Bear-viewing Tour Overview
A Eco-Cultural Wildlife Tour with Spirit Bear Lodge is a Unique ExperienceEach day we travel by boat into the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest from our base at the Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu, BC. Our guides lead guests in search of Spirit bears, grizzlies and a host of other wildlife.
Our tours depart from Vancouver International Airport's South Terminal on a daily basis from August 1st to October 10th for packages ranging in length from 3 - 7 nights. Guests fly from Vancouver to Bella Bella where they are met by our ground crew for the short boat shuttle across to the quaint coastal fishing village of Shearwater where they spend the first night of their package. After breakfast the following morning, guests board our water taxi for the scenic 90 minute ride to Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu. Guests arrive at Spirit Bear Lodge in the late morning. Upon arrival they receive a short orientation on the lodge facilities and our bear viewing program before embarking with their guides on our high speed boat with lunch aboard for our first afternoon tour. Our bear viewing program takes us daily to different pristine river valleys and estuaries between 30 – 90 minutes from the lodge. Typically we will travel by boat and disembark to explore the lush river valleys and broad, braided estuaries on foot.
Our guides have an intimate knowledge of the behavior and movement patterns of the bears and will often situate guests under the forest canopy or on a rocky outcropping to get intimate and special eye-level viewing and photographic opportunities as the bears forage for roots, berries or feast on salmon. Depending on our location we may also board small skiffs and propel silently under oar or by small outboard motor up a river or into the braided channels of an estuary to view bears.
Anyone over the age of 11 years old who is active and mobile is suitable for our tours. None of our viewing takes place from artificial viewing blinds. It is truly an exhilarating and unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience to be in the company of wild grizzly bears whilst taking advantage of the experience and judgement of our seasoned bear guides.
Viewing for grizzly bear is very good from mid June to mid October as the bears move from early foraging for roots in the late Spring to savouring wild berries in the Summer before moving on to the great Fall feast during salmon spawning which runs from mid August to late October depending on the river system. Guests can come for grizzly viewing on packages which range from 3 nights to 7 nights which include one staging night in Shearwater.
Guests who are intent on viewing the elusive Spirit Bear are strongly suggested to consider a minimum 5 night package or longer and to consider coming in September or October. While our guests who choose the 3 or 4 night packages and who come earlier in the season may well see the Spirit Bear, this creature is elusive and shy and generally those who stay for longer – on the 5, 6 or 7 night packages – are more likely to get rewarded with the moving experience of seeing the bear known as moskgm'ol.
Although these are wild animals and we can never guarantee Spirit Bear sightings, Spirit Bear Lodge guests will benefit from the experience of local First Nations guides who work closely with the Coastal Guardian Network of ‘watchmen’ in the region who all communicate with each other to maximize viewing opportunities.
Of course, in addition to bear viewing, our guests will have the opportunity to visit culturally significant sites including our spectacular Big House and learn about the First Nations culture that has flourished in this area for thousands of years.
Please see the links below for our detailed sample itineraries:
- SBL3 (3 night/4 day)
- SBL4 (4 night/5 day)
- SBL5 (5 night/6 day)
- SBL6 (6 night/7 day)
- SBL7 (7 night/8 day)
Spirit Bear Lodge was recognized in 2011 by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) as a 'Signature Experience'. The CTC created the Signature Experience Collection to identify tourism businesses that will be used to "show the world what Canada is all about." Using the authorized CTC Signature Collection logo, we are proud to display our membership in this elite group of tourism businesses .
Download a colour brochure about Spirit Bear Lodge in PDF