Autumn Grizzly Viewing

Experience wild grizzly bears in their natural environment

  • Watch wild and natural grizzly bears feeding on berries and salmon.
  • Expertly-guided grizzly bear viewing tours. Float down our river through bear habitat.
  • Excellent meals in the main house and your own comfortable riverside cabin.
  • Ideal for couples, families or friends looking to view wild grizzlies in their natural habitat.

A remote and little-known valley

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In our valley you can watch totally wild grizzly bears in their natural habitat.

They roam the mountains and feed on salmon that come up our river.

Unlike the large national parks, where each bear attracts a cluster of onlookers, our valley is remote and little known.

We limit the numbers of guests with each guide to ensure the experience remains personal. Our guides are experienced and certified.

As well as grizzlies, the valley is home to dozens of bald eagles who come to feed on the fish.

We offer slightly different bear-viewing experiences in September and October.

In September we head up into the alpine, out onto our remote river, and along hidden wildlife trails deep in the forest to view the wild mountain grizzly bears.

Our aim is not to give you as many bear sightings as possible.

There are places on the BC coast that offer bear-viewing from stands around a managed attractant.

Among wild grizzly bears

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Our grizzlies, by contrast, are completely wild.

We strive to give you a small handful of remarkable grizzly bear encounters that you will never forget.

They may include the experience of watching a lone high-elevation bear feeding undisturbed on huckleberries in the untouched alpine against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks and frost-laden conifers.

Or a mother with cubs moving along our blue-green river viewed from one of our river rafts, as she scours the shallow sections for the red autumn salmon.

Usually you will share the experience with only your guide and two or three other guests.

There are no other bear-viewing operations in our area and you will have left the crowds far behind.

Because we travel far and wide in September, along rivers, up mountain slopes, and through steep valleys you should be in good physical shape to enjoy these experiences.

You should be able to walk for several hours on steep, uneven non-technical terrain at high elevations.

Our age recommendation for September is 14-70. If you are over 60 you should be in better-than-average physical condition.

A real and rewarding experience

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October is our peak grizzly-viewing season.

At this time of year the bears come down from the mountains to our valley in numbers to feed on the red fish streaming up our river.

The days are beginning to shorten, there is a often a frost in the early morning, and grizzly bears are fattening up before the long winter ahead.

To view these bears we set out on foot along wildlife trails to secret spots on the river or use our white-water rafts.

You will usually be in a small group with one guide and two or three other guests.

Unlike many operations we do not use viewing stands, preferring to make our way through grizzly habitat on foot.

For us this is an integral part of the experience, a chance to immerse in the bears’ world with no physical barriers separating us from them.

Our guides are experts in understanding and interpreting bear behaviour and body language and it is this knowledge that allows us to walk with confidence around wild grizzly bears, even mums with cubs.

We prefer to view totally wild bears in their natural wilderness setting from river rafts and on foot. We do not use fixed viewing platforms. Instead we will move through the bears’ world, using our intimate knowledge of bear behaviour to keep you safe.

Immerse yourself in the bears’ world

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In October you can expect to have several bear encounters during your time with us.

Even so quality is more important to us than quantity and that is what we will strive for with you.

We also walk away from any bears that we are clearly disturbing.

Our October offerings are a little less physically demanding than those in September.

But you should still be in good shape and agile and be able to walk for two or three hours at a time over uneven terrain.

Our age recommendations for October are 14-75. If you are over 60 you should be in better-than-average physical condition.

Memorable encounters with grizzlies

With her second set of cubs

We do not recommend our autumn holidays for those whose priority is photography.

Our holidays are designed to give you memorable encounters with grizzly bears in the wild and any photographic opportunities will be incidental.

We do not cater for photographers with long lenses or tripods.

We will however provide you with good, lightweight binoculars so you can make the most of your viewing experiences.

Because our bears are totally wild there is always a chance you will come away without a viewing, although more than 98 per cent of our guests in the autumn have seen grizzly bears during their stay.

We do not take children under the age of 14 during grizzly season.

Safety around Bears

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Bears are not usually dangerous if sensible precautions are taken.

Like any wilderness activity, however, there are inherent risks.

We follow a set of established bear-viewing protocols under the careful guidance of one of Canada’s top bear biologists.

Your guides carry bear-deterrent.

You will be briefed extensively on bear behaviour and safety around bears at the beginning of your stay at the ranch.

Grizzly Bear Ranch is an active member of the British Columbia Commercial Bear Viewing Association, an organisation which is responsible for promoting safe viewing and bear conservation.

What you can expect

  • Encounters with grizzly bears in their natural environment
  • Several guided walks along active bear trails
  • An alpine hike to view grizzly bears (until Oct 5th – conditions permitting)
  • One or more river rafting trips through bear habitat
  • A beautiful riverside cabin to yourself and first-class cooking
  • Talks on bear biology and behaviour and other animals in the area

Pricing & Availability

A four-night grizzly-viewing holiday in September or October starts at about C$2,500 per person plus tax. This price is based on double occupancy. It includes all meals, drinks, accommodation, tours and a C$100 donation to our grizzly bear conservation fund. Please contact us for more details and availability.

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