• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Fantastic grizzly viewing at Tweedsmuir Lodge, BC, Canada

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Vicki Tester


WOW!!!!!!!! What a phenomenal Grizzly Bear Viewing season at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest or British Columbia.

The number of grizzlies they have been seeing is unprecedented. Long time locals haven’t seen this many bears in a long time. Guests from all over the world have been seeing 10-15 bears A DAY…… and 2 days ago guests saw EIGHTEEN bears in 1 day!  They believe there are about 4-5 sows with cubs (including triplets) in the vicinity of Tweedsmuir Park Lodge.

Dano Pendygrasse, the Photo/Video Department Manager at Arc’tryx, posted a fantastic blog with some phenomenal images from his recent trip! There’s some super cute photos of cubs, as well as a cool photo showing bears on the lodge lawn…just one of the many advantages of grizzly bear watching at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge!

Here’s Dano’s blog post:

Hello friends,

I’ve been planning my trip to Bella Coola to see the grizzly bears for over a year. It finally happened last week and I’m here to share some photos and stories. I had to take a couple vacation days to make the whole thing work, so at 7AM on Wednesday morning, about an hour later than planned, we aimed the trusty Xterra north, destination; Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. We were staring down the barrel of a long drive and a lousy weather forecast but the thought of a bear encounter helped the miles fly by.

We arrived at the lodge around noon on Thursday after an overnight at the Nimpo Lake Resort. (Pretty nice, wish we had more time there) and after a delicious lunch we set off on our first activity, a 3 hour drift down the Atnarko River. We heard from all the staff about the dozens of sightings in the last 24 hours so I was half expecting to be greeted by grizzlies at the boat launch. As it turns out, we didn’t see any for the first 2 and a half hours. But then, just as the rain started and we pulled out the Gore-tex pants, I heard a twig crack off on the left bank of the river, turned and saw a sow and three cubs emerge from the forest. Thus began a 45 minute encounter that saw two sows facing off across the river while we sat in between.

The drift provided our first glimpse at these huge animals and set the tone for the entire trip. At some point we stopped counting the bear sightings.

By far though, the highlight of the trip was a nature walk with Ellie Archer where we spent about a dozen heart-pounding minutes within a car length of a perfect grizzly.

There are words and there are pictures but the experience of sharing space with these animals is bigger than they can accurately portray. So let’s just get to the photos.

Grizzly Bears Canada

Photographs Courtesy of Dano Pendygrasse

 We arrived to typical BC weather after some of the driest weather on record. Still, the river was extremely low. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Our first bears. The cubs huddled behind mom as she faced off with another sow. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Teamwork. We called the big one “toughy”.

Grizzly bears Canada

 This was the second sow. She walked out into the rapids as we were already committed. She’s looking back at her cub deciding what to do as we inch closer. She retreated back to shore before we got too close…

Grizzly bears Canada

 Moments later she crossed the river and sniffed the wind. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Deciding it was safe, she got back to fishing. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 This was our big beauty. S/he came down the same trail as us only meters away. We settled back and let her do her thing. So close. So amazing. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 he wasn’t sure about passing us by and spent some time checking us out and making the decision. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Usually, when I’m making a tough decision, I like to wrap my arms around a tree.

Grizzly bears Canada

 After passing us S/he found a nice rock in the river to look majestic on.

Grizzly bears Canada

 On the drifts, we had time to watch the dolly varden in the crystal clear river. They were all over the place, sitting behind the spawning salmon and feasting on any stray eggs. Bad shot, but my fishermen friends will appreciate it. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 We made our way to the end of the road to get a view of the ocean. It’s beautiful country but the loss of their Ferry service will surely impact the tourist trade in their already struggling town. Kim and Garry take in the view and watch for slappy seals. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Easily the best illustration I’ve ever seen on a “danger” sign. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 This is Clayton falls. It’s named after my friend Clayton Larsen. At least that’s the story I’m going with. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 Out here, there are stars. Out here we are small. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 As we’re packing up, a sow and a cub give us one last show. This kind of access to wildlife is just unbelievable. 

Grizzly bears Canada

 A gift from the lodge. Safety first!

Call or email us to experience bears for yourselves – 01323 446550 or info@experienceholidays.co.uk  We look forward to hearing from you!



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