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Real Life IMAX -
Great Bear Seasons and When to Visit

The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest coastal temperate rainforests left in the world. It’s also a mesmerizing IMAX film by the same name that gives moviegoers a big-screen look into one of the world’s most lively rainforests, which supports birds, sea lions, whales, salmon, wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, spirit bears, and more.  

  Ian McAllister, the IMAX film’s director and cinematographer, first visited the Great Bear Rainforest for a one-week exploratory trip 30 years ago and never left! The idea for an IMAX movie of the Great Bear Rainforest was first pitched nearly 20 years ago, but the technology wasn’t quite ready for a natural expedition at the time.

The IMAX movie was filmed over the course of three years because certain natural events are limited to just a few days every year and they were following some of the rarest animals in the world. In fact, there only an estimated 50 to 100 spirit bears in existence. Even during peak season, about 50% of Spirit Bear Lodge guests are lucky enough to see an elusive spirit bear.

Wildlife is never a guarantee, it’s a gift! This inspiring movie opens the Great Bear Rainforest up to the world with a message of hope, conservation, and engagement.

If you want to go beyond the IMAX screen and experience the Great Bear Rainforest in real life, the Spirit Bear Lodge is your perfect jumping-off point.

 

  Located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, Spirit Bear Lodge connects visitors to Indigenous   culture, outdoor activities – like hiking and kayaking, and the chance to see animals in the wild.

Just like the filmmakers, you may need to plan your trip according to the seasons, depending what you want to see. The rainforest is a living thing and some natural changes happen quickly. Here’s a look into the three main great bear seasons:
Grizzly Spring - June and July
During the late spring months, the rainforest enters a time of renewal and awakening. Just like the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX movie, you have the chance to see grizzly mothers with little cubs. During this time of year, the grizzlies feed on sedge grass at the river’s edge and pawfuls of berries.    

Bear Gathering – August

The natural event of salmon spawning is never scheduled, but it typically takes place by mid to late August. Right before, and during this time, grizzlies, black bears, and spirit bears all begin to congregate near the mouths of rivers and prepare for the feast!    

Spirit Bear Season – September and October
 

All of three of the bear species in the Great Bear Rainforest will be feeding continuously during September and October to prepare for hibernation. During this time, guests will have the best possible chance to see a spirit bear in the wild.  

Whether you’re dreaming of a visit to the Spirit Bear Lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest or you’ve stayed with us previously and want to re-live the magic, you should check out the IMAX Great Bear Rainforest film for yourself! The movie will be releasing to giant screen and IMAX theatres across the nation starting in February 2019.