In early May each year, tons of eulachon, a type of smelt, swim into Chilkoot River to spawn. They come in so thick that from atop the bridge, they turn the river gray. Attracted by this easy, all-you-can-eat meal, tens of thousands of gulls, scores of sea lions and seals, and even orcas and humpback whales crowd into this estuary, creating the Chilkat Valley’s grandest wildlife spectacle. Natives using long-handled dipnets fill beds of pickup trucks with the fish rendered in outdoor pits to make a powerfully medicinal fish oil. Park in gravel lot across bridge. (A similar run occurs on the Chilkat River, viewable from Chilkat River Beach.) From late July into October, the bridge also is central to feeding by a dozen or more brown bear sows and cubs.

Getting There

Latitude: 59.324272
Longitude: -135.556626
Driving Directions