Hyder, Alaska

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Hyder, Alaska
The border between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, as seen from the Canadian side.
The border between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, as seen from the Canadian side.
Location of Hyder, Alaska.
Location of Hyder, Alaska.
Coordinates: 55°54′51″N 130°01′28″W / 55.91417°N 130.02444°W / 55.91417; -130.02444Coordinates: 55°54′51″N 130°01′28″W / 55.91417°N 130.02444°W / 55.91417; -130.02444
CountryUnited States
Census areaPrince of Wales-Hyder
 • State senatorBert Stedman (R)
 • State rep.Dan Ortiz (I)
 • Total14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2)
 • Land14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
118 ft (36 m)
 • Total87
 • Density5.9/sq mi (2.3/km2)
Time zoneOfficial time: Alaska (AKST)[1]
  Unofficial time: PST[2]
 • Summer (DST)Official time: AKDT[1]
  Unofficial time: PDT[2]
ZIP Code
Area code(s)236, 250, 778
FIPS code02-34570
GNIS feature ID1422711

Hyder is a census-designated place in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 87 at the 2010 census, down from 97 in 2000.[4] Hyder is accessible by road only from Stewart, British Columbia, and is popular with motorists wishing to visit Alaska without driving the length of the Alaska Highway and is otherwise landlocked. It is the southernmost community in the state that can be reached via car (others can only be reached by boat or plane). Hyder is Alaska's easternmost town.[3] [5]


Hyder is located at 55°56′29″N 130°3′16″W / 55.94139°N 130.05444°W / 55.94139; -130.05444 (55.941442, -130.054504),[6] at the end of the land border between Alaska and British Columbia and at the head of the Portland Canal, a 130-mile (210 km) long fjord which forms a portion of the border at the southeastern edge of the Alaska Panhandle. It sits about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Stewart, British Columbia by road, and 75 miles (121 km) from Ketchikan by air.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38 km2), all land.


Climate data for Hyder, Alaska (averages from 1991-2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 31.2
Average low °F (°C) 22.4
Average precipitation inches (mm) 11.03
Source: Weather Atlas[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

Hyder first appeared on the 1920 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It was chosen as the central part of its same-named census-designated place (CDP) in 1980.

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 97 people, 47 households, and 25 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 6.5 people per square mile (2.5/km2). There were 72 housing units at an average density of 4.9 per square mile (1.9/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 93 White, and 4 from two or more races. There was 1 Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47 households, out of which 9 had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24 were married couples living together, 1 had a female householder with no husband present, and 21 were non-families. 19 of all households were made up of individuals, and 3 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 18 under 18, 11 from 18 to 24, 16 from 25 to 44, 45 from 45 to 64, and 7 who were 65 or older. The median age was 46 years. There were 44 females and 53 males, of them 34 females were age 18 and over, as were 45 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $11,719, and the median income for a family was $30,500. Males had a median income of $56,250 versus $13,750 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,491. There were 44.4% of families and 54.1% of the population living below the poverty line, including 81.0% under 18, and 50.0% over 64.


Salmon Glacier in British Columbia, a popular tourist destination.

Stewart, British Columbia immediately borders Hyder and is accessible by road via International Street. Outside of the town site, NFD-88 heads in a northerly direction winding through the Tongass National Forest, and enters the outer extent of Stewart's municipal limits continuing as Granduc Road. There are few local roads, and no roads connect Hyder to any other Alaskan communities. The AMHS ferry that once connected Hyder to Ketchikan stopped running in the 1990s, leaving the Taquan Air floatplane that arrives twice a week with U.S. Mail at Hyder Seaplane Base as the only direct public transportation between Hyder and the rest of Alaska.[10][11]

Local services[edit]

Fish Creek is a popular bear watching destination, especially during the salmon run.

There are few local services in town:

  • US Postal Service
  • US Forest Service Info Kiosk
  • Camp Run-A-Muck
  • Hyder Community Association, home to museum, information center and library
  • Sealaska Inn, open in summer
  • Boundary Gallery & Gifts

Public utilities[edit]

Hyder's public utilities are imported from Canada.[4] Electricity is maintained by a subsidiary of BC Hydro, the Tongass Power and Light Company as part of a long-term contract[12] with the town. While most of Alaska is in area code 907, Hyder shares the Stewart 749 exchange in area code 236, 636 in area code 250, and 794 in area code 778.[13]

Public safety[edit]

Alaska State Troopers occasionally patrol the town, but do not have a base there.[14] In 1996,[15] during an Independence Day fireworks display, the organizers accidentally burned down their fire hall with the fire engine inside.[16] Ambulances and fire fighters from Stewart can operate in Hyder.

A Canada Border Services Agency customs post is on the only connecting road out of Hyder and there is no complementary American border patrol presence.[14]


The Nisga'a, who lived around the Nass River, called the head of Portland Canal "Skam-A-Kounst," meaning safe place, probably because it served them as a retreat from the harassment of the Haidas on the coast.[17] They traveled in the area seasonally to pick berries.

The area around the Portland Canal was explored in 1896 by Captain D.D. Gaillard of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[17]

In 1898, gold and silver lodes were discovered in the region, mainly on the Canadian side, in the upper Salmon River basin. The Stewart brothers, for whom the British Columbia town was named, arrived in 1902.

Hyder was established in 1907 as "Portland City", after the canal.[3] In 1914, when the US Post Office Department told residents that there were many U.S. communities named Portland, it was renamed Hyder, after Frederick Hyder, a Canadian mining engineer who envisioned a bright future for the area. Hyder was the only practical point of access to the silver mines in Canada; the community became the port, supply point, and post office for miners by 1917. Hyder's boom years were the 1920s, when the Riverside Mine on the U.S. side extracted gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten. The mine operated from 1924 to 1950.

In 1928, the Hyder business district was consumed by fire.[17] By 1956 all significant mining had ceased, except for the Granduc Mine on the Canadian side, which operated until 1984 and 2010 to present.[18] Westmin Resources Ltd operated a gold and silver mine on the Canadian side in Premier, British Columbia but is not currently active.[19]


Hyder is accessible by highway from Stewart, which connects with the British Columbia highway system. In the mid-2010s, Hyder residents said that more than 100,000 tourists came to Hyder annually.[14] It is the location of the annual Hyder Seek gathering of long-distance motorcyclists who travel from all over North America each Memorial Day weekend. It became popular with long distance motorcycle riders in 1998 when author Ron Ayres set a record of riding to the contiguous 48 states in six days. Ayres went on to add to the 48-state record by continuing on to Hyder to establish a new 49-state record of 7 days, 0 hours and 20 minutes. Ayres named the new long distance ride the "48 Plus" and it has become popular with members of the long-distance motorcycle riding Iron Butt Association.[20][21][22][23][24][25] Hyder was the starting point of the 2014 coast-to-coast Scooter Cannonball Run, which ended in New Orleans, Louisiana.[26]

Because of its accessible proximity to Stewart, and its isolation from other communities in Alaska, Hyder has many commonalities with its Canadian neighbor, with both American and Canadian holidays observed,[5] and a shared international Chamber of Commerce.[27] It is the only place in Alaska not to use the 907 area code, instead using British Columbia's 250.[5] Although Hyder is officially in the Alaska Time Zone, residents set their clocks to British Columbia's Pacific Time.[14] Both American and Canadian currency are accepted,[5] except by the U.S. Post Office, which accepts only American dollars.

A local tradition is known as being "Hyderized", with two of the town's bars issuing certificates to patrons who consume a shot of 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) Everclear.[28][29]


Southeast Island School District operates the Hyder School.[30][31]

Children who live in Hyder have attended the Bear Valley School in Stewart,[5] but Hyder has school when the community meets the Alaska minimum of 10 children for the state to provide a teacher.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hyder, Alaska current local time and time zone". Retrieved February 5, 2012. Hyder, Alaska is in the Alaska Time Zone
  2. ^ a b "Stewart, British Columbia current local time and time zone". Retrieved February 5, 2012. Stewart, British Columbia is in the Pacific Time Zone
  3. ^ a b c Geological Survey Professional Paper. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1967. p. 440. Retrieved May 25, 2013. ...was established in 1907 and named "Portland City" because of its location. When the post office was established in 1915, the U.S. Post Office Dept. rejected this name.
  4. ^ a b "Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs. Alaska Community Database Community Information Summaries (CIS). Hyder". State of Alaska. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012. During the Prohibition era, a small community called 'Hyder, BC' was created just across the Canadian border to serve as a legal speakeasy to the Hyder mining community, even housing its own Canadian Customs office.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Folks living in this tiny outpost on the Alaskan border may use Canadian dollars, but they're still '100% American'". National Post. September 11, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Hyder, Alaska, USA - Monthly weather forecast and Climate data". NOAA. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  10. ^ Paul Whitfield (April 26, 2004). Rough guide to Alaska. Rough Guides. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-84353-258-3. Retrieved January 16, 2012. ...it shares a Canadian phone code (250), time zone, Canadian currency (though greenbacks are also accepted), and Canadian national holidays.
  11. ^ "Taquan Air's Inside Passage Flight Schedule: Summer 2011". Taquan Air. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  12. ^ BC Hydro and Power Authority, 2015/16 – 2017/18 Service Plan http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/sp/pdf/agency/bchydro.pdf
  13. ^ Rate centre information for ILEC 8086 TELUS http://localcallingguide.com/lca_exch.php?exch=017550
  14. ^ a b c d e Levin, Dan (July 2, 2016). "An Alaskan Village Where Grizzlies Roam and Canada Rules (if Anyone Does)". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  15. ^ "StackPath".
  16. ^ Andrew Kleinfeld and Judith Kleinfeld (July 19, 2004). "Go Ahead, Call Us Cowboys". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Hyder". State of Alaska - Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  18. ^ Ellsworth Dickson (August 2012). "Castle Resources plans to re-open Granduc Copper Mine" (PDF). Resource World Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  19. ^ BC Geological Survey (BCGS). "MINFILE Mineral Inventory No 104B 054". British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Core Review. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  20. ^ John E. Van Barriger (June 1994), "Canadian Detours: the Long Road to Alaska", American Motorcyclist, 48 (6), ISSN 0277-9358
  21. ^ Tim Yip (March–April 2008). "Edmonton to Alaska". Roadrunner. Joining a band of motorcyclists on an annual run to Hyder, Alaska, we rode north from Edmonton to celebrate Ron Ayres's 1998 feat of smashing the Iron Butt record (riding to 48 states within 10 days) in what is now called the 48 Plus! Iron Butt Ride.
  22. ^ "About Hyder Seek". Hyder Seek 2012 site. Paul Lawson.
  23. ^ Lynn Anderson (March 2011), "Proving your worth, earning your chops", The Best Times, Johnson County Kansas Department of Human Services, archived from the original on November 20, 2013
  24. ^ "48 Plus! Rules". Iron Butt Association. May 27, 2009. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  25. ^ Ron Ayres. "HYDER SEEK [2011]". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008.
  26. ^ "Scooter Cannonball Run". scootercannonball.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  27. ^ "Stewart BC & Hyder AK International Chamber of Commerce". Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2020.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  28. ^ "Hyderized And Confused". Forbes. August 20, 2012.
  29. ^ Steffens, Daneet (June 21, 2002). "Travelogue – EW.com". Entertainment Weekly.
  30. ^ "Hyder School." Alaska Department of Education. Retrieved on June 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Hyder School." Southeast Island School District. Retrieved on June 2, 2019.

External links[edit]