How to Motorcycle to Salmon Glacier Canada

Salmon Glacier in Canada is an epic destination for any motorcycle traveller and adventure bike rider. Here’s everything you need to know about riding and getting there…

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

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How to Motorcycle to Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier is the largest glacier in the world accessible by road – making it a must for adventure motorcycle travellers. The glacier is located in Canada, but can only be accessed by crossing into Alaska. But don’t worry, it’s not difficult or complicated. This guide explains everything you need to know about riding there on your motorcycle.

Why visit Salmon Glacier?

The view from the road’s summit is breathtaking. Standing 1,310m above sea level and gazing out over the glacial ice snake curling its way round the mountain that you’ve just ridden up is special – really special.

It’s a fun gravel ride up and you also have the novelty of passing through Alaska. Here’s what you need to know.

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Where is Salmon Glacier?

Salmon Glacier is in Canada, but you need to pass through Alaska to get there. Confusing, right?

Here’s a Google Map showing your route.

How to get to Salmon Glacier?

You’ll start in the Canadian town of Stewart. A short ride into the town centre and you’ll see signs for the town of Hyder, Alaska.

There are no US border guards, border stations or formalities to go through. You simply ride straight on through into the town and continue on the same road (Granduc rd). You will shortly pass back over the border into Canada. Stay on the same road the entire way until you reach the viewpoint.

You’ll know when you’re at the viewpoint because you’ll see some pit toilets there and benches. There are no other amenities there.

On your return, you will be met by a Canada border station. Your passport will be checked, questions asked and you’ll be allowed entry back into Canada (provided all is well with your visa and paperwork!). 

How long and how far?

The total route from Stewart to the viewpoint is just under 40kms and should take around 1.5 hours.

What are the riding conditions like?

From Stewart’s town centre, you have 11.5 miles (18km) of asphalt road (roughly 20 minutes), which takes you just past the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Deck. From there, gravel starts at the Titan Trail Head. You now have 17.5 miles (28km) of gravel to ride until you reach the viewpoint.

The gravel ride is easy during warm weather. It can even be done (albeit slowly) on road tyres if you’re a confident rider. However, if it is bad weather and raining, I’d imagine it would be slick and challenging to ride.

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When is the best time to go?

You can only ride the road to the glacier between early July and late September. It is closed outside of these months due to heavy snowfall.

Where to stay?

There is plenty of accommodation in Stewart, where we recommend staying.

We stayed for a few nights at the Bear Valley Guesthouse and loved it. There are cooking facilities there too and there’s a supermarket in town for supplies. There’s also a restaurant in town, but bear in mind it closes early. Wherever you stay, book early.

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Top tips for riding in Salmon Glacier

Get Hyderized

Once you cross into Hyder, you’ll spot the Glacier Inn bar. In there you’ll find a shot of 150 proof alcohol (75% alcohol). It’s famous and a popular thing to do in Hyder.

Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site

While in Hyder, just before the gravel road to the Salmon Glacier starts, you’ll see a large parking area to your left. This is the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site – and it is an absolute must if you’re there at the right time as you’ll see bears fishing for salmon!

Important note, strangely, you can not buy tickets at the site. They must be purchased online or can be bought from the Stewart Tourist Office. We recommend buying them at the tourist office because they will know in there if bears have been spotted that day and if you’re likely to see any. If you buy them online then it’s just a gamble.

Fuel, food and water

Make sure you take enough of all of these with you just in case.

Honda CRF300L Adventure Bike in Canada Alaska

Mosquitoes

You may find millions of mosquitoes at the viewpoint dependent on the time of year. If you’re unlucky, they are huge, in swarms and relentless. So keep your gear on and apply spray.

Conditions

Check the Stewart Tourism website for any road closures or notifications before travelling stewart-tourism.com/salmon-glacier

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Read more on motorcycle travel in Canada

Thanks for checking out The Salmon Glacier Motorcycle Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel in Canada that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning on riding a motorcycle to Salmon Glacier in Canada? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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