Province/Territory: British Columbia

White Bears and Evergreens

  • 10 millennia of Aboriginal heritage
  • 02 million hectares of traditional territory
  • 01 unique subspecies of bear

Enter an ethereal wilderness—a sanctuary for grey wolves, orcas, bald eagles, humpback whales, grizzly and black bears and countless species of indigenous plants. And the Spirit Bear—a white-furred variation of black bear found only here, in the northwest reaches of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Be guided by local First Nations through the expanses of their traditional territory in search of this near-mythic, cream-white bruin. Explore the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Discover the rich culture, artwork and heritage of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations. Remotely located on BC's north coast, Spirit Bear Lodge will be your home base for a wilderness adventure in search of a beautiful and elusive bear—dubbed moskgm'ol by the local First Nations—that has spawned millennium of Aboriginal myth. Find the Spirit Bear in the rainforest—be awed by the white bears of the evergreens.

Why you should visit
  • Venture on a wildlife and cultural exploration through a two-million-hectare expanse of thick forest, deep fiords, snow-capped mountains and untouched islands—the traditional territory of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations.
  • Traverse the region by boat, disembark on remote islands and be rewarded for the efforts of your search with a sighting of the rare Spirit Bear, a subspecies of black bear with a recessive gene and a distinctive white coat.
  • Learn about the Spirit Bear’s biology from local scientists; hear about the Spirit Bear’s mythology from local First Nations.
  • Visit significant Aboriginal sites, including a traditional Big House, and uncover the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations culture that has flourished in the area for thousands of years.
  • Enjoy opportunities to photograph not only the elusive Spirit Bears, but also grizzly bears, black bears and a subspecies of fish-eating wolf unique to the BC coast.
  • Tour the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy, the coast’s only devoted Spirit Bear protection area—home to an estimated 200 Spirit Bears.
  • Stay in finely appointed Spirit Bear Lodge on the Klemtu waterfront—adorned with authentic Tsimshian artwork and featuring panoramic ocean views and private king-bed suites.
  • Savour a traditional meal prepared by your Kitasoo/Xai’xais hosts.

Weather

Visitor information
When to go
  • Bear viewing tours operate from August 1 to October 10.
  • Spirit Bear viewing is best in September and October.
  • Grizzlies can be viewed from August to October.
  • August sees the driest and warmest weather.
  • Five to seven-night tours offer the best chances of seeing a Spirit Bear.
Need to know
  • All guests must be over the age of 12.
  • Bear viewing is a mobile, active endeavour; no previous experience is required.
  • Guests are responsible for weatherproof outerwear and warm clothing; there are limited services in Klemtu and Bella Bella.
  • Photographers are encouraged to bring a tripod and telephoto/zoom lenses.
  • All excursions are fully guided.
  • Spirit Bear Lodge and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations are committed to environmental conservation and stewardship.
Getting Here