Spring Bear Viewing

Hiking with Bears in BC’s Inland Rainforest

  • Experience wild British Columbia bears on foot in remote wilderness terrain.
  • Hike through stunning alpine meadows and ancient cedar rainforests.
  • We share our trails with black bears, grizzly bears, moose, elk, wolves, beavers, and the big cats.
  • We head out in tiny groups – typically 2 to 4 guests – each with an expert naturalist as a guide.
  • No staged, managed or scripted experiences. We do not use wildlife-viewing stands.
  • Moderate and energetic hiking options.
  • This is the season featured in Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild and in the Sunday Times.
  • Perfect for nature-lovers, crowd-avoiders, hiker-adventurers, and those keen to experience and learn about Canada’s charismatic megafauna.
  • Dates available from mid May until the end of June.
  • Age recommendation: 14-75.

Seeing Bears the Natural Way

Web selects Spring Aug 2018 (18 of 46)

In May and June we offer wild and natural bear and wildlife-viewing experiences far off the beaten track. We typically see several 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 usually head up into hidden valleys, sometimes 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.

Each day we offer our guests moderate and energetic hiking options.

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 many other wild animals that live in the mountains and valleys around us. Animals we see fairly regularly include coyotes, elk, porcupine, moose and beavers.

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.

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. We serve an early breakfast in the main house.

After breakfast we head out for the day. 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.

We will 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 mostly use our own trails we rarely see another person.

We typically return mid afternoon and, after a break, often schedule a presentation on bears and other megafauna.

We serve dinner – always freshly-cooked from local ingredients – early evening in the main house. On 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.

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 show you how to interpret the signs on the forest floor and explain what they tell us about animal behaviour.

A typical itinerary in May-June

  • Day One: Arrive at your riverside cabin. Dinner.
  • Day Two: Head to a remote wilderness valley favoured by grizzly bears. A presentation on bears in western Canada. Post-dinner foray to spot bears feeding.
  • Day Three: A wilderness hike through an old-growth valley that is prime bear habitat. A short bird walk. Presentation on Canada’s megafauna.
  • Day Four: We head up as far as the snow-line on the edge of alpine habitat. Post-dinner foray to spot bears and other animals.
  • Day Five: Visit a remote valley. You may see 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 is priced at $2,850. 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.