The Alaskan City Wedged Between the U.S. and Canada

Hyder, Alaska, is wedged between two Canadian borders. There’s just one little annoyance to living there: you need a passport to travel from Hyder to the rest of the United States, but you don’t need one to travel from Canada to Hyder. Although Hyder is in United States, the only road access is from Canada. Hyder describes itself as a friendly ghost town, as there are many abandoned buildings there; but there are real people who live there as well. The population, of course, includes bears — 87 of them at last count. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol the nearby town of Steward, British Columbia, so if you call the police from Hyder, a Canadian Mountie will respond. In fact, Hyder is the only place in the U.S. where the local police are from another country. Another thing Hyder shares with Canada is their area code. Unlike the rest of Alaska that uses 907 for their area code, residents of Hyder use British Columbia’s area code, 250. The preferred currency in Hyder is the Canadian dollar, except at the post office, which can only accept U.S. currency. There’s no bank in Hyder, so residents do their banking in Canada. Another thing Hyder is missing is a school, which means children attend school in Canada. Yes, Hyder also gets its electricity from British Columbia. So, although residents live in Alaska, they pay British Columbia Hydro Company for their electricity. By now, you might be wondering what the residents of Hydra are going to be doing on Independence Day. Since America’s holiday is on July 4th and Canada Day is on July 1st, the towns of Hyder, Alaska, and Stewart, British Columbia, host International Days from July 1st to July 4th every year. Consequently, both towns join in the planning and provide many fun-filled activities during the joint celebration.