Spring Bear Viewing

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

  • Watch wild British Columbia bears in remote wilderness terrain in May and June.
  • As well as black bears we share our trails with grizzly bears, moose, elk, wolves, beavers, cougars, bobcat, lynx and many other animals.
  • We head out in tiny groups – typically 2 to 4 guests – with an expert guide.
  • Private trails and private viewings. No other operators in the area.
  • We offer wild viewing of wild bears. No staged, managed or scripted experiences. We do not use viewing stands.
  • We are specialists. We are trained animal trackers, on the cutting edge of bear conservation, and politically active in saving bears and their habitat.
  • This is the season featured in Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild and in the Sunday Times.
  • Easy access from Banff. A day’s drive from Calgary, Jasper or Vancouver.
  • Private and commercial air options if you would rather not drive.
  • Age recommendation: 14-75.

Bear-Viewing without the Crowds

In May and June we offer wild and natural bear-viewing holidays far from the tourist crowds. We typically see many black bears and often see grizzly bears.

Spring is a vibrant season and the long days allow us to roam far and wide to view wildlife.

We often head up into hidden valleys along trails that we have fashioned ourselves, or walk into the sub-alpine just as the snow is melting.

These higher-elevation forays allow us to spot black bears and sometimes grizzlies feeding on fresh grasses at snow line.

On some of the evenings you are with us we will head out again after dinner.

The warm early summer evenings are a great time to see shy animals that only emerge as the sun begins to set.

A Plethora of other Wild Animals

Apart from bears we have a plethora of other animals that live in the mountains and valleys around the ranch. We sometimes see coyotes, elk, porcupine, moose, beavers and otters.

Among our rarer sightings are wolves, lynx, bobcats and cougars as well as members of the weasel family ranging from the least weasel to the wolverine, our rarest animal.

The spring is also the best time to see our rich bird life.

You will see many of the songbirds that gather in our garden and you may also see bald eagles, various woodpeckers, jays, and different types of hawks. In the alpine we often see the Clark’s Nutcracker and the Grey Jay.

You will almost certainly see dozens of hummingbirds who return to our ranch after wintering in central America, before heading further north.

Kristin is an avid birder and on one of your mornings she will introduce you to the songbirds in our yard.

Crisp mountain air, a fresh local table, the crackle of a wood burning stove: welcome to the ranch.

A Typical Day With Us

A typical day will see you waking up in your own luxury cabin by the river with a pot of steaming coffee or tea waiting outside your door. We serve a two-course breakfast in the main house.

After breakfast we may take you into the sub-alpine to spot for grizzly bears that have recently emerged from denning. Or walk into a remote wilderness valley to view black bears feeding on grasses and flowers.

We are located in the inland temperate rainforest, the only one of its kind in the world.

Here you can walk among trees that are a thousand years old and take in the beauty of the virgin land as it was before modernity arrived.

Some of the locations we go to are among the most beguiling in western Canada. And since we use our own trails we rarely see another person.

We serve dinner – always freshly-cooked from local ingredients – early evening in the main house. On at least one night of your holiday, we will light the campfire and barbecue by the river.

Tracking Animals, Saving Bears

As well as watching and understanding wild animals, there are many other layers to what we do here at the ranch.

On one of your evenings with us we will also show you images of rare animals that we see on our network of trail cameras such as wolves, cougars and bobcats.

We are currently engaged in a multi-year science project, for which we have received some federal funding, to help develop facial recognition software for bears.

We are also heavily engaged in lobbying and conservation work, aimed at ensuring that bears have a place on the landscape for centuries to come.

All our guides are trained animal trackers and, for those of you with an interest, we will take you on a walk to interpret the signs on the forest floor and explain what they tell us about animal behaviour.

Kristin offers a cooking class for those who prefer.

A typical itinerary in May-June

  • Day One: Arrive at your riverside cabin. Pre-dinner walk in old-growth rainforest.
  • Day Two: Head to a remote wilderness spot favoured by bears.
  • Day Three: A bird walk. A day in another remote location where we seek out bears and other wildlife to view just below the snow line.
  • Day Four: Learn to track animals with the experts or take a cooking class with Kristin. Post-dinner foray to spot bears feeding.
  • Day Five: Visit a remote valley. You may see grizzly bears feeding on avalanche slopes. Barbecue and camp fire by the river.
  • Day Six: Breakfast and depart.

Pricing & Availability

A five-night holiday at Grizzly Bear Ranch in May or June begins at $2,650. Our rates are in Canadian dollars, per person, 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.