Our stay at Grizzly Bear Lodge exceeded all of our expectations and the visit proved to be the absolute trip of a lifetime. The bear viewing opportunities were truly amazing, and there was so much additional quality wildlife to see. The remote picturesque setting of Grizzly Bear Lodge on Minstrel Island in Knight Inlet fjord was also stunning.
Grizzly Bear Lodge is unquestionably the best located of all of the bear viewing lodges on the West Coast of British Columbia because its central location enables you to travel up Knight Inlet by boat to see the grizzlies, down the inlet to Johnstone Strait to see all of the marine mammals, and to go on the unique wilderness experience up the Kalweiken River to meet Trapper Rick!
Knight Inlet is home to many, many bears that are attracted to the area by the hundreds of thousands of salmon that come here every year to spawn. Grizzly Bear Lodge has, with only one other operator, exclusive use of an area with special strategically located viewing stands that let you get up close to the grizzlies. From here you can watch the bears catching the salmon and feeding on them, before they go to hibernate for the winter. It is a photographer’s dream.
There is also an abundance of other wildlife viewing opportunites that includes Black Bears, Humpback Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Seals and Bald Eagles.
Knight Inlet, which is Canada’s longest fjord, is 60 miles long. It is a spectacularly three dimensional setting with high mountains, extensive forests, crystal clear waters, bright blue skies with lots of pure fresh air.
Part of the charm of Knight Inlet and Grizzly Bear Lodge is that they are totally isolated and can only be accessed by seaplane from Campbell River on Vancouver Island. The stunning trip over the lakes and mountains of Western British Columbia takes around 45 minutes.
Grizzly Bear Lodge is situated at the water’s edge on Minstrel Island and is delightfully rustic. It only accommodates up to 10 guests so the service is very personal, the ambiance is relaxed and friendly, it is spotless, comfortably furnished, and the food is great. All under the watchful eye of Madeleine who is ably assisted by Clint.
Other than the grizzlies, probably the most critical element in making this trip such a success was the exceptional guides, Glen, George and Ed. All three are very professional, extremely knowledgeable, sensitive to the wildlife and their environment, friendly and helpful. Again the service is very personalised with only three or four guests going with a guide on each trip. All wet weather / safety gear is provided.
While staying at Grizzly Bear Lodge you have an opportunity to enjoy a unique wilderness experience with “Trapper Rick” who lives alone in a very remote area of the forest on the Kakweiken River and our fascinating day with Rick in the backwoods let us see just how a trapper lives. The highlight was when an enormous male grizzly charged out of the forest some 50 yards in front of us and we then trailed him for over a mile before he disappeared again.
A typical day comprises of up at 06:30 for breakfast at 07:00; off on the water to our destination with our guide at 07:30; a delicious picnic lunch after the morning’s activities at 13:00; an active afternoon and then back to the Lodge around 17:00; time for a cold beer or two on the deck; then dinner with the other guests and the guides around 18:30.
We specifically went in September as we wanted to view the grizzlies feeding on the salmon at spawning time but visitors in the Spring and Summer have the opportunity to see the bears with their new born cubs feeding on the berries and sedge grasses in the coastal areas of the fjord.
Grizzly Bear Lodge offers a variety of packages and we opted for their 4 day / 4 night trip which involves arriving by floatplane in the afternoon on day 1, spending three nights at the lodge, then returning to Campbell River late afternoon on day 4. For our purposes, this proved to be a perfect length of stay.
While recognising that the cost of the trip was not insignificant, we thought that it represented excellent value for money. This was particularly so when you compared it with the quote that we had received for staying at the other lodge further up the inlet.
We really had the trip of a lifetime and cannot thank the Madelaine and her team at Grizzly Bear Lodge enough for “making it happen”.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Tours, Lodge and Safari offers grizzly tours and grizzly bear watching from viewing stands and wildlife tours for black bears, killer whales (orca) humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, black bears and eagles. Our grizzly bear tours are conducted on Canada's famous natural fjord known as 'Knight Inlet BC' and on the salmon rivers that flow into Knight Inlet. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari Canada/British Columbia