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Bears at the Atnarko River bank

Grizzly Bear Viewing: The Salmon Run

Small Group Departure - Example 5 Day Tour staying at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
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Enjoy a 5-day, weeklong grizzly bear viewing tour along the Atnarko River's banks, where you can watch bears catch and eat salmon. This tour offers a silent safari around the Atnarko River's winding bends, drifting past feeding bears and paddling out along the remote shoreline to watch bear behavior and their habitat. The lodge's unique viewing platform and proximity to the river make it the perfect location for regular and varied interactions. With the help of a team of professional wilderness and wildlife guides, they will lead you on awe-inspiring interpretive excursions into the everyday lives of these remarkable animals. In addition to encountering grizzlies, it is also an excellent time for bird watching, as many species of rare and migratory birds pass through the area during this time.
Grizzly Bear Viewing River DriftGrizzly bear eating salmonWatching bears eating salmonWildlife viewing deckAtnarko Scenic River DrifAtnarko Scenic River DriftMother bear and her cubsGrizzly Bear Viewing River DriftLearning about bear tracksBears at the Atnarko River bank
Highlights
  • Discover the rich wildlife and grizzly bear habitat of Tweedsmuir Park
  • Observe bears in their natural habitat, searching for food, and their cubs
  • Venture out on a grizzly bear ecological walking tour with an expert guide
  • Witness grizzly bears catching and eating salmon on Atnarko River's bank
Places Visited
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Vancouver | Fly to Bella Coola | Arrive in Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Meet your guide for an introduction upon arrival at the Bella Coola Airport or at the BC Ferries Terminal. They will assist you with your bags before transferring you for the 45-minute drive to the lodge. If you are arriving by car, it is recommended that you arrive no earlier than 14:00. If you arrive early, enjoy a bite to eat in the main lodge or relax with a cocktail on the sun deck.

Upon arrival at the lodge, you will be given a detailed orientation of the lodge, its amenities, and the wildlife viewing stand. Your guide will also walk you through a Grizzly Bear Viewing 101 course to familiarize you with bear viewing best practices.

Check-in to your chalet is at 16:00. A three-course dinner is served at 19:00 each night.

Day 2: Tweedsmuir Park Adventure Activities

Half-day Grizzly Bear Viewing River Drift:

In the morning, you will float down the Atnarko River in the presence of grizzly bears. Observe them in their natural environment, searching for food, and looking after their young. Beginning in late August, thousands upon thousands of salmon arrive in the local rivers to spawn—the final phase of their lifecycle.
For the bears, salmon are an easy meal. Many bears and other wildlife congregate on the river to feast and fatten up before the long winter ahead. Due to the abundance of food, the bears are less shy than usual. They are also more tolerant of each other and the people drifting by with their cameras. With breathtaking views of the mountains serving as the backdrop, it is possible to spot a variety of birds and other wildlife in addition to bears.

Duration: 2–3 Hours
Fitness Level: Easy


Half-day Grizzly Bear Ecology Walking Tour

In autumn, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is all about bears, and a highlight activity is to venture out on foot with a guide to discover these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Guests will learn about bear ecology and how to cohabitate safely amongst these magnificent creatures. Guides will take guests to some of the bears’ favorite hangouts and point out signs of bear activity like claw marks, day beds, scats, and tufts of fur stuck in the bark of rub trees. Other wildlife species that also live in the forest include black bears, mule deer, moose, American beaver, mountain goats, bald eagles, and numerous amphibian species. The adjacent lands are also a significant habitat for Vaux’s Swift, the Peregrine falcon, fish, wolverines, and Townsend’s big-eared bat.

Every tour is planned with safety as a top priority. It should be noted that the objective of these walks is not to see bears but to find the telltale signs of their passing. In the event a bear is encountered, the guides are trained in reading and interpreting bear behavior so that conflicts are avoided. Guests will be briefed on how to act in the wilderness to avoid startling a bear and how to react in case a bear is spotted. All of our guides also carry bear spray and are trained in how to deploy it safely. They also carry radios to communicate with the lodge in case of an emergency.

Duration: half-day or Full-day
Fitness Level: Easy

Day 3: Tweedsmuir Park Adventure Activities

Half-day Grizzly Bear Ecology Walking Tour

In autumn, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is all about bears, and a highlight activity is to venture out on foot with a guide to discover these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Guests will learn about bear ecology and how to cohabitate safely amongst these magnificent creatures. Guides will take guests to some of the bears’ favorite hangouts and point out signs of bear activity like claw marks, day beds, scats, and tufts of fur stuck in the bark of rub trees. Other wildlife species that also live in the forest include black bears, mule deer, moose, American beaver, mountain goats, bald eagles, and numerous amphibian species. The adjacent lands are also a significant habitat for Vaux’s Swift, the Peregrine falcon, fish, wolverines, and Townsend’s big-eared bat.

Every tour is planned with safety as a top priority. It should be noted that the objective of these walks is not to see bears but to find the telltale signs of their passing. In the event a bear is encountered, the guides are trained in reading and interpreting bear behavior so that conflicts are avoided. Guests will be briefed on how to act in the wilderness to avoid startling a bear and how to react in case a bear is spotted. All of our guides also carry bear spray and are trained in how to deploy it safely. They also carry radios to communicate with the lodge in case of an emergency.

Duration: half-day or Full-day
Fitness Level: Easy


Half-day Grizzly Bear Viewing River Drift:

In the morning, you will float down the Atnarko River in the presence of grizzly bears. Observe them in their natural environment, searching for food, and looking after their young. Beginning in late August, thousands upon thousands of salmon arrive in the local rivers to spawn—the final phase of their lifecycle.
For the bears, salmon are an easy meal. Many bears and other wildlife congregate on the river to feast and fatten up before the long winter ahead. Due to the abundance of food, the bears are less shy than usual. They are also more tolerant of each other and the people drifting by with their cameras. With breathtaking views of the mountains serving as the backdrop, it is possible to spot a variety of birds and other wildlife in addition to bears.

Duration: 2–3 Hours
Fitness Level: Easy

Day 4: Tweedsmuir Park Adventure Activities

Half-day Grizzly Bear Viewing River Drift:

In the morning, you will float down the Atnarko River in the presence of grizzly bears. Observe them in their natural environment, searching for food, and looking after their young. Beginning in late August, thousands upon thousands of salmon arrive in the local rivers to spawn—the final phase of their lifecycle.
For the bears, salmon are an easy meal. Many bears and other wildlife congregate on the river to feast and fatten up before the long winter ahead. Due to the abundance of food, the bears are less shy than usual. They are also more tolerant of each other and the people drifting by with their cameras. With breathtaking views of the mountains serving as the backdrop, it is possible to spot a variety of birds and other wildlife in addition to bears.

Duration: 2–3 Hours
Fitness Level: Easy


Half-day Grizzly Bear Ecology Walking Tour

In autumn, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is all about bears, and a highlight activity is to venture out on foot with a guide to discover these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Guests will learn about bear ecology and how to cohabitate safely amongst these magnificent creatures. Guides will take guests to some of the bears’ favorite hangouts and point out signs of bear activity like claw marks, day beds, scats, and tufts of fur stuck in the bark of rub trees. Other wildlife species that also live in the forest include black bears, mule deer, moose, American beaver, mountain goats, bald eagles, and numerous amphibian species. The adjacent lands are also a significant habitat for Vaux’s Swift, the Peregrine falcon, fish, wolverines, and Townsend’s big-eared bat.

Every tour is planned with safety as a top priority. It should be noted that the objective of these walks is not to see bears but to find the telltale signs of their passing. In the event a bear is encountered, the guides are trained in reading and interpreting bear behavior so that conflicts are avoided. Guests will be briefed on how to act in the wilderness to avoid startling a bear and how to react in case a bear is spotted. All of our guides also carry bear spray and are trained in how to deploy it safely. They also carry radios to communicate with the lodge in case of an emergency.

Duration: half-day or Full-day
Fitness Level: Easy

Day 5: Bella Coola | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
If you are flying back to Vancouver with Pacific Coastal Airlines, take advantage of a leisurely morning in which you can enjoy the lodge property, make use of the spa and gym, play some lawn games, or just relax before taking the shuttle back to the Bella Coola Airport for the flight back to Vancouver or to the BC Ferries Terminal.

If you are driving home, the generous hospitality team will pack you a lunch, if you would like, before wishing you the best and helping you on your way.

Accommodations

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
Tweedsmuir Park aerial view
Lodge porch

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Loft chaletsLoft ChaletsLoft ChaletLoft Chalet
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Loft Chalets
Elevate your British Columbia wilderness experience with the chalets' modern amenities, all harmoniously integrated into the natural elegance of our surroundings. Each chalet, adorned with locally sourced artwork and exquisite wood paneling, offers air conditioning, individual in-room climate control, and complimentary satellite wireless internet, ensuring your stay is as comfortable as it is memorable. Additional features, such as a small refrigerator and coffee maker, cater to your every need. Ground floor: 1 x Queen bed Loft: 1 x Double bed
Pika DuplexPika DuplexPika DuplexPika Duplex
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Pika Duplex
The Pika Duplex offers a modern take on wilderness luxury with a Scandinavian flair. The two separate, self-contained suites of the Pika Duplex make it perfect for families or groups of friends, but the units can also be booked individually. Large windows make it easy to admire the spectacular scenery, and the Atnarko River and our wildlife viewing platforms are steps away. Both units are tastefully decorated with original art and wood, and they have all the modern amenities to ensure an enjoyable stay, including air conditioning, an in-room thermostat, complimentary satellite wireless internet, an iPod docking station, a small fridge, and a coffee maker. Side A: 1 x King bed Side B: 2 x Queen bed
Log ChaletLog ChaletLog ChaletLog Chalet
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Log Chalets
The chalet has a handcrafted log-style king bed on the main floor and a single bed in the loft, making it ideal for couples on a romantic getaway or a small family. Designed with comfort in mind, the Grizzly Log Chalet is decorated with the work of local artists and has top-quality amenities to ensure an enjoyable stay. Enjoy the spa-style slate-tiled ensuite bathroom with a double-headed shower and biodegradable shampoo and body care products by Eco. Then relax by the gas fireplace in your plush cotton robes and slippers.

Notes

Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

Included
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snacks
  • Meet and greet at the Bella Coola Airport or BC Ferries Terminal
  • Small Group transfers to and from Tweedsmuir Park Lodge at the start and end of stay
  • A selection of top wines, predominately from British Columbia, Craft beers from local breweries, and award-winning spirits
  • Two half-day or one full-day guided activities on each full day of stay.
  • Professional Wilderness and wildlife guides
  • Adventure equipment such as binoculars, radios, rain jackets and pants, umbrellas, climbing harnesses, mountain bikes, helmets, and lifejackets.
  • Lodge amenities such as a private wildlife viewing platform, hot tub, cedar sauna, fitness center, yoga studio, dining room, lounge, outdoor patio, fire pit, and retail shop.
  • Game rooms
  • One 50-minute massage therapy per person per stay
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Premium alcoholic drinks
  • Cost of travel to and from Bella Coola
  • Custom trip enhancements

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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