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“One Of The Best Grizzly Bear Viewing Opportunities In The World”

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Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Certificate of Excellence
Britain
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“One Of The Best Grizzly Bear Viewing Opportunities In The World”
Reviewed 15 January 2010

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”.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank JamesScot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dorset
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2010

If you seek the ultimate experience in Bear & Whale watching (& love bald eagles) ... this is the place to be. My first visit was three years ago & have been every year since! Until you are travelling to the island on the float plane it's hard to imagine how remote it is, or how beautiful. Met by the guides on arrival, the gourmet cooking begins, with fresh crab & prawns, caught just by the lodge. Within 24 hours of being at the lodge all the worries of the world disappear as your biggest concern is ...... "am I seeing whales or bears tomorrow?" - which ever it is you WILL see them. I have turned some of my photos into canvas art, which I have on the walls at home - my friends are astounded at the pictures I have shown them & can't quite believe I have been this close to these fabulous animals - but I would recommend a balance between photography & watching, you can miss so much trying to catch the perfect picture whilst looking through the lens. The highlight for me in 2009 was seeing a Humpback breach .......... it's like being in a wildlife documentary! The staff at the Lodge are OUTSTANDING & attend to your every need.

For anyone considering any trip in this area .............. this is the place to go!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
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4 Thank CabinCrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

We saw all the wildlife we'd hoped too - black bears, grizzlies, eagles, dolphins, whales and orcas. The lodge is in a beautiful location and the staff were fantastic. All the guides were knowledgable, passionate and great fun to be around. The staff made sure we had everything we needed, we only wish we had stayed longer than 3 days! We will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank NatSydney52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
suffolk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

After searching the internet we decided to book with Grizzly Bear Lodge and we are so glad we did. We had an amazing time there,
The seaplane flight was fantastic and when you land at the lodge John & his wife Cathy and their staff all are waiting to greet you. The lodge was lovely & comfortable, food was excellent (thank you Maddie). George, Glenn, Ed & Clint made up the rest of the team & they made you feel really at ease and had such knowledge of the animals & they didn't mind all the questions you asked.
The trips to view the bears & whales were just amazing- we will never forget just sitting in the boat bobbing up & down eating our lunch, with Orca's just passing by -a truly memorable day which we thank you for.
We cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the time we had there, if you are thinking about going then book at the lodge - you will not regret it for one moment
The views just from the lodge alone were spectacular.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank janissadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hertsfordshire, UK
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

My husband & I stayed at Sailcone/Grizzly Bear Lodge in September 2009. We had searched the internet to find a location where we could view wildlife, particularly Grizzly Bears, having established that September is the ultimate time to view the bears! We planned the trip with our friends who live in Vancouver & Galiano Island, so we needed to find something for them, that was a bit different. We booked directly by email with John at the Lodge & were impressed by his prompt reply & how helpful he was.
The seaplane flight to & from the lodge is an experience in itself - so spectacular! On arrival at the lodge we were greeted by the staff & shown to our rooms, after which most of the guests were served amazing seafood (I have seafood allergy, but I was well catered for with delicious alternatives!) We then headed straight out in the boat with George to view the scenery & search for Black Bears.
Grizzly Bear Lodge is unique in that all the trips are in small groups with a very knowledgeable guides. The largest group per boat is 4 people, so you really get the individual attention. The small boats are very powerful & comfortable and have the advantage of getting close to the shore and into areas where larger boats can't go.
Day 2 was our trip to see the Grizzly Bears and that day far exceeded our expectations. We saw 15 bears i total - all at close range. It was fascinating to see the bears fishing & eating so much fish! We managed to take some stunning photos. The icing on the cake were the dolphins which followed the boat on the way back!
Day 3 we set out for the Johnstone Straight Whale watching. it was a beautiful misty morning & the scenery was stunning. Although we searched for Orcas, there were none in the area, but the lack of Orcas was far outweighed by the amazing sightings of so many Humpback Whales SO close to the boat. We ate a delicious lunch in the boat in totally flat sea with only the sound of the whales blowing and the seabirds - it was amazing! The best location I have ever eaten lunch! We also got to see many types of Seabirds, Bald Eagles and Sea lions. George always manoeuvred the boat so that we could get the best photos.
All in all the trip to Grizzly Bear/Sailcone Lodge was stunning! The Lodge only holds 12 guests, so is never crowded, The food is outstanding and delicious and the staff are all so about the area & the wildlife, which adds to the perfection of the experience. All guests are provided with survival suits, so you are always dry, warm & cosy, no matter what the weather brings!
If you want an experience that you will never forget - this is the place to go - a photographers dream!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank LynnUKhertsfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2010

My husband and I are not outdoor adventurers as a rule, but we were able to experience the thrills of seeing grizzlies up close, whales at a stone's throw, play with dolphins by the hundreds as they chased our boat. The guides were knowledgeable, but fun to be with too. We would never have seen the beauty of the BC bush and the salmon run without them. The food was delicious and plentiful. Rooms were basic but clean and we slept well. When the waves and swells got high, we wished for a bigger boat. But the adventure was even more memorable because of the thrills and sharing experiences with great people. We highly recommend this experience to both young and young at heart. (the over 60 crowd)

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank happilyretired05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cornwall UK
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2010

Three times we have visited and each time has been memorable! The fishing, wildlife,food and most of all the people are great. The atmosphere is like home from home. Everyone is friendly. The guides are great whether you go to fish, or to see and photograph wildlife, they really put themselves out. We'll go back again soon.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Penry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari

Property: Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Address: Knight Inlet | Johnstone Strait, British Columbia V9N 8Z9, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #81 of 1,354 Speciality Lodging in British Columbia
Number of rooms: 5
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

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