Canada’s Bear Watching Lodges
With a backdrop of striking landscapes and epic wilderness, Canada is the ultimate destination for wildlife enthusiasts – and especially those keen to observe bears in their natural habitat.
From black bears roaming in the forests to grizzlies fishing for salmon, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy close encounters with bears in Canada. You may be lucky enough to spot one from your car, or you may wish to incorporate a bear viewing excursion into a tailor made itinerary. But to really maximise your chances of a good sighting we recommend a stay in one of British Columbia’s remote fly-in wilderness lodges.
Properties such as Knight Inlet Lodge, Spirit Bear Lodge, Great Bear Lodge, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge and Farewell Harbour Lodge each offer unforgettable bear viewing as well as the chance to see a variety of other wildlife. Guided hikes, kayaking excursions, boat trips and informative presentations by local naturalists add to your experience, whilst at the end of a day watching bears in the wild you can be sure of a hearty meal and friendly conversation back at your lodge. Read on to discover more about these iconic properties and the exceptional wildlife-viewing opportunities they offer.
Knight Inlet Lodge
Located at Knight Inlet, a fjord on western British Columbia’s coast and a pristine wilderness where snow-capped mountains meet lush rainforest, this floating lodge offers 18 comfortable rooms and a range of activities.
“The highlight for me was without doubt Knight Inlet. Not only for the wildlife but for the sheer beauty, remoteness and sense of peace. It’s a dramatic and wild setting. I felt the stress lift off my shoulders in the 4 days” – Michaela Strachan
It was one of the first lodges of its kind, the largest of our collection and perhaps the best-known. Early booking is essential, especially for salmon spawning season in September.
- Perfect for: Grizzly bears
- Also great for: Orcas, porpoises, dolphins, sea-lions, seals, occasionally humpback or minke whales, bald eagles, otters, black bears
We recommend: Grizzly Bear Adventure at Knight Inlet between May and October
Spirit Bear Lodge
This 12-room lodge is located in the First Nations village of Klemtu, right on the edge of the aptly-named Great Bear Rainforest. The rainforest is home to the highest concentration of grizzly bears in the region. However, the star of the show here is the rare white Kermode bear, more commonly known as spirit bear. In addition to wildlife, Spirit Bear Lodge has close ties with the local Kitasoo people and provides an immersive cultural experience.
- Perfect for: Spirit bears, a very rare, white-coloured subspecies of the black bear.
- Also great for: Grizzly and black bears, wolves, orcas, dolphins and sea-lions
To find out more about staying at Spirit Bear Lodge as part of your Canada holiday contact our team of Canada Travel Specialists.
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
Unlike our other bear viewing lodges, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is located inland, in the beautiful Bella Coola Valley. Surrounded by the Coast Mountains and the Great Bear Rainforest, the lodge overlooks the Atnarko River, a prime bear-viewing location during salmon season. Here you can spend time at the viewing platforms, take a river float trip, or enjoy the wealth of activities on offer. Tweedsmuir features just 11 chalet-style rooms and offers a more luxurious stay in the wilderness.
Perfect for: Grizzly bears
Also great for: Black bears, deer, bald eagles, pine martens and wolves
The best time to see bears at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is from August to October – contact us to find out more!
Great Bear Lodge
This lodge is our smallest, with 8 rooms in peak salmon season (September), but using only 5 for the rest of the summer. It is also located in the wildlife-rich Great Bear Rainforest. The natural wood decking outside is a popular spot to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day, swapping stories with your fellow guests. The lodge is eco-friendly, functioning on wind and solar power and working in harmony with its spectacular surroundings.
- Perfect for: Grizzly bears
- Also great for: Wolves, black bears, river otters, pine martens, mink, harbour seals and bald eagles
To find out more about staying at Great Bear Lodge as part of your Canada holiday contact our team of Canada Travel Specialists.
Farewell Harbour Lodge
Farewell Harbour Lodge features 12 guest cabins and is situated on Berry Island on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park. This great location provides easy access to the grizzly bears of Knight Inlet, and also to the resident orca population that can be found in nearby Johnstone Strait. There are also excellent hiking and kayaking opportunities from the lodge.
- Perfect for: Grizzly bears and orca
- Also great for: Black bears, humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, bald eagles
Enjoy close encounters with Whales and Bears at Farewell Harbour from May to October.