Grizzly Bear Safari

Float peacefully in non-motorized drift boats on our Small Group bear viewing tours

Grizzly Bear Safari

Up (relatively) close & personal

Grizzly Bear Safari

WATCH GRIZZLY BEARS CATCH SALMON ON OUR TOURS!

Grizzly Bear Safari

 

 

Grizzly Bear Safari

View sows with twins OR triplets!

Grizzly Bear Safari

See grizzly bears right from your private, timber-frame chalet!

Grizzly Bear Watching and Viewing Tours in the Great Bear Rainforest

In late summer, when the salmon arrive to spawn, Bella Coola is host to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears on the planet. Among these old growth forests, pristine rivers, stunning peaks, soaring eagles, and vast glaciers, there is one animal at the top of the food chain: it is the mighty grizzly bear.

Package Highlights

  • Observe grizzly bears feasting on salmon
  • Float the pristine Atnarko River in a non-motorized McKenzie Drift Boat or Raft!
  • Explore the ancient Great Bear Rainforest in the company of a local guide
  • Explore Nuxalk First Nations culture and visit the petroglyph gardens
  • Stay in private chalets at the award-winning Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
  • Choose either a Private or Small Group package
  • Optional Add-On: see the stunning scenery of the Bella Coola Valley from the air by helicopter

Our grizzly bear viewing trips, recognized by Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission) as a Signature Experience that showcases authentic, immersive and engaging tourism experiences for travellers, take place from September to mid October. This is when the local rivers are host to teeming numbers of returning salmon which in turn draws lots of grizzlies hoping to fatten up for the coming winter. At this time of the year the grizzly bears are intent on fishing and are more tolerant of both other bears and people and are therefore much easier to observe.

Bella Coola Grizzly Bear Watching at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is a proud member of the Canadian Signature Experiences Collection

Accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable guide, our drift trips are the perfect way to see the bears and wildlife of the Bella Coola valley. The McKenzie River boats are non-motorized and therefore do not disturb the bears in their natural habitat. The leisurely pace and silence offer a relaxed and peaceful way to travel the valley, as well as a completely unique opportunity for viewing wildlife up close and personal. On some occasions, our guests see up to 15 different grizzly bears in a single float...conversely, there could be a day where no bears are spotted (though that is rare)!

In addition to the river floats you will also be able to walk old growth forests, literally in the footsteps of the bears. Our guide will show you day beds, claw marks on trees, tufts of bear fur, and of course lots of bear scat.

Guests from all over the world have stated that this is one of the ultimate wildlife viewing opportunities on the planet. See what they say about us on TripAdvisor.

Private and Small Group Tours 

Wildlife experiences are so much better in small, intimate groups. Group size is definitely something you should consider when booking your holiday. At Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, guests have the option of choosing a Private or a Small Group package. Here are the differences;

Private package - All of your tours are composed of just the people in your reservation (plus the guide of course!). On the guided Scenic River Drifts you will get to use a McKenzie Drift Boat, which is the best option for serious photographers (as it has a solid base and sides). If you have children 11 years old and younger, then you will need to book a Private package. Bookings can be made for any day of the week (subject to availability).

Small Group package - Both Guided Nature Walks and River Drifts are in small groups, with no more than 6 people. Drift the river in a comfortable raft with seats. Bookings can be made for any day of the week (subject to availability).

Visiting in Early to Mid-October

In addition to September, the month of October is a great time to visit too! The bears are fattening up before going into hibernation. In October, grizzlies occasionally frequent our lower lodge lawn more often than other months in order to graze on the clover.

Other reasons to visit in October:

- No crowds! We are still running bear viewing tours while the public viewing station is closed. This means our guests pretty much have the river to themselves and a few random Coho fishermen!
- Beautiful Autumn Colours! The contrast is amazing: lush, green lawns, with deciduous trees displaying every variation of green, yellow, orange and red you can imagine.....and sometimes there might be a backdrop of white when the mountain tops receive their first dustings of snow
- Mild temperatures! In October the summer heat is long gone and winter's frigid temperatures haven't arrived just yet
- Mushrooms! Have you been to Bella Coola in the fall and seen cars parked on the side of the road? They belong to local mushroom pickers. The damp forest floor is perfect for pine mushrooms to flourish. You might even get to enjoy some for dinner while staying at the lodge...or come and pick your own, the chef will cook them up for you!

Our Packages, Your Way

Our multi-day packages have been specifically designed to showcase the best of Bella Coola and the Great Bear Rainforest. If you have areas of special interest, or mobility issues, or are travelling with a young family, we suggest doing a Private package. We can then tailor the program to suit your desires. To see sample itineraries, click on the links in the pricing tiles below. Optional add-on activities for custom trips include Heli-HikingHeli-SightseeingFishingHorseback Riding, overnight camping, and even summer Heli-Skiing

Suggestions

- Photographers - If you are a professional or serious amateur photographer, we strongly suggest doing the Private package option. When on a river drift in a Private package, guets will be in a McKenzie Drift Boat which has a sold bottom and sides, enhancing stability. Additionally, guests can stay stationary (or move around) as long as you would like as the guide is not concerned with other guests in the group! With a Private, we can customize the tour to your desires.
- Camera Lens - We recommend lens in the 400mm-600mm range, depending if you are using a crop sensor or full frame camera.
- Book Early - As one of the best locations in the world to watch grizzly bears catch salmon, we book up far in advance. It is never too early to book!
- Book A Longer Trip - the only complaint we seem to get is "we didn't book long enough"! We suggest booking a minimum of 4 nights. 

2019 Rates - Grizzly Bear Safari

 This package includes;

  • All ground transportation, including a meet-and-greet service to/from the Bella Coola Airport!
  • Accommodation in beautiful, private timberframe chalets at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge (based on double occupancy), winner of TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence and Traveller's Choice award (Top Small Hotels of Canada)
  • All meals: Hot & Continental Breakfast, Lunch in the Lodge or we can make you a Packed Lunch to take out in the field, 3 Course Dinner, plus Afternoon Snacks and unlimited soda, coffee and tea!
  • A variety of Bear Watching Tours on each day of your package, lead by local guides with years of experience. Bear viewing tour formats include Scenic River Drifts and Guided Nature Hikes. 
  • All tours are Private or Small Group: small groups are best!
  • Experienced guides, certified by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association
  • Entrance fees to parks
  • Use of all sporting equipment, including mountain bikes that you may use to do some exploring on your own!
If your budget and timeframe allows, we strongly suggest doing a 4 or 5 night package (or longer). A 3 night trip gives 2.5 days of viewing opportunities, so if the bears are not around on a certain day, this could impact the number that you would see. Doing a 4 or 5 night trip greatly increases the chances of seeing many bears!

Travelling with children? Small Group packages are for ages 12 and older. If you have a child/children 11 years and/or younger, you will need to book the Private package for yourselves.

Travelling solo? Welcome! During our bear viewing season we do not offer a Single Occupancy supplement, however, you can book 2 spots for yourself.

  • Small Group - 3 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    2.5 days of guided Small Group bear viewing tours.

     

    If you have children 11 & younger, you need to book a Private package.

    $3450/Adult, $1725/Youth

    See Itinerary

  • Small Group - 4 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    3.5 days of guided Small Group bear viewing tours.

     

    If you have children 11 & younger, you need to book a Private package.

    $4600/Adult, $2300/Youth

    See Itinerary

  • Small Group - 5 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    4.5 days of guided Small Group bear viewing tours.

     

    If you have children 11 & younger, you need to book a Private package.

    $5750/Adult, $2875/Youth

    See Itinerary

  • Small Group - 6 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    5.5 days of guided Small Group bear viewing tours.

     

    If you have children 11 & younger, you need to book a Private package.

    $6900/Adult, $3450/Youth

    See Itinerary

  • Small Group - 7 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    6.5 days of guided Small Group bear viewing tours.

     

    If you have children 11 & younger, you need to book a Private.

    $8050/Adult, $4025/Youth

    See Itinerary

  • Private - 3 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    2.5 days of Private guided bear viewing tours.

    $4275/Adult, $2138/Youth, $1069/Child

    See Itinerary

  • Private - 4 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    3.5 days of Private guided bear viewing tours.

    $5700/Adult, $2850/Youth, $1425/Child

    See Itinerary

  • Private - 5 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    4.5 days of Private guided bear viewing tours.

    $7125/Adult, $3563/Youth, $1781/Child

    See Itinerary

  • Private - 6 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    5.5 days of Private guided bear viewing tours.

    $8550/Adult, $4275/Youth, $2138/Child

    See Itinerary

  • Private - 7 Night Grizzly Bear Safari

    6.5 days of Private guided bear viewing tours.

    $9975/Adult, $4988/Youth, $2494/Child

    See Itinerary

All rates are in Canadian Dollars, based on Double Occupancy and exclude 5% tax.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?

We would be more than happy to chat about how we can help you have an amazing holiday in the Bella Coola Valley and the Great Bear Rainforest!

Drop us a line