Toll Free: (800) 690-7887t: (604) 886-7300f: (604) 886-7301
Enjoy the Great Bear Rainforest at Great Bear Lodge, located 50 air miles from Port Hardy, British Columbia. It is a place of spectacular beauty where one can still find the silence and solitude of a long gone era.
The self-contained floating lodge is situated near the mouth of a major salmon river. The charming lodge has only five bedrooms to ensure a personalized experience, with a maximum of 10 guests. The common area is a comfortable place for relaxing and chatting with fellow guests and staff. Each bedroom has a washroom (toilet and sink), with hot showers located separately. The wind, hydro and solar powered lodge is in keeping with the commitment of Great Bear Nature Tours to low impact ecotourism. Natural wood decks surround the lodge, a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while enjoying the beauty of the scenery. Wilderness-gourmet meals await guests at the lodge on their return from the wilderness. The freshest possible local ingredients are used, as is organic food when available. A typical dinner might feature freshly caught salmon cooked on a cedar plank and encrusted with a mustard balsamic marinade. In between bear viewing sessions guests are able to join a guided activity such as sea-kayaking, an interpretive hike, or simply to relax with a book from the extensive natural history library.
SpringGrizzly bears come down from their mountain dens to graze on the protein-rich sedges and grasses that make up the dense biomass of the river estuary. There the guests will observe and photograph the bears from boats, floating quietly in the estuary sloughs. Spring coincides with the breeding season, when large males may be seen interacting with females. The estuary is also bustling with bird life at this time of year.
SummerIn the summer season, the grizzlies move between the various habitats as the food resources become more abundant but scattered. They can be found gorging on berry patches, grazing on estuarine grasslands or scouting for the early salmon. We will often see curious seal pups ignoring their mother’s signal that its time to move on, or common mergansers with a dozen or more ducklings trailing behind.
FallThe return of tens of thousands of salmon marks the beginning of the fall season in mid-August. Great Bear Nature Tours has constructed a series of viewing stands along the river, providing a variety of settings to view and photograph grizzly bears as they gorge on fish in anticipation of their coming hibernation. The salmon run continues through September and October.
Spring: May 7 to June 30Summer: July 1 to August 19Fall: August 20 to 31, October 1 - October 31 (September sold out)
3 - 7 night packages from May 7 to October 31From $2,000 to $3,000 per person for a 3 night itinerary based on season
Early booking is essential! Departure City: PORT HARDY, BCIncludes float plane transportation to and from the lodge.
Day 1Departing from Port Hardy at 3pm, you will leave behind the noise of modern life for a pristine wilderness. Transportation is by seaplane flight. Journeying to our site is a spectacular adventure in itself, traveling past the breathtaking scenery of the central coast and over the rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, the home of orca, gray and humpback whales. Returning to the lodge that evening, you will be treated to a wilderness-gourmet meal.
Day 2In the morning, you will be on the trail of the grizzly bear again after some good coffee and breakfast. A typical viewing session lasts three hours. Our viewing sessions are not strenuous, requiring our guests only to step from a boat onto an undeveloped shoreline or to walk 50 feet down wooden stairs from the bus to the viewing platforms.
Upon your arrival at the lodge, your hosts will be on the dock to welcome you to your wilderness retreat. Settle into your private room at the lodge. In the late afternoon, your grizzly bear experience begins. We have a range of different viewing sites, and will choose one according to where the bears have been most active. Estuary sites are reached by boat, while river sites are reached by a bus along a wilderness track. The viewing blinds on the river have been constructed with the photographer in mind, and are optimal and comfortable places from which to view bears.
After a morning of adventure, you will return to the lodge for lunch and a chance to relax. Spend the early afternoon exploring the surrounding area with a guide. A popular activity is the interpretive rainforest walk, examining bear sign and the general ecology of the area. In mid-afternoon you will venture out to see the bears before returning to the lodge for dinner. On clear nights, the stars are amazing.
Day 3As your stay at the lodge continues, you begin to settle into the natural rhythm of the valley. The bears are generally most active in the early morning and late afternoon hours, which is why we focus our viewing sessions on these times.
Over the course of your stay we will take you to a variety of sites, depending on the bear activity. For the afternoon recreation today we may take a boat cruise to explore the glacier-carved inlet. Or you may prefer to relax and enjoy the view from the lodge. The Great Bear Rainforest is home to many animals, including grey wolves, otters, black bears, mink and bald eagles. One of our favorite dishes is marinated salmon baked on a cedar plank.
Day 4After your parting session with the bears you will enjoy lunch at the Great Bear Lodge. You will be scheduled to return to Port Hardy in the afternoon between 4pm and 6pm.
Tour price includes:
Toll Free: (800) 690-7887(604) 886-7300 Fax: (604) 886-7301
1114 Cartwright RoadGibsons, BCV0N 1V1Canada