much time to get to this destination. The wildlife and glaciers are spectacular! I love the blue ice of the glacier. I remember how long it took us to drive the Icefields Parkway in Alberta with all the stops for photos and gawking. You certainly are surrounded by beauty. Super photos!

    1. And everyone we talked to saw bears along the Glacier Highway, and most on the Cassiar Highway. At least three saw a mama bear with two cubs, so I wonder if she feels safer along the highway than out where the Grizzly Bears live.

  2. Beautiful trip,love all the pi tures.


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