Province/Territory: British Columbia

See grizzly bears in their rain forest environment

  • 70000 square km Great Bear Rainforest
  • 70 m (250 ft) tall western red cedars and ancient Sitka spruce
  • 500 kg (1,100 lb) is the weight of a large grizzly bear

Few thrills match the moment a massive grizzly bear emerges from the dense and tangled coastal rain forest. Video cameras whir and shutters click rapidly - the wild bear as intent on capturing a meal of spawning salmon as the observers are at capturing the perfect shot. With the expert guides of Great Bear Nature Tours at your side, float along a narrow waterway, hike a lush rain forest trail or wait in a carefully-constructed blind and watch as the symbiotic interactions of this rich natural world unfold. Your journey into the heart of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest offers the chance for up close and personal encounters with grizzlies, otters, eagles and even the occasional whale. The intimate floating Great Bear Lodge, deep in this wild fjord, provides comfort and luxury far from the noise of modern life.

Why you should visit
  • Sit in a hidden viewing blind above a river, close enough to wild grizzlies to hear them splash through the rushing waters to scoop up spawning salmon.
  • Feast on a wilderness gourmet meal of fresh-caught Dungeness crab or salmon baked on a cedar plank.
  • Take an interpretive rainforest walk, learning about bears, berries and the ecology of this globally-significant ecosystem.
  • Leave behind the noise of modern life for a remote wilderness experience.
  • Discover how salmon and bear populations interact to sustain this rare old-growth forest.

Weather

Visitor information
  • Hours & Tour Prices.
  • Tours include all accommodation, meals, guides and return 50-minute seaplane flight from Port Hardy to the Great Bear Lodge.
  • Five-bedroom, green, water and solar-powered floating lodge with private washrooms and shared showers.
  • Binoculars, rain gear and rubber boots supplied.
  • Special diets can be catered with advance notice.
When to go
  • Open from May to October.
  • In May and June, view bears from boats in the estuary as they graze on tall sedges and grasses.
  • In autumn, bears congretate at the river to catch salmon and viewing is from land-based blinds.
Need to know
  • Four day tours include Interpretive discussion and welcome orientation for wildlife viewing.
  • Wear comfortable walking/hiking footwear and outdoor clothing.
  • Focus is low-impact ecotourism, education and photography.
  • Daily trips with a wildlife biologist as guide may involve several hours of waiting and watching from boats or blinds in cold, wet conditions.
  • There are no guarantees you will encounter bears.
Getting Here
  • Tours start from Port Hardy, which is located on the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
  • There are daily direct flights from Vancouver to Port Hardy.
  • Driving from Victoria to Port Hardy is approximately 500 km and takes 6 hours.
  • BC Ferries provides regular vehicle and passenger ferry service between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.