One of our favourite places for bear watching is bringing a new floating lodge in to commission this year. Great Bear Tours are located on a beautiful salmon river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Colombia, Canada and has featured on BBC programmes about bears and their environment.
The new lodge is a floating one and will have larger rooms with en suite facilities for their few, lucky clients. During the autumn when bear viewing – fishing for salmon – is at its height the lodge is host to just 16 clients. For the rest of the year the number of visitors are limited to 10 making this a very exclusive experience.
They have also 2 new bear viewing sites and to see how close you could be to these wonderful animals view some of their clips on their website www.greatbeartours.com.
Picture courtesy of Great Bear Nature Tours.
Bear viewing, both grizzly and black, can go ahead during the spring and summer and the wilderness is home to many other animals, including wolves, deer and a host of birds.
This is “must” for lovers of bears but because numbers are limited it does need booking well in advance. If you are interested or want more information, then get in touch on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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.
Our first bears. The cubs huddled behind mom as she faced off with another sow.
Teamwork. We called the big one “toughy”.
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…
Moments later she crossed the river and sniffed the wind.
Deciding it was safe, she got back to fishing.
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.
he wasn’t sure about passing us by and spent some time checking us out and making the decision.
Usually, when I’m making a tough decision, I like to wrap my arms around a tree.
After passing us S/he found a nice rock in the river to look majestic on.
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.
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.
Easily the best illustration I’ve ever seen on a “danger” sign.
This is Clayton falls. It’s named after my friend Clayton Larsen. At least that’s the story I’m going with.
Out here, there are stars. Out here we are small.
As we’re packing up, a sow and a cub give us one last show. This kind of access to wildlife is just unbelievable.
Now is the perfect time to see grizzly bears in their natural habitat in the forests of Canada.
So if you go down to the woods near Tweedsmuir Park Lodge you may just come across a grizzly bear picnic as they come to the lower lodge lawns to graze on the clover and grass. You may even be able to do some bear watching from the lodge or the comfort of your private cabin.
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge can be found in the Bella Coola Valley, and borders the Atnarko River, where the bears come to in the autumn to feast on the spawning salmon. It is one of the Magnificent seven luxury wilderness lodges in Canada.
As well as bear watching you can join in other activities including river drifts, guided nature walks, salmon fishing, heli hiking and cruising the fjords. For those budding photographers out there you can even take part ina photography course (only available on certain dates) and get loads of great tips on how to get that perfect picture to take home and show friends and family.
With only eleven cabins, spaces are limited and getting booked up for next year already so call us on 01323 446550 or email email@example.com to avoid disappointment and book your bespoke, tailor made trip to see the grizzlies.
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