Autumn Grizzly Viewing

Wild and Natural Grizzly Bear Viewing on the edge of the Rockies

  • We take you into remote, dramatic terrain to view wild grizzly bears.
  • We use private trails and offer private viewing. There are no other operators in the area.
  • Our group sizes are tiny – typically 2 to 4 guests – with each expert guide.
  • Other wild animals we may see include bald eagles, wolves, cougars and moose.
  • Locally-sourced freshly-cooked meals in the main house.
  • Your own luxury riverside cabin with a wood-burning stove.
  • A 420km drive from Banff. A day from Vancouver or Calgary.
  • Commercial air transfer is available for those who would rather not drive.

Wild Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bears

In September and October we offer an opportunity to view wild and natural grizzly bears deep in the wilderness.

Some bear-viewing operations offer canned bear-viewing around a managed attractant. Our grizzlies, by contrast, are free-spirited and completely wild.

We head out on foot, travelling into remote, dramatic terrain, or raft our cobalt-blue river to view the resident silver-tipped grizzly bears.

We strive to give you remarkable wild grizzly bear viewings 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 .

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

Expert guides, very small groups

Unlike the large national parks, our area is remote and little known.

Often on our walks we don’t see another person all day. We limit the numbers of guests to ensure the experience remains personal.

As well as grizzlies, the valley is home to dozens of bald eagles.

Our guides are experts in 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.

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

We do not use viewing stands, or entice the bears to come to us. We prefer to make our own 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 between us and them.

At Grizzly Bear Ranch we offer an unscripted wild bear viewing experience. We do not use viewing stands or managed artificial attractants. We also have a strong activist arm campaigning for grizzly bear conservation.

Tracking and viewing bears

Bear track

Since we view totally wild grizzly bears in their own environment without a managed food source to attract them, we have become experts at tracking bears and deciphering their tracks and other sign.

As part of your holiday with us we will show you how to read tracks, rubs and tiny hair samples left on trees, and introduce you to our wildlife trail camera project.

Our autumn grizzly-viewing holidays are not designed with professional or semi-professional photographers in mind.

Many guests do come away with excellent photographs (all the photos on this website are taken at or near the ranch) but the experience of viewing grizzly bears in their world is our priority.

Staying safe around bears

These holidays are not especially physically demanding.

But to get the most out of them you should be in fairly good shape and be able to walk comfortably for a couple of hours at a time over uneven terrain.

Our age recommendations for the autumn are 14-75.

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.

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.

A typical itinerary in September-October

  • Day One: Arrive at Kaslo Hotel overlooking Kootenay Lake.
  • Day Two: Transfer to the ranch in the morning. Guided rainforest walk. Float down our wilderness river to spot bears and bald eagles.
  • Day Three: Dawn walk along the river where grizzlies come to feed. A day in the alpine where wild mountain grizzlies feed on berries.
  • Day Four: Dawn walk in the rainforest. Option of learning to track animals or cooking with Kristin. Riverside walk through prime bear habitat.
  • Day Five: Breakfast and departure.

Pricing & Availability

A four-night holiday at Grizzly Bear Ranch in the autumn is $3,550 per person. Our rates are in Canadian dollars and include all meals, drinks, accommodation and guided tours. These prices are based on double occupancy. They include a $100 donation to our conservation fund. They do not include 5% tax.