Great Bear Lodge, British Columbia Coast
The Great Bear Lodge is open from May to October with all of their tours lasting for three nights. You will take a floatplane from Port Hardy to reach the lodge. The floating lodge has been vastly refurbished and now all rooms offer en suite facilities. Wilderness-gourmet meals await you upon your return from the two guided viewing sessions per day. With a maximum of sixteen guests, you are assured of a personalised wilderness adventure in this very special area.
Great Bear Nature Tours has been rated by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. The ecotourism lodge is the ideal base for photography and wildlife viewing tours, nestled at the mouth of a pristine salmon river.
This is one of the best places in the world to observe grizzly (brown) bears and many other forms of wildlife including black bears, wolves and bald eagles.
All tours include the following:-
- 2 grizzly bear viewing sessions per day, with a wildlife biologist as guide*
- Accommodation in a private room at the Great Bear Lodge
- Wilderness-gourmet meals with complimentary wine and beer**
- Interpretive discussion and welcome orientation for wildlife viewing
- Activities such as interpretive walks or boat excursions
- Return floatplane flight from Port Hardy to the Great Bear Lodge
- Binoculars, rain gear and rubber boots, if required
* On arrival/departure days, you will have time to participate in one session.
** Special diets can be catered with advance notice.
Sample itinerary for a stay at Great Bear Lodge
The following itinerary is based on a tour in autumn. Tour itineraries change through the seasons as we need to allow for differing hours of daylight.
Day One - Your adventure begins
Departing from Port Hardy in the afternoon, you will leave behind the noise of modern life for a remote wilderness. Transportation is by seaplane. Journeying to our site is a spectacular adventure in itself, traveling over the breath taking scenery of the central coast and over the rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, the home of orca, gray and humpback whales.
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, before joining the group for your first wildlife viewing session. 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 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.
There is nothing quite like seeing your first grizzly emerge from the forest.
Returning to the lodge that evening, you will be treated to a wilderness-gourmet meal. Our biologist will present slides and videos, explaining the interaction of the grizzly bear with this unique ecology.
In 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.
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 the 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 relaxing in the lodge for dinner. On clear nights, the stars are amazing.
As 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 excursion 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.
After your parting session with the bears, lunch and an afternoon activity, you will be returned to Port Hardy by floatplane in the afternoon sometime between 4pm and 6pm.
All Photographs ©2004-2014 Tom Rivest, Great Bear Nature Tours