Grizzly Bear Viewing River Drifts



Time of year

September 1 to October 16


2-3 hours

Minimum Age


Minimum Fitness Level Easy - Light walking with a few climbs that are more challenging than a flight of stairs. Easy does it, however, if you have mobility issues, this activity, or all our packages, may not be appropriate for you (call us to discuss).

To take part, you should be able to;
- Walk over uneven ground for several hundred metres for up to 3 hours
- Be able to step into a drift boat (3 feet high) on uneven ground

Activity Overview

Gently float down the Atnarko River in the presence of Grizzly Bears. Observe them in their natural environment, foraging for food, and looking after their young. Starting in late August, thousands upon thousands of salmon arrive in the local rivers to spawn - the final phase of their lifecycle. For the bears, salmon are an easy meal. Many bears, as well as other wildlife, congregate on the river to feast and fatten up before the long winter ahead. Due to the abundance of food, the bears are less shy than usual. They are also more tolerant of each other as well as of the people drifting by with their cameras. Along with bears, it is also possible to see a wide variety of birds and other wildlife with incredible mountain views as the backdrop.

Private Groups of less than 3 guests will drift in a Mckenzie Drift Boat. These boats have comfortable seating for up to 3 adults + 1 guide and gear. Small Groups of more than 3 will drift in an Inflatable Raft. These boats have comfortable seating for up to 6 adults + 1 guide and gear. Both boat types provide a stable platform from which to capture photographs. There is a total guest weight restriction (including gear)of 800 lbs (382 kgs) for McKenzie Drift Boats. This also applies to Inflatable Rafts later in the season in low water conditions.

Whether on a McKenzie Drift Boat or an Inflatable Raft, a trained wildlife guide will accompany you every step of the way to explain Grizzly Bear behaviour, to teach you about the history and geography of the area, to share interesting facts about the river habitat, and to keep you safe.

Quick Facts

  • Who Should Book?
    • This bucket list eco-adventure is a ‘must do’ for all guests visiting the lodge during Grizzly Bear Safari season
    • Viewing Grizzly Bears by drift boat is a safe and non-intrusive way to observe and capture photos (no flash) of natural behaviours from a safe distance

Note: The number of drifts down the river per day is limited in order to minimize our impact. 

  • Safety & Mobility Considerations
    • This activity requires light flexibility and fitness in order to get in and out of the boat from the rock covered shoreline

Note: Children weighing less than 70 lbs (32 kg) are required to wear a child specific lifejacket.

  • Minimum Age
    • 12+

Note: Guests must be 12 years of age or older to visit the lodge during Grizzly season.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable layered clothing that is appropriate for variable weather conditions, wind protection, and possible rain
  • A small backpack for fluids and other important personal items

Note: No food is allowed on board the boat during Grizzly Bear season.

  • A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug spray are highly recommended
  • A camera to capture the experience and binoculars to view distant objects

Sample Itinerary

  • Start - This activity begins at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
    • Guests board one of our shuttles and transfer approx. 2 minutes East along Highway 20 to the boat launch at the Belarko Wildlife Viewing Platform
    • Prior to boarding the boat, guests are provided with a safety orientation and are equipped with a life jacket
    • With the assistance of the guide, guests climb aboard the boat, are helped into position, and are instructed on where to safely stow their belongings
    • Guests enjoy an approx. 2 hour scenic drift down the Atnarko River with commentary provided by their guide along the way
    • Boats will eddie out to the shoreline when possible and will stop to view wildlife and to take photographs
  • End - This activity ends at our dedicated boat launch approx. 2 kms south of Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
    • Guests collect their belongings, climb out of the boat, return their life jacket, and board one of our shuttles for an approx. 2 minute drive East back to Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
    • Upon arrival back at the lodge, guests enjoy a delicious lunch (morning departures) or apres on the deck (afternoon departures) if they purchased one of our all-inclusive packages

Note: Capacity is limited in each of our activities and we prioritize space for guests staying at the lodge. That being said, we occasionally have space for guests not staying at the lodge. If you will not be staying with us and would like to book this activity, please contact us by phone at 604-905-4994 or by email at [email protected].