Campbell River’s Top Grizzly Tour Company

Embark on a journey into the wild.

Starting your journey from Campbell River, a quaint coastal city on Vancouver Island, our expert guides will lead you into the remote wilderness where towering mountains and moss draped temperate rainforests serve as a backdrop while Grizzlies search for food. This full day immersive experience will offer opportunities to see whales and other marine life along the way, and tidbits of local knowledge from your naturalist tie the whole experience together.

Grizzly Bear tours

Grizzly Bear poking head out from ferns and foliage

Bute Inlet Tour

Experience world class bear viewing, as we travel with our experienced Homalco First Nation Guides. Watch Grizzlies along the Orford River from multiple viewing platforms

Grizzly Bear walking in shallow water between fallen trees

Toba Inlet Tour

Join us along with the Klahoose First Nation for a once in a lifetime experience in Toba River Valley. We will view Grizzlies in their natural habitat, along the River, as they search for salmon.

Waterfall following over a large rock face with thick forest on top. There is haze in the trees.

Spring Bear & Waterfall Tour

Watch the coast awaken this spring as we search for foraging bears on the beach and rushing waterfalls!

Photo Courtesy of: Fabien

Words from our customers

“5* + trip, this fulfilled every wish my wife and I ever had in seeing Grizzly Bears in the wild in their natural habitats. Incredible and worth every penny, a bucket list dream come true. Seeing the Humpback Whales, Golden and Bald Eagles were unexpected bonuses. Tyler and the team were knowledgeable, excellent guides and hosts, we cannot recommend this more highly. ”

This was our second Grizzly Bear Tour but our first with this company and the best tour so far!! Our guides, Jim and Pat were extremely knowledgeable and so helpful and organized! We had 2 friends from England with us and we all thoroughly enjoyed every moment! The grizzlies we saw were amazing and the icing on the cake were the humpback whales we saw on the way home!! Hopefully we will get to take another tour with this company!

Awesome trip! Our tour guide, Damian, was excellent and his passion for the wild life was really showing. He provided great anecdotes and cool stories – I’ll definitely recommend everyone to go!

Preserving the Grizzly Bears of British Columbia

The conservation of grizzly bears in British Columbia is crucial to preserving the ecological balance of the region and ensuring the continued existence of these iconic animals for future generations.

Covered Whale Watching Vessel out in the ocean. There are mountains in the foreground. There are guests on the the lower deck as well as the upper viewing deck.

Your Welcoming Hosts

Our Grizzly Bear Tours would not be possible without our Partners! We are very fortunate to work with two local First Nation’s — The Homalco First Nation, and Klahoose First Nation, who host us in their territory to view Grizzlies each season!

Nina Out and About Logo

Nina Out and About contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. See  my Disclosure Policy  for more information.

6 Best Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island 2024

Table of Contents

Are you looking for grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Island?

I’ve got you covered!

Vancouver Island is one of the best places for grizzly bear watching in Canada. People travel to British Columbia from all over the world to view grizzly bears in the wild. 

The chances of stumbling across a grizzly bear on your own without a guide are slim, so the best way to spot these incredible creatures is with the help of an organized tour and an expert guide. 

Many different tours leave from Vancouver Island every day. 

I’ve spent much time in Vancouver, and a grizzly bear tour is on my bucket list! So, I’ve rounded up the best tours Vancouver Island offers for an almost guaranteed grizzly bear encounter.

Here are the 6 best grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Island!

My Top 3 Picks: Best Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island

#1 TOP PICK

A brown grizzly bear crawling in a green grass field as the sun shines on its fur.  Catch the bears in their natural habitat through the Grizzly Bear tours in Vancouver.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Grizzly Bear Expedition ✔️ 9 hours ✔️ Cruise through Desolation Sound

A dark brown grizzly bear surrounded with rocks and and trees, looking up. Catch a glimpse of the majestic creature in the best Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island.

Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour ✔️ 8 – 10 hours ✔️ With 2-hour boat ride

A close-up photo of a grizzly bear with its body submerged on a body of water. Catch these bears in action in the Full Day Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island.

Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour to Toba Inlet ✔️ 8-9 hours ✔️ With other wildlife viewing

6 Awesome Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island

A brown grizzly bear crawling in a green grass field as the sun shines on its fur.  Catch the bears in their natural habitat through the Grizzly Bear tours in Vancouver.

1. Grizzly Bear Expedition

⭐️  RATING:  5/5 Stars | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours | ✅  Book it!

This grizzly bear tour is perfect for spotting wild grizzly bears and other wildlife and learning about the local indigenous culture. 

The tour starts with a cruise through Desolation Sound, where you can spot humpback whales and other marine life. 

You’ll then get the unique opportunity to meet with members of the Homalco First Nations tribe and learn about their culture.

“Truly a spectacular experience!” – Brian H (Read more reviews)

Later you head to the bear viewing platform, where you can watch the grizzly bears fishing for salmon. 

The guides understand the bears and their behavior, so your chances of seeing them up close are higher with an expert by your side. You might even be lucky enough to spot a mother and her cubs!

Important Info

Start time: 10:30 am 

Duration: 9 hours

Includes: Lunch, snacks, hot drinks, fees/taxes

Operated by: Big Animal Encounters

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

A dark brown grizzly bear surrounded with rocks and and trees, looking up. Catch a glimpse of the majestic creature in the best Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island.

2. Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.5/5 Stars | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  8 – 10 hours | ✅  Book it!

Campbell Adventure Tours offers one of the best small-group grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island.

The tour starts with a 2-hour boat ride on the Campbell River. You’ll be able to spot porpoises and other marine life along the way. 

The guides are brilliant at answering questions and providing interesting facts about everything related to wildlife. 

“An incredible day from start to finish” – A Tripadvisor reviewer (Read more reviews)

Then your group will begin to search for wild grizzly bears. You’ll see the bears in their natural habitat, swimming and fishing in the river. 

This small group tour is limited to just 12 people to provide a more intimate experience and to allow the group to get closer to the bears.

Start time: 10 am 

Duration: 8 – 10 hours

Includes: Lunch, hot drinks, fuel

Operated by: Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours

3. Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour to Toba Inlet

⭐️  RATING:  5/5 Stars | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  8-9 hours | ✅  Book it!

Cruise to Toba Inlet through the Discovery Passage on this Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour to Toba Inlet!

The crew will provide informative commentary (and a few jokes) as you enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

“A bucket list dream come true” – A Tripadvisor reviewer (Read more reviews)

Your captain will be a certified nature guide, pointing out all the wildlife along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales, sea lions, and bald eagles! 

Once on land, you will meet your guide from the Klahoose First Nations, who will take you to view grizzly bears along the river

Start time: 7 am 

Duration: 8 – 9 hours

Includes: lunch, drinks, snacks 

A close up photo of a grizzly bear’s face. His fur has streaks of gold under the sunlight. Watch Grizzly Bears in Action in the Great Bears of Bute Grizzly Bear Viewing

4. Great Bears of Bute: Grizzly Bear Viewing & Indigenous Cultural Tour

⭐️  RATING:  5/5 Stars | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  7 – 8 hours | ✅  Book it!

The Grizzly Bear Viewing and Indigenous Culture Tour is the only bear tour from Campbell River that is 100% indigenous-owned. 

Your guides will be Homalco First Nation people and will be able to give you a fascinating insight into the Homalco indigenous culture. 

They also have incredible attention to detail when spotting wildlife and will point out many different species alongside the grizzly bears. 

“Very well organized, great atmosphere, knowledgeable and caring guides” – Jutta I (Read more reviews)

The tour starts with a boat trip through the Salish Sea to Orford Bay. Your guides will then transport you to the wildlife viewing towers along the Orford and Algard Rivers. 

Here you will have the opportunity to watch the bears from a safe distance.

Duration: 7 – 8 hours

Includes: Taxes & fees, Lunch, drinks, snacks

Operated by: Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours

A grizzly bear rising up from a river, shaking his fur to dry it out. This is in the Campbell River, a place for Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island.

5. Campbell River: Bute Inlet Grizzly-Watching Tour & Boat Ride

The Bute Inlet Grizzly-Watching Tour & Boat Ride is definitely one of the best Campbell River bear-watching tours from Vancouver.

The tour starts with a speedboat ride along the Campbell River to Bute Inlet, renowned for being one of the best places for bear-watching in BC.

Once you reach Bute Inlet, you will go to specially designed viewing platforms above the salmon spawning channel. From here, you will have incredible unobstructed views of the bears. 

You’ll spend the rest of the day watching the bears as they fish for salmon in their natural habitat. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Start time: 8:30 am 

Includes: lunch, drinks, snacks

Operated by: Campbell River Whale Watching

Two grizzly playing grizzly bears, surrounded by green trees in the middle of the forest. A wildlife discovery is included in the Whale Watching tour in Campbell River

6. Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

⭐️  RATING:  4.4/5 Stars | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  3 – 4 hours | ✅   Book it!

This half-day Whale Watching & Wildlife Discovery Cruise is shorter than the others on this list, so it is perfect if you don’t have a whole day to spare but still want to do some bear-watching on Vancouver Island. 

On this cruise, you will visit the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait . These areas are known for their abundance of wildlife. 

During the tour, you’ll likely see humpback whales, orcas, Pacific white-sided dolphins, grizzly bears, Steller sea lions, and more.

“The experience was absolutely fun, fun, fun!” – a GetYourGuide traveler (Read more reviews)

There are two choices of boats for the cruise. One is a covered boat with indoor seating, and the other is a zodiac boat. The two boat options allow guests to enjoy the wildlife-watching cruise regardless of the weather.

Start time: 9 am or 1:30 pm 

Duration: 3 – 4 hours

Includes: Small group cruise

Choosing The Right Bear-Watching Tour For You

If you are wondering where to see grizzly bears in British Columbia, then a grizzly bear tour from Vancouver Island is your best bet! 

Seeing grizzly bears in the wild is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and some fantastic tours are available for bear-watching on Vancouver Island. 

For the absolute best experience, consider your desires for the day and what factors are important to make it worthwhile.

There are a few essential things to consider when choosing the right bear-watching tour for you: 

  • Size of the tour – small group tours are best as they are the least disruptive to the bears. 
  • Type of boat – some tours have large boats with indoor seating. These boats may be better for families or if you want to stay dry in bad weather. Other tours have smaller zodiac-style speedboats, and these are great for adventurous travelers who want to feel the wind in their hair. 
  • Length of tour – depending on the time you have to spare, you may want to take a full-day tour or only a half-day trip. 
  • Cultural experience – some grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island also includes a cultural experience with the local First Nations people. Some tours are also Indigenous-owned, which means your money will be going towards supporting the cultural and economic recovery of the First Nations people.

Types Of Bears On Vancouver Island

There are two types of bears on Vancouver Island. The American black bear and the Vancouver Island black bear. The Vancouver Island black bears are larger and have a darker shade of black than their American counterpart. 

Vancouver Island is the best place to take a grizzly bear watching tour in Canada, but the tours are not actually viewing grizzly bears on the island itself. The experience takes you through a viewing of the inlets on the west coast of mainland British Columbia. 

The best grizzly bear viewing locations, such as Bute Inlet, are accessed by boat tours from Vancouver Island. 

The journey by boat to the inlets is an incredible experience, as you will be able to see the stunning scenery of British Columbia and wonderful marine life along the way.

Recently there have been some sightings of grizzly bears on Vancouver Island . So in the future, it may be possible to spot grizzly bears here more regularly. 

If you are interested in spotting black bears, the best place to see them is in Tofino, on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

Can You Find Bears Without A Tour?

It is possible to see bears while out hiking or camping on Vancouver Island , but bears are very shy and cautious of humans so they usually run away when they hear people coming. 

You might catch a glimpse of the bears on the hiking trails, but you certainly won’t get a good chance to see them up close or for very long. 

Although bear attacks are rare, you should treat them as dangerous animals, and it is not a good idea to go out looking for them on your own. 

Your best chance of seeing bears up close is from a bear-watching tour. 

On the tours, there are expert guides who know the best places to see the bears and will also be able to tell you fascinating facts about the bear’s behavior, habitat, and life cycle. 

The tours will allow you to view the bears from a safe place, such as a specially designed bear viewing platform or boat. 

The grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Island are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see bears up close and are definitely worth the expense. 

You can also get the chance to view bears in the wild by staying in a bear lodge on Vancouver Island. 

FAQs: Best Grizzly Bear Tours Vancouver Island

Can you see grizzly bears on vancouver island.

Yes, you can see grizzly bears from Vancouver Island. There are no grizzly bears on Vancouver Island itself, but daily grizzly bear watching tours leave Vancouver Island every day. It is one of the best places in Canada to take grizzly bear tours.

Where is the best place to see grizzly bears?

The best places to see grizzly bears are in the USA and Canada. In Canada, the best wildlife spotting opportunities are on the West Coast.  Vancouver Island is one of the best places to see bears in the wild. You can also see grizzly bears in the great bear rainforest in British Columbia.

How common are bear attacks on Vancouver Island?

Bear attacks are extremely rare on Vancouver Island, and there have been only a handful of reported cases in the last 50 years.

What month are grizzly bears most active?

The best time to see grizzly bears on Vancouver Island is June – September when the bears are most active. You will likely see them fishing for salmon in the rivers during this time. The best time to see mothers with their tiny bear cubs is from late April through to summer.

Wrap-Up: Best Grizzly Bear Tours Vancouver Island

Seeing grizzly bears in the wild is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience and is also one of the best day trips from Vancouver . 

Getting up close to the bears on your own is unlikely and also potentially dangerous. That is why taking an organized grizzly bear-watching tour from Vancouver Island is a great idea! 

The tours will allow you to view the bears safely from specialized viewing platforms, and the guides will be on hand to provide their expert knowledge and insight on all things bear and wildlife-related. 

This full-day grizzly bear expedition is my number one pick for grizzly bear tours Vancouver Island. 

You’ll have an incredible time seeing bears up close as they fish for salmon in the river. The tour includes lunch, an expert guide, and a breathtaking boat trip through the Desolation Sound.  Looking for more memorable experiences in Vancouver Island? Check out these 39 incredible waterfalls .

More About British Columbia:

  • 20 Pros And Cons Of Living In Vancouver, BC Canada
  • 37 Amazing Vancouver Bucket List Things to Do
  • 7 Best Whale Watching Tours in Vancouver Canada
  • 11 Best Whale Watching Tours in Victoria, BC: An Honest Review
  • 37 Best Day Trips From Vancouver
  • 29 Best Things to Do in Ucluelet, BC
  • Where to Stay in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Where to Kayak in Vancouver, BC: 23 Best Places
  • 11 Best Resorts in Whistler
  • 30 Best Camping on Vancouver Island, BC
  • 39 Best Waterfalls in Vancouver Island to Visit
  • 17 Best White Water Rafting Vancouver Tours
  • 23 Best Things to Do in Deep Cove, Vancouver BC
  • 3 Best Whale Watching Tours In Tofino
  • High Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria BC

More Wildlife Tours in Canada:

  • Best Horseback Riding in Canada: The 8 Best Trails
  • 8 Best White Water Rafting Tours in Canada
  • 6 Best Whale Watching in Tadoussac Quebec
  • Top 5 Quebec Dog Sledding Tours 
  • 6 Best Dog Sledding Yukon Tours 
  • Best Dog Sledding Tour in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Canada Travel Planning Guide

🚑  Should I buy Canada travel insurance?

100% YES!  — Canada has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens! Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I recommend World Nomads – starting at just $5 a day!

💧 Can you drink the water in Canada?

Yes  — In all major cities in Canada, you can drink the tap water. There are very few, rural areas that you can’t. However, you should never drink river or lake water anywhere in the country! I recommend a Brita Water Bottle for long hikes and backcountry camping to stay safe and hydrated.

🚙💨  Is it safe to rent a car in Canada?

Yes  — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Canada! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, you’ll need to rent a car. ( Read more )

📲  Will my phone work in Canada?

Maybe  — Some American companies work in Canada, but many will not. If your phone doesn’t work in Canada, I recommend getting a Canadian SIM card so you can get around and stay in contact with loved ones. We don’t have a lot of free WIFI in Canada, so you’ll need your phone for maps.

🏩  What’s the best way to book my Canada accommodations?

My go-to for Canadian hotels is Booking.com . For hostels, I use Hostel World . If you want a home-y feeling, check out VRBO (which is cheaper and safer than Airbnb).

Or get free accommodations with Trusted Housesitters!

✈️  What’s the best site to buy Canada flights?

For finding cheap Canadian flights, I recommend  Skyscanner .

🎫  Do I need a visa for Canada?

Likely Not  — US, UK, and EU passport holders don’t need Canadian visas. However, some other countries do ( check here! ). And if you plan to stay for more than 4 weeks (an average tourist visa length), you will need to look into visas to live in Canada.

Nina Clapperton is the founder of Nina Out and About. She has lived in 18 countries in the past 10 years, explored more than 30 countries, and has done most of it solo. A Canadian native, she also shares her favourite things to do in the True North. She helps over 100,000 people per month plan their expat adventures and Canadian trips.

Want to move abroad, but don’t know how to start?

Get an expert’s tips & tricks, pick which country to move to – and do it.

best bear tours vancouver island

best bear tours vancouver island

Gilakas’la! Welcome to one of the best grizzly bear viewing experiences in the world.

World Class Wildlife Viewing

Knight Inlet Lodge is an Indigenous-owned wildlife viewing destination in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada.

We invite you to spend your days viewing magnificent Grizzly Bears & Incredible Wildlife, and your nights enjoying fine dining and accommodation in the most spectacular natural environment…

Booking is open now for the 2024 and 2025 seasons (May 21 to October 15).

best bear tours vancouver island

Grizzly Bear Viewing & Whale Watching

Knight Inlet Lodge offers unique spring-to-fall grizzly bear tours and seasonal marine and whale watching tours during your 4 to 6 night stay at our west coast-style floating lodge.

Choose from a range of options to see bears and marine wildlife in one of the most magnificent natural settings in the world, surrounded by ancient forests and snow-capped mountains.

Knight Inlet Lodge

Grizzly Bear Viewing

Knight Inlet is home to a dense population of grizzlies. It is common for numerous bears to be near our lodge throughout the season, and especially during the fall when the salmon are running in nearby rivers.

Enjoy the experience of seeing grizzly bears in the wild on our 2—3 night tour packages.

Located in the Great Bear Rainforest

Knight Inlet Lodge, 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Vancouver, lies in the southern reaches of one of the last intact temperate rainforests on earth, the Great Bear Rainforest – home to Indigenous peoples, ancient forests, and wild bears since time immemorial.

Your Home Away From Home

Arriving at the lodge by floatplane from vancouver island in the morning, your adventure begins right away we will provide you a lodge orientation and safety briefing, then head straight out on the first tour of the day. after returning to the lodge and enjoying a delicious lunch, you will participate on two more tours, including bear viewing. at the end of your day come and relax in the privacy of your room, or join other guests in the lounge or on the water front deck before dinner.  , accommodation.

Our guest rooms feature queen size beds and private bathrooms with showers. Some of our rooms have capacity for families of up to 4.

All rooms enjoy either views of the inlet, or the shoreline behind the lodge, where bears are often spotted.

Knight Inlet lodge

Seafood like crab, salmon or prawns are harvested fresh from Knight Inlet allowing our Chef to offer the most glorious West Coast cuisine! Served with fine wines, our tasty menu is locally sourced from Knight Inlet, plus other fresh local ingredients flown in daily.

With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary needs.

best bear tours vancouver island

A Sustainable Legacy

As an Indigenous-owned, fly-in wildlife viewing destination, we at Knight Inlet Lodge take our corporate and environmental stewardship responsibilities seriously. We work hard to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and are doing everything we can to minimize our environmental footprint.

Bear and Salmon

Committed to Conservation

We are strong advocates for sustainable fisheries and wildlife management policies in the Great Bear Rainforest.

We also support and facilitate independent research on bear-human interactions, which is integrated into our bear viewing management plans.

In 2017 we successfully helped to end the grizzly bear trophy hunt in British Columbia.

best bear tours vancouver island

A Dedicated Team

A tight-knit team of dedicated, like-minded people, with years of experience managing and operating a remote tourist destination like Knight Inlet Lodge, offer our guests the highest quality service and expertise.

From our on-site managers to our guides, our chefs to our technical staff – we all can’t wait to welcome you to our own working home away from home!

Knight Inlet Lodge

Decades of Experience

Knight Inlet Lodge is owned by an Indigenous partnership of five First Nations whose stewardship and conservation knowledge and experience goes back to time immemorial

Knight Inlet Lodge, founded in the 1990s, has been a hallmark of not only hospitality, but grizzly bear and pacific salmon conservation and responsible environmental stewardship for decades.

Tide Rip Logo with two bears

  • Our Expeditions

The grizzly details…

So named by George Vancouver in 1792 after then Capt. William Robert Broughton, the Archipelago is a maze of largely uninhabited islands and islets, rocks and reefs that effectively choke off the mouth of mighty Knight Inlet.  200 years later in 1992, it was designated as BC’s largest marine park.

In early spring as the winter snow begins to melt, both black and grizzly bears emerge from their hibernation dens high on the mountain slopes in a desperate search for food.

The famished bears actively seek out estuarys where they graze nearly every waking hour on nutrient-rich spring sedge grasses.  These sedges provide more than 20% vegetable protein, just enough to sustain the hungry omnivores.

When the tide permits, the American Black bears and Grizzly bears seize the opportunity to feed along the exposed inlet beaches turning over rocks in search of crabs, mussels and small eels.  At this time of the year, the grizzlys are still sporting their winter coat which is often lighter in colour and matted with five months of accumulated bed head.

During the early spring love is in the air!  May and June is breeding season and offers the opportunity to see otherwise large elusive males reluctantly reveal themselves in their pursuit of love.  Courtship rituals, mating behaviour and defence of love interests are definitely a spectator’s sport.

By September the fish have largely entered the river and spawning has commenced.  The bears will strategically place themselves at shallow riffle zones or simply patrol the river, looking for foraging opportunities in still deep pools or log jams where salmon carcasses will come to rest.

To answer your question:  there is no good time to visit.  Each and every season offers it’s own amazing viewing experience!

Safety first!

Depending on the time of year and pattern of the bears, we may view the grizzly  and black bears from the safety and comfort of our specially-designed bear-viewing skiffs.  These boats have an elevated viewing platform on the bow as well as a crow’s nest up above.  Most importantly however, they have a very shallow draft that allows our certified bear Guides to raise the engine and physically pull the boat into the shallow river and inner estuarine waters for a more intimate experience with any coastal critters we may encounter.

Our Guides are some of the most experienced on the coast.  Countless hours of observation and an allegiance to guidelines established for the protection of both our guests and the animals  has offered full certification as recognized by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC.

In addition, our Guides are licensed Captains with years of experience navigating the coastal waters of BC.  Licensing ensures up-to-date 1st Aid and other pertinent qualifications including Marine Emergency Duties.

Rest assured you are in very good hands!

This all day tour begins at around 6:45 am and returns to Telegraph Cove between 3:30 – 4:30 pm.  Please check in the day before the tour to confirm departure time.

Grizzly bear nature tours includes:.

  • Coastal exploration in a comfortable, Coast Guard-certified vessel
  • Small intimate groups (max. 11)
  • A light breakfast and lunch included
  • Onboard binoculars for your use
  • Relevant reference materials for your perusal
  • Knowledgable, experienced, Naturalist/certified bear Guides

Important notes:

  • All tours require a minimum 4 persons in total per day in order to operate.
  • When booking accommodation, please be aware that nearby island such as Alert Bay limit our accessibility for morning water taxi pick up.  An additional fee per person is required for the added service.  If staying on other islands, this service may not be available.  Please inquire.
  • Due to the unpredictable nature of Knight Inlet and her surrounding waters, we do not take pregnant women nor people with back or neck problems.  Although all of our Guides are 1st Aid trained, we operate in a remote wilderness area without readily available medical attention.
  • These are wild animals.  Although we can not guarantee bear sightings, our experience will ensure the best probability of seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. In 2011 we had a 95% success rate, in 2012 94% and in 2013 an incredible 99%., 2014 down to 95%, etc. In 2017 we had a 100% sightings, although one day the bears were very distant.
  • As a courtesy to the bears and to ensure the longevity of safe viewing for years to come, we recommend dressing warmly in dark layers with a waterproof shell.  The use of strong scents including deodorants, perfumes and colognes is prohibited.
  • Minimum age is ten (10) years for the grizzly excursions.

“ As the Grizzly teaches us; a lack of love, understanding and compassion creates a creature to be feared, but a shift in our emotional response creates a creature to be enjoyed. ”

~Charlie Russell (Author, Naturalist, Grizzly Bear Crusader)

&amp;amp;amp;lt;div style=”display:inline;”&amp;amp;amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />

&amp;amp;amp;lt;img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1011472769/?value=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;guid=ON&amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;script=0″/&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />

Comments are closed.

  • Our Coordinates
  • A little more about us…
  • Accommodations
  • Grizzly Gallery
  • Critter Cams
  • FAQ’s
  • © Copyright Tide Rip Tours 2009 - 2017
  • Grizzly Tours | Bookings | Your Guides | Wildlife Reports | Tide Rip Tidings | Photos | Videos | Location | Accommodations

Sea Wolf Adventures - Grizzly Bear Viewing

Grizzly Bears of the Wild

Journey into the great bear rainforest to meet its iconic grizzly inhabitants.

Experience an up-close interaction with the grizzly bears of British Columbia when you spend the full day with us in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest on a truly immersive wildlife-watching journey. Venturing into our traditional territories inMusgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Territory (Northern Vancouver Island), our Indigenous-run adventures offer unrivalled opportunities to see grizzly bears in their natural habitat, while supporting our communities and learning more about our history and culture.

What will we see?

Travelling to our bear viewing areas is an important part of the day’s adventure, as we enjoy unparalleled access to our traditional territories and the communities where our owners and guides are honoured members. Pacific white-sided dolphins often dance alongside the bow of our boat, eagles soar overhead, and animals roam the shell-strewn beaches where ancient villages were once occupied by our people.

Sharing the cultural significance and stories behind the scenery, we make our way through waters favoured by migrating orcas and other awe-inspiring wildlife. Staying a safe and respectful distance from these majestic creatures, we’ll then visit grizzly bears in their home, where we also give the bears space to roam as nature intended.

Where do we go?

Join us on a unique journey into the Great Bear Rainforest, guided by our team of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. Every season and each day is different, so our route will change based on giving you the very best grizzly bear viewing experience. We’ll be travelling in comfort through places of extreme natural beauty and cultural significance, such as Knight Inlet, Bond Sound, Thompson Sound.

Start your adventure with a two-hour boat journey from Port McNeill, or the First Nations’ village of Alert Bay, into the beautiful territory of the Kwakwaka‘wakw peoples. If time permits and guests are keen, we may visit the fascinating U’Mista Museum in Alert Bay, which is home to recovered artifacts and cultural history.

Listen to your guide’s Indigenous interpretation of local landscapes, and learn more about the birthplace of our ancestors and the history of our people, from ancient traditions to contemporary culture.

Refuel with a locally made lunch before we make our way back through the Broughton Archipelago and Blackfish Sound, where we often encounter the gentle giants of the Pacific: migrating humpback whales.

Grizzly Bear Viewing

  • Grizzly Bears of the Wild tours last eight to nine hours and depart from our office at 1514 Broughton Blvd., Port McNeill on Northern Vancouver Island
  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks are provided
  • Tours have a minimum age of 10 years old. All passengers aged 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes before the tour’s 7:00 am departure time to sign a waiver. At the office, your guide will provide a safety briefing and an overview of the tour and area we will be exploring. The boat is docked a short (one-minute) walk from our office.
  • Please dress warmly and wear sturdy footwear
  • Plenty of wildlife photography opportunities are available but please do not bring tripods on board

Searching Availability...

Tour Length:  8 to 9 hours Group size:  Three people minimum. Twelve people maximum  Minimum age:  10 years old. Departs:  Port McNeill daily at 7:00 am (May31 through October) from North Island Marina. Meet at our office at 6:30 am, 1514 Broughton Blvd. Click  here  for directions.

What’s included:

  • Boat transportation
  • Naturalist Aboriginal guides
  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks
  • Rain ponchos

What should you bring?

Guests joining our grizzly tours must come prepared with proper footwear and clothing (darker clothing preferred). We provide everything you need to enjoy the day, but here are some extras you may want to consider bringing:

  • Insect repellant
  • Medication (if needed)
  • Hats (toques or beanies) and sun hats
  • Breathable, non-cotton clothing is recommended, but not essential
  • Good, sturdy footwear

Travelers' Choice 2024

seawolfadventures

An all-in-one grizzly bear and wildlife experience in the Great Bear Rainforest. Come and witness the beauty of our territory!

Looking for a boat that’s not just your run-of-the-mill, bobbing-on-the-water experience? Our vessels are the epitome of stability and reliability—think the Rolls-Royce of the sea. Luxurious doesn’t even begin to cover it; you’ll feel like Poseidon in a penthouse. And those diesel outboards? They’re the secret sauce that makes us different. Unique, you ask? We redefine the word. These boats are not just worthy; they cut through waves like a hot knife through butter. But it’s not just about the ride. With Sea Wolf Adventures, you’re not just a passenger; you’re part of a proud First Nations journey. We invite you to experience our rich cultural heritage firsthand, from our traditional territories to our language and stories. Join us and turn the sea into your personal playground, while immersing yourself in the legacy of our ancestors. Sail with us, and let’s make waves—both literally and culturally. That wicked ass music by @garrettwilliemusic! #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #ABDBOATS #TheRide

best bear tours vancouver island

Looking for a boat that’s not just your run-of-the-mill, bobbing-on-the-water experience? Our vessels are the epitome of stability and reliability—think the Rolls-Royce of the sea. Luxurious doesn’t even begin to cover it; you’ll feel like Poseidon in a penthouse. And those diesel outboards? They’re the secret sauce that makes us different. Unique, you ask? We redefine the word. These boats are not just worthy; they cut through waves like a hot knife through butter. But it’s not just about the ride. With Sea Wolf Adventures, you’re not just a passenger; you’re part of a proud First Nations journey. We invite you to experience our rich cultural heritage firsthand, from our traditional territories to our language and stories. Join us and turn the sea into your personal playground, while immersing yourself in the legacy of our ancestors. Sail with us, and let’s make waves—both literally and culturally. That wicked ass music by @garrettwilliemusic! #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #ABDBOATS #TheRide ...

Living in a rainforest, priceless! 🎥 @taylormichaelburk

Living in a rainforest, priceless! 🎥 @taylormichaelburk

Living in a rainforest, priceless! 🎥 @taylormichaelburk ...

We are very fortunate that Pacific White Sided Dolphins use our territory for their birthing places. Watching the adults teach their young ones how to hunt and how to use the art of synchronization to their advantage is priceless! #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada #dolphins #kwikwasutinuxwterritory

We are very fortunate that Pacific White Sided Dolphins use our territory for their birthing places. Watching the adults teach their young ones how to hunt and how to use the art of synchronization to their advantage is priceless! #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada #dolphins #kwikwasutinuxwterritory

We are very fortunate that Pacific White Sided Dolphins use our territory for their birthing places. Watching the adults teach their young ones how to hunt and how to use the art of synchronization to their advantage is priceless! #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada #dolphins #kwikwasutinuxwterritory ...

The Mayumi 2.0 is charting her way home. La̱`ma̱n`o`x̱ la ne`nakwa` #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #language #indigenouslanguages! #explorebc #explorecanada

The Mayumi 2.0 is charting her way home. La̱'ma̱n'o'x̱ la ne'nakwa' #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty  #language #indigenouslanguages! #explorebc #explorecanada

The Mayumi 2.0 is charting her way home. La̱`ma̱n`o`x̱ la ne`nakwa` #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #language #indigenouslanguages! #explorebc #explorecanada ...

Grizzly bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in one of the world’s most pristine environments. Located on the central coast of British Columbia, this vast temperate rainforest is home to a significant population of grizzly bears. Guided tours provide safe, respectful, and educational encounters, emphasizing the importance of conservation and minimizing human impact. Visitors can witness grizzlies foraging for berries, fishing for salmon, and interacting with one another. This unique experience provides a glimpse into the lives of one of nature’s most powerful animals in their natural habitat. #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada 📸 @taylormichaelburk

Grizzly bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in one of the world’s most pristine environments. Located on the central coast of British Columbia, this vast temperate rainforest is home to a significant population of grizzly bears. Guided tours provide safe, respectful, and educational encounters, emphasizing the importance of conservation and minimizing human impact. Visitors can witness grizzlies foraging for berries, fishing for salmon, and interacting with one another. This unique experience provides a glimpse into the lives of one of nature’s most powerful animals in their natural habitat. #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada 📸 @taylormichaelburk

Grizzly bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in one of the world’s most pristine environments. Located on the central coast of British Columbia, this vast temperate rainforest is home to a significant population of grizzly bears. Guided tours provide safe, respectful, and educational encounters, emphasizing the importance of conservation and minimizing human impact. Visitors can witness grizzlies foraging for berries, fishing for salmon, and interacting with one another. This unique experience provides a glimpse into the lives of one of nature’s most powerful animals in their natural habitat. #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorecanada 📸 @taylormichaelburk ...

Instagram post 17945190911815100

Coastal Rainforest Safaris and Sea Wolf Adventures are sister companies united by a common mission: to build capacity, train, and employ local Indigenous peoples. Our collaboration aims to reconnect our communities with their vast and beautiful territories through boat-based tourism. By being in the territories daily, we use this as an educational tool to talk about the unique cultural and environmental knowledge of our people, we create meaningful employment opportunities while fostering a deeper appreciation and stewardship of our ancestral lands. This partnership not only strengthens our cultural ties but also promotes sustainable tourism, ensuring that our rich heritage is shared and preserved for future generations. #seawolfadventures #coastalrainforestsafaris #rebuildstrength #rebuildourcommunities #kwakwakawakw #explorebc #explorecanada #gonorthisland

Coastal Rainforest Safaris and Sea Wolf Adventures are sister companies united by a common mission: to build capacity, train, and employ local Indigenous peoples. Our collaboration aims to reconnect our communities with their vast and beautiful territories through boat-based tourism. By being in the territories daily, we use this as an educational tool to talk about the unique cultural and environmental knowledge of our people, we create meaningful employment opportunities while fostering a deeper appreciation and stewardship of our ancestral lands. This partnership not only strengthens our cultural ties but also promotes sustainable tourism, ensuring that our rich heritage is shared and preserved for future generations. #seawolfadventures #coastalrainforestsafaris #rebuildstrength #rebuildourcommunities #kwakwakawakw #explorebc #explorecanada #gonorthisland

Coastal Rainforest Safaris and Sea Wolf Adventures are sister companies united by a common mission: to build capacity, train, and employ local Indigenous peoples. Our collaboration aims to reconnect our communities with their vast and beautiful territories through boat-based tourism. By being in the territories daily, we use this as an educational tool to talk about the unique cultural and environmental knowledge of our people, we create meaningful employment opportunities while fostering a deeper appreciation and stewardship of our ancestral lands. This partnership not only strengthens our cultural ties but also promotes sustainable tourism, ensuring that our rich heritage is shared and preserved for future generations. #seawolfadventures #coastalrainforestsafaris #rebuildstrength #rebuildourcommunities #kwakwakawakw #explorebc #explorecanada #gonorthisland ...

#Repost @taylor_lundin ・・・ Moments in the Great Bear Rainforest @seawolfadventures @hellobc @tourismvancouverisland @vancouverislandnorth @canada 📸 @fujifilmx_ca #myfujifilm #fujifilmx_ca #greatbearrainforest #grizzly #grizzlybear #whales #humpbackwhale #orca #eagles #explorebc #britishcolumbia #vancouverisland #canada #vancouverislandnorth #explorecanada #tourcanada #canada_photolovers #canadavisuals #imagesofcanada #wandercanada #cangeotravel #canadiancreatives #yourshotphotographer #natgeotravel #heartsofcanada #canadavisuals #nomadict

#Repost @taylor_lundin ・・・ Moments in the Great Bear Rainforest @seawolfadventures @hellobc @tourismvancouverisland @vancouverislandnorth @canada 📸 @fujifilmx_ca #myfujifilm #fujifilmx_ca #greatbearrainforest #grizzly #grizzlybear #whales #humpbackwhale #orca #eagles #explorebc #britishcolumbia #vancouverisland #canada #vancouverislandnorth #explorecanada #tourcanada #canada_photolovers #canadavisuals #imagesofcanada #wandercanada #cangeotravel #canadiancreatives #yourshotphotographer #natgeotravel #heartsofcanada #canadavisuals #nomadict ...

Bear viewing, especially while they are fishing for salmon in rivers, is a remarkable experience for several reasons. This natural spectacle typically occurs from late August until mid-October, coinciding with the annual salmon run. The timing and quality of bear viewing heavily depend on the abundance and health of the salmon population. **Salmon Runs and Bear Behavior:** During the salmon run, rivers and streams teem with fish making their way upstream to spawn. This abundance of food attracts bears, particularly grizzlies and black bears, who rely on this rich food source to build up fat reserves for the winter hibernation. The sight of bears catching salmon, often with incredible skill and precision, is both thrilling and educational. **Ecological Significance:** The salmon run is a crucial ecological event. Salmon not only nourish bears but also support a wide array of other wildlife, including eagles, wolves, and even the forest itself, as leftover fish carcasses decompose and enrich the soil. This interplay highlights the interconnectedness of the ecosystem. **Cultural and Indigenous Importance:** For many indigenous communities, the salmon run holds deep cultural significance. It is a time of traditional fishing, ceremonies, and a reminder of the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. Sharing this experience with visitors provides a unique opportunity to educate and promote respect for natural and cultural heritage. **Best Practices for Viewing:** Responsible bear viewing practices are essential to ensure the safety and preservation of wildlife and their habitats. Maintaining a respectful distance, minimizing noise, and following guidelines set by experienced guides are critical to prevent disturbing the animals and their environment. Experiencing bears fishing for salmon offers a profound connection to nature, showcasing the beauty and fragility of these ecosystems. It is a privilege that highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these species and their habitats for future generations. #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #getnorth #gonorth #grizzlybear #wildlifephotographytours #wildlifeplanet

Bear viewing, especially while they are fishing for salmon in rivers, is a remarkable experience for several reasons. This natural spectacle typically occurs from late August until mid-October, coinciding with the annual salmon run. The timing and quality of bear viewing heavily depend on the abundance and health of the salmon population. **Salmon Runs and Bear Behavior:** During the salmon run, rivers and streams teem with fish making their way upstream to spawn. This abundance of food attracts bears, particularly grizzlies and black bears, who rely on this rich food source to build up fat reserves for the winter hibernation. The sight of bears catching salmon, often with incredible skill and precision, is both thrilling and educational. **Ecological Significance:** The salmon run is a crucial ecological event. Salmon not only nourish bears but also support a wide array of other wildlife, including eagles, wolves, and even the forest itself, as leftover fish carcasses decompose and enrich the soil. This interplay highlights the interconnectedness of the ecosystem. **Cultural and Indigenous Importance:** For many indigenous communities, the salmon run holds deep cultural significance. It is a time of traditional fishing, ceremonies, and a reminder of the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. Sharing this experience with visitors provides a unique opportunity to educate and promote respect for natural and cultural heritage. **Best Practices for Viewing:** Responsible bear viewing practices are essential to ensure the safety and preservation of wildlife and their habitats. Maintaining a respectful distance, minimizing noise, and following guidelines set by experienced guides are critical to prevent disturbing the animals and their environment. Experiencing bears fishing for salmon offers a profound connection to nature, showcasing the beauty and fragility of these ecosystems. It is a privilege that highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these species and their habitats for future generations. #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorthisland #getnorth #gonorth #grizzlybear #wildlifephotographytours #wildlifeplanet ...

T̕łix̱adi - sea lion place, is thriving and well! This is one of the larger sea lion haul-outs within our territory. Sea lions are marine mammals known for their agility in water, social behavior, loud barks, and playful nature! #sealions #sealion #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorth #getnorth #getnorthisland #wildlifeplantet #broughtonarchipelago

T̕łix̱adi - sea lion place, is thriving and well! This is one of the larger sea lion haul-outs within our territory. Sea lions are marine mammals known for their agility in water, social behavior, loud barks, and playful nature! #sealions #sealion #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorth #getnorth #getnorthisland #wildlifeplantet #broughtonarchipelago

T̕łix̱adi - sea lion place, is thriving and well! This is one of the larger sea lion haul-outs within our territory. Sea lions are marine mammals known for their agility in water, social behavior, loud barks, and playful nature! #sealions #sealion #seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #gonorth #getnorth #getnorthisland #wildlifeplantet #broughtonarchipelago ...

Supporting indigenous businesses is what we love to do. Straight out the the Cowichan Tribes , Bailey at Cook‘s Marine fabricated our brand new Grizzly Bear viewing skiff with perfection! We are looking forward to hosting our guests on this marvellous ship:) If you are in need of ANY aluminum boats, I would not hesitate to recommend Baily at Cook’s Marine! #aluminumboats #indigenousbusiness #indigenousowned #youthentrepreneur #quality

Supporting indigenous businesses is what we love to do. Straight out the the Cowichan Tribes , Bailey at Cook‘s Marine fabricated our brand new Grizzly Bear viewing skiff with perfection! We are looking forward to hosting our guests on this marvellous ship:) If you are  in need of ANY aluminum boats,  I would not hesitate to recommend Baily at Cook’s Marine! #aluminumboats #indigenousbusiness #indigenousowned #youthentrepreneur #quality

Supporting indigenous businesses is what we love to do. Straight out the the Cowichan Tribes , Bailey at Cook‘s Marine fabricated our brand new Grizzly Bear viewing skiff with perfection! We are looking forward to hosting our guests on this marvellous ship:) If you are in need of ANY aluminum boats, I would not hesitate to recommend Baily at Cook’s Marine! #aluminumboats #indigenousbusiness #indigenousowned #youthentrepreneur #quality ...

#seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #goindigenous #grizzlybears

#seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #goindigenous #grizzlybears

#seawolfadventures #swa #traveltruthbeauty #goindigenous #grizzlybears ...

best bear tours vancouver island

The Great Bears of Bute Tour

Even though the focus of this unique tour is grizzly bears, you’re likely to see many other flora and fauna like humpbacks, killer whales, eagles, dolphins, and salmon. Let your experienced guide lead you through grizzly country for an exhilarating glimpse into their natural habitat.

This breathtaking wilderness tour into Bute Inlet is available mid-August through October and is appropriate for ages ten and up.

Original Original

About the Great Bears of Bute Tour

Tour at a glance.

  • For anyone who’s dreamt of seeing majestic bears from a close yet safe distance
  • On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see wild grizzly bears feeding on spawning salmon and many other flora and fauna
  • Available mid-August through October
  • Full-day (8-hour) guided tour
  • Depart from Campbell River in the morning
  • Heated boat with indoor and outdoor seating and toilet facilities
  • Lunch, snacks and beverages included
  • Appropriate for ages 10 and up
  • By taking this tour, you’re supporting an Indigenous-owned and operated social enterprise dedicated to community and environmental stewardship.

χawgəs, or grizzly bears, don’t need any calendar reminders – they know that mid-August is when the annual salmon run begins at the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest. They journey long distances to Algard Creek and the Orford River to feast on spawning salmon and their eggs. 

Journey with us on this tour from Campbell River through the Salish Sea to Bute Inlet, one of British Columbia’s best whale-watching areas. Take in the breathtaking scenery of Homalco territory as you venture onto land, travelling by bus to a variety of grizzly bear viewing platforms and ground-viewing locations.

The Homalco people, also known as the “people of the fast-running waters,” have been stewards of these lands and waters since time immemorial. We invite you to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and see the beauty of bears through our eyes.

For similar tours, please see our TOBA BEAR & WILDLIFE TOUR , THE DELUXE GRIZZLIES & CULTURE TOUR or PEOPLE WATER LAND TOUR .

A grizzly bear

Book an Indigenous Eco-Adventure

Tour details.

  • All participants must be physically capable to walk off vessels onto land, and up/down stairs. Please contact us if you have any mobility concerns
  • 8 hour tour
  • Lunch, snacks, and beverages are included
  • Heated and covered boat with onboard toilet
  • Minimum age is 10 years old (all passengers aged 10 to 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult 19+)
  • Start time: Early departures are from 7:30am to 8:00am depending on seasonal time change. Later departures (limited dates) are at 10:30am.
  • Disclaimer: Time and tour components subject to change based on safety considerations

What to Bring

  • Durable shoes
  • Warm layered clothing and rain gear
  • Hat (toque, beanie, sunhat)
  • Water bottle to help us in our efforts to reduce single use plastics
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera - tripods restricted. Monopods considered
  • Curiosity and a smile :-)

best bear tours vancouver island

One of the best days of my life!

This experience made my dreams of 20 something years come true. Our hearts are full. We won’t ever forget watching those big beautiful animals catch and eat salmon, and learning about the Homalco territory. A sensory overload which brought me to tears.

What People Are Saying On TripAdvisor

best bear tours vancouver island

Unique way to see big beautiful bears.

It was a great experience seeing such beautiful ocean, rainforest, and of course Grizzly Bears. The tour guides were great and proudly share their heritage with guests. You can also see how proud the younger staff are to learn more about their own culture through the job and knowledge keepers in the Homalco Band. Great experience all around!

best bear tours vancouver island

Amazing bear viewing experience

Had an amazing experience on this tour. All our guides were polite, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Bear viewing was spectacular and felt respectable. Guides were very professional about safety and being respectful of the animals' space and comfort. The bears of Bute Inlet are well worth visiting.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY

The ecosystem in and around Homalco territory is unparalleled in its beauty and rich diversity – but it’s also incredibly sensitive. It’s our responsibility, as stewards of these lands and waters, to play our part in protecting the natural environment for generations to come. By joining us on a wilderness or cultural tour, you directly contribute  to the Homalco First Nation’s conservation and sustainability efforts. For more information, visit our Conservation page .

CANCELLATION POLICY

We know that plans can change. That’s why you can cancel at no charge up to 48 hours before your scheduled tour. Unfortunately, we can’t issue any refunds for cancelled tours with less than 48 hours’ notice. Please contact us directly at 250-923-0602 to cancel.

Privacy Overview

best bear tours vancouver island

Grizzly Bear Tours Vancouver Island

best bear tours vancouver island

Vancouver Island Grizzly Bear Tours

Experience the dormant beauty of Toba Inlet with Klahoose Coastal Adventures, your gateway to the best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island. Embark on a captivating boat journey through the Inlet's dramatic cliffs and waterfalls, guided by our seasoned experts and Klahoose First Nation guides. Venture deep into the heart of Grizzly bear territory, where small group sizes ensure minimal habitat disruption. Witness these majestic creatures in action during their annual salmon feast from strategically positioned viewing platforms. Eagle Eye Adventures is dedicated to providing one of the best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island, offering an intimate and educational journey into the remarkable Toba Valley. Join us in exploring this extraordinary destination with passion and knowledge as your guides.

Travelling To Toba Inlet

After a captivating two-hour boat ride through the stunning Toba Inlet, our experienced guides join forces with Klahoose First Nation hosts at the inlet's head, extending a warm Coast Salish welcome. We'll then drive up the valley via forestry roads to the river's bear viewing platforms, where you'll have the exclusive privilege of witnessing the Toba Inlet Grizzly Bears in their fall ritual of feasting on returning salmon.

best bear tours vancouver island

Small Groups

Our Grizzly expeditions in Toba Valley are limited to small groups of 12 or fewer, with utmost care taken to minimize our impact on the bears' habitat. At Eagle Eye Adventures, we're dedicated to sharing our deep knowledge and passion with all visitors to this extraordinary region. Your journey will be led by our enthusiastic, highly knowledgeable guides, among the most experienced on the West Coast.

Tour Pricing

best bear tours vancouver island

$465 Per Guest

best bear tours vancouver island

Covered Boat

$175 per guest.

best bear tours vancouver island

$155 Per Guest

Included on this tour:, what do i bring, what adventurers are saying.

best bear tours vancouver island

Book Your Grizzly Expedition

best bear tours vancouver island

Eagle Eye Adventures is a world-renowned tour operator offering responsible whale watching tours in beautiful Campbell River, British Columbia

Copyright © Eagle Eye Adventures - Campbell Rivers Top Rated Whale Watching & WIldflife Adventure Tour Operator

Vancouver Island Photo Tours

vancouver island tours

Grizzly Bear Watching Knight Inlet

Wildlife & scenery photo tour, grizzly bears, black bears, orca whales, humpback whales, bald eagles & other wildlife 8-12 hours boat tour with maximum of 4 guests.

fighting grizzly bears knight inlet

Grizzly bear Wildlife Watching Boat Tour into BEAUTIFUL KNIGHT INLET, The TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE DA’NAXDA’XW AWAETLALA FIRST NATION, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada

Ethics, experience, knowledge and time is the secret to good wildlife watching – and we have it all.

The Knight Inlet, marine based,  photo wildlife tour does it all in one full day from Port McNeill, Alder Bay or Telegraph Cove on the northern part of Vancouver Island with a maximum of 4 guests (5 with children) on board my covered, insured, safe custom built boat.

This Family & Photo Tour is mostly about the Grizzly Bears and the stunning scenery of Knight Inlet (Fjord). If the wildlife cooperates, we will watch grizzly bears, orca whales, humpback whales, dolphins, other marine wildlife, birds and the stunning scenery along the Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet in British Columbia, Canada.

We are not just going bear watching in Knight Inlet. We design the tour as we go, as we like, depending on weather, tides, wildlife sightings and whatever helps to make it the very best day ever.

Important notes:!!! (Please also check  my FAQ page ) No wildlife sightings can be guaranteed (expect nothing and be happily surprised). We see Grizzly Bears, Eagles, Seals, Sea Lions on almost every tour, whales on many, Dolphins on some of the tours.

The tour is not recommended for pregnant women or guests with back problems. I have never had anyone get seasick on my boat, which operates only in protected waters, not the open ocean. 

I can’t guarantee you wildlife, but I can guarantee that I will do everything in my power to make it the very best day for you.

A "typical day" on the Knight Inlet wildlife & scenery photo tour:

Depending on the time of year, tides, and weather, we usually leave from the northern part of Vancouver Island between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m., either from Alder Bay, Port McNeill, or Telegraph Cove.

Most of the time, we are leaving from Alder Bay Resort on northern Vancouver Island. (Google Maps) .

I always try to be the first in Knight Inlet, so we can hopefully enjoy some undisturbed wildlife viewing. It doesn’t always work but trying it is the best way to make sure we are having an amazing day.

Depending on the time of the year, there will be other tour boats coming into Knight Inlet.

I greatly appreciate my colleagues on the water and we are always happy to share our bear and other wildlife views. 

We are more flexible so we can always look for other bears or check out other areas. My flexibility is the joker for our day and that part makes it very different from the bigger operators.

We can do what WE want and we always find agreement between 4 guests.

If the conditions are in our favour, we will start with a beautiful sunrise in Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound or Queen Charlotte Strait, depending on the route we have chosen to go.

Normally it takes about 1.5-2 hours by boat to reach the area where we start looking for the coastal grizzly bears.

If we see other wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, eagles, black bears or other wildlife en route, we will spend time with them.

However, we usually endeavour to get to the grizzly bears as fast as we can.

We may have to spend some time searching for the grizzly bears or wait and see for a while. During this time, we often have a snack.

Depending on the tides, we may have to leave even if we don’t find any bears. We will look for other wildlife and some beautiful scenery in Knight Inlet and return to the bears later. We will decide as soon as we know “what’s going on.”

I cannot guarantee wildlife sightings, but so far, we have seen bears on 9 out of 10 tours. We normally spend a good time with the bears or as long as my guests want to stay as long as the wildlife accepts us and we are not disturbing it.

We will decide together when we are ready to leave the bears behind.

We will take the time to have a delicious healthy lunch on the boat; normally, we serve as much from our own organic garden as possible. You will not be left hungry!

After lunch we have some more travel time back towards the Broughton Archipelago and if we still have time we will search the rest of the afternoon for whales, birds and other wildlife.

Sooner or later it will be time to go back home. Normally that is somewhere between 8-12 hours, a good average are 9 1/2 hours which is a long time to be on the water.

Some days we see a lot wildlife, sometimes not as much. But over all those years I never had anybody unhappy stepping of my boat. I have only one agenda all day and that is to provide you the best service possible. 

While I totally understand the disappointment from some guests when we don’t see everything as expected – at the end of the day it is nature and wildlife and it is totally out of my control, so is the weather. But we will make the very best out of the circumstances given to us on this day. Every day is different and we never know what to expect. But we have the best chances as I know the area inside out; we are using a great and safe boat, I’m out on the water almost every day, and I have a close friendship on the water with all other professional guides.

The base is set; all the rest is up to the “nature gods”.

Ambient Light tour boat used on photo tours

Depending on the wind and weather, we may explore some inlets on the way back. These inlets are always full of surprises and amazing scenery.

We will also spend time in the Broughton Archipelago. This is where we keep our eyes open for humpback whales, killer whales, minke whales, dolphins, sea lions and bald eagles, and we will spend as much time as possible enjoying, watching and photographing the wildlife.

One of the biggest advantages of this tour is that we are not on a schedule. If “things are happening,” we are not leaving! 

You will be surprised how fast the day goes, normally, we stay out for over 10 hours if the wildlife cooperates, but we stayed out as much as 15 hours before (only if my guests agree!).

If you need to be home early then, we also can shorten the tour.

So far, we haven’t gone a day without seeing something very special. Even when we did not see bears, there was always something else to make it an incredible day. I never had anyone disappointed or not happy, and I sure want to keep it that way 😀.

It is an individual and private tour with a maximum of 4 guests, and you decide where we will spend your time. We are flexible and cater to your desires, although we have a rough outline for the day based on our experience.

We offer our wildlife & scenery photo tour because we love to share this amazing place with our guests. Rolf loves to show people around, share his photography knowledge and make sure you get some amazing photos to share back home.

Please understand that this is not a “learning photography” tour, the day is too busy, BUT Rolf will share as much of his knowledge, tricks and tips with you as possible and also answers your question, no matter if photography is related or not. You still will learn a lot about photography!

Knight Inlet is the longest inlet (fjord) along the British Columbia coast and is also part of the Great Bear Rainforest. It is very scenic and full of wildlife, but it also can be a bit unpredictable at times.

If the winds are too strong, we might not go into Knight Inlet and stay more protected. It normally wouldn’t be a safety issue, but it can be uncomfortable fighting wind, tides and waves.

So far, we have only had to divert TWO tours in the past seven years.

In case of high wind  predictions,  we will make a decision TOGETHER if we cancel the tour OR do the Broughton Archipelago photo tour instead. The Broughton is very sheltered and offers almost everything BUT chances to see grizzly bears are slim.

If Grizzly bears are not most important to you and you may prefer to do more whale watching, then I would recommend the  Broughton Archipelago Photo Tour .

Latest Testimonials

Vancouver island photo tours: reviews, a spectacular wildlife tour with a wonderful host highly recommend - do not miss, a wonderful experience we'll remember for ever, this was the highlight of our holiday and a day that we'll be talking about for some time, james bufford, get in touch.

Join Rolf’s family-friendly small group adventure tours with maximum 4 guests.

He specializes in photo and wildlife experiences on board his safe, covered and certified boat.

With Rolf’s extensive expertise, you’ll gain invaluable insights, tips, and captivating stories to enrich your journey.

Contact Info

  • 1003 Ocean Place, Port McNeill, British Columbia, V0N 2R0, Canada
  • On Google Maps

Quick Links

  • Grizzly Bear Watching
  • Whale Watching Broughton
  • Sea Otter Watching
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Rolf Hicker Nature, Travel & Wildlife Photography
  • Rolf Hicker Nature, Travel & Wildlife Photography Archive
  • 2024 Vancouver Island Photo Tours. All photographs by Rolf Hicker.

Accreditation of the Biosphere distinction

That Adventurer

Best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island BC

Taking a grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island in British Columbia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is on many peoples’ Canada bucket lists . It’s one of the best things to do during a trip to Vancouver Island and getting to see a grizzly bear in the wild is an incredible experience.

Vancouver Island is well known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the presence of grizzly bears in their natural habitat. These magnificent creatures are an iconic symbol of the wild and untamed wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, and seeing them is absolutely magical.

During a trip to Campbell River on Vancouver Island, I was lucky enough to take a grizzly bear tour. It was primarily a whale-watching tour but we saw grizzly bears as well as black bears and some cubs. The knowledgeable guides provided insights into the lives of these animals and ensured that all rules were followed, staying at a respectful distance.

One of the standout features of grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island is the stunning scenery. The island is home to towering old-growth forests and a rugged coastline. But the real highlight of these tours, of course, is the chance to see grizzly bears in their natural habitat.

These Vancouver Island grizzly tours are operated by tour guides who are knowledgeable about the habits and behaviours of these creatures and provide insightful commentary about their life in the wild.

If you’re looking for the best grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island I’ve picked out the best based on my experiences, and other peoples’ reviews. Pack your bags and get excited, because we’re going on a bear hunt where we’ll be bear watching in British Columbia!

Full day Grizzly Bear Tour

A full-day grizzly bear tour from Campbell River to one of the best bear watching areas in BC. Includes lunch. More expensive than others, but one of the best ways to up your chances of seeing wild grizzlies safely.

Whale Watching trip from Victoria

Join this whale watching tour from Victoria BC where you'll have the change to see humpback whales, orcas and other marine and land animals.

Budget pick: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise from Campbell River

This is the tour my friends and I did while staying in Campbell River for a weekend and it was amazing. We saw bears, humpbacks, orcas and more!

Stay in one of these unique stays in Victoria BC before your trip!

My pick of the best grizzly bear watching Vancouver Island offers

If you’re looking for a quick answer to the best grizzly bear tours BC, I’ve picked out the best grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Island and whale-watching tours on Vancouver Island for you below.

  • Best budget-friendly wildlife tour : 4 hour wildlife discovery tour from Campbell River
  • Best for Indigenous history and wildlife: People, Water, Land tour
  • Best for whale watching on Vancouver Island: Salish Sea whale watching adventure
  • Best Grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island: Toba Inlet Full-day Grizzly bear watching tour
  • Best wildlife watching tour from Victoria, BC : 3-hour whale watching tour from Victoria

What to know before booking a grizzly bear tour in BC

Before you book a grizzly bear or other wildlife watching tour in BC, there are several things you should know including what to pack and what to expect. Below are some things I learned during my whale watching tour from Campbell River.

  • Pack warm gear! Though many of the operators will give you a suit you can wear to stay dryer and warmer, you’ll want warm gear underneath it and perhaps a woolly hat and/or gloves. The winds can be strong, especially if you’re going fast through the water and being cold will just make your day miserable.
  • Seasickness: You’ll be on a boat for the majority (if not all) of your tour. If you suffer from motion sickness take a tablet, wear a seasickness bracelet or do whatever you know you need to do.
  • Sensible footwear: I recommend hiking boots as they’ll keep your feet warm and be good for walking around if your tour includes a stop off at an island which many do for lunch or a snack.
  • Animal sightings cannot be guaranteed: Though there is a high likelihood of seeing something during your wildlife-watching tour it cannot be guaranteed. These animals are wild and go where they like. Grizzly bears in particular are pretty elusive. Some tours will include a no wildlife sighting guarantee where you’ll get another tour free if you don’t see anything.

Full-Day Grizzly Bear watching in Vancouver Island at Toba Inlet

campbell river whale watching (4 of 5)

  • Meeting point: Discovery Harbour Marina, Campbell River
  • Duration : 8 hours
  • Price: US$460 pp
  • Reviews: 4.8/5
  • Where to book: On GetYourGuide

This full-day grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island’s Toba Inlet takes you on a boat cruise through Discovery Passage which is one of the best areas for bear watching in BC.

This part of Vancouver Island’s waterways is exceptionally scenic and there’s a great chance of seeing grizzly bears here as they prowl for salmon with their big grizzly bear claws!

Picture yourself gliding along Discovery Passage , taking in the breathtaking panoramic views as you approach Toba Inlet. And when you get off the boat, you’ll spend an amazing 3 hours spotting grizzly bears along the Campbell River. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget!

Not only will you see the grizzly bears, but you’ll also have the chance to see an array of other wildlife both on land and in the water. And let’s not forget about the breathtaking waterfalls of Toba Inlet, they’re such an incredible sight to behold!

Your guide will be a certified naturalist and a member of the Klahoose First Nation , who will share interesting facts about the environment and the rich history and legacy of the land.

  • Klahoose First Nation Indigenous Guide
  • Certified naturalist captain

Guest reviews: “ It was just a dream! A tour worth every penny . We saw 9 grizzlies, humpback whales, orcas and sea lions. Simply impressive to face the animals in their natural environment. Our guides were really great, they told us a lot about the way of life of the animals. Big thanks to the team for this unforgettable experience! ”

Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

campbell river whale watching (5 of 5)

  • Meeting point: Campbell River Discovery Harbour Marina
  • Duration : 3-4 hours
  • Price: US$150 pp
  • Reviews: 4.5/5

This is the tour my friends and I did while staying in Campbell River for a weekend and it was amazing. I think it’s the best bang for your buck out of the grizzly bear tours Campbell River has on offer.

We explored the wonders of the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait on this Campbell River whale and wildlife tour on Vancouver Island .

We saw black bears, killer whales, humpbacks (with a baby), porpoise sea lions and more. Some tour groups also see grizzly bears on this tour too and you’ll definitely be amazed by the stunning scenery and incredible wildlife that call this place home.

Onboard your chosen vessel, be it a covered boat with indoor seating or a zodiac-style boat perfect for those who love the outdoors, you’ll learn from an expert naturalist about the animals you might see as well as the history of the area. 

This whale, wildlife and grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island also includes the use of hydrophones. With these, you can listen in to the sounds of whales and other marine creatures as you journey through the waterways.

During your boat trip through the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait, you might just catch a glimpse of humpback whales, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bears, Steller sea lions, and so much more. 

  • Boat cruise
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Naturalist guide
  • Live commentary onboard

Guest reviews: “Thank you for this once-in-a-lifetime experience! The youth group we took could not stop talking about the whales and the cool stories/ info that was given. Thank you for being so accommodating and fun and knowledgeable! I will highly recommend this tour to anyone!”

Campbell River: Bute Inlet Grizzly-Watching Tour & Boat Ride

grizzly bear tour on vancouver island

  • Meeting point: Campbell River Marina
  • Duration : 9 hours
  • Price: US$477 pp
  • Reviews: 5/5

This full-day grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island takes you to the Bute Inlet which is one of the best grizzly bear-watching opportunities in the world.  

Get ready for a breathtaking boat ride through the magnificent Discovery Islands and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for marine wildlife, including whales. In this water, you can often see humpback whales as well as orcas or killer whales as they’re also known.

You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the scenery and spot whales as you cruise through the Orford River.

Upon arrival in Bute Inlet, you’ll meet your local Homalco First Nation guides who are experts in all things grizzly bears. Climb aboard the van and get ready to transfer to the viewing platforms, where you’ll get to see these majestic creatures up close (well, as close as it is safe for both you and them!). 

The specially designed platforms are situated above the salmon spawning channel and offer unobstructed views of the bears as they roam the river banks.

Make sure to bring your cameras, as this will be the perfect opportunity for a photo shoot with these magnificent creatures during your grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island. 

Your guides , who are certified naturalists, will also educate you on the history and importance of grizzly bears to the Indigenous communities and the environment. So, not only will you get to witness these amazing creatures in the wild, but you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for these magnificent animals.

Don’t worry about getting hungry or cold, as you’ll be provided with a light snack, hot chocolate, coffee or tea, and lunch to keep you energized and warm throughout the day. 

  • Boat transport to and from Campbell River
  • Van transport to viewing platforms
  • Light snack
  • Coffee, hot chocolate, and tea

Campbell River: Salish Sea Whale-Watching Adventure

campbell river whale watching (5 of 5)

  • Meeting point: Campbell River Coast Marina
  • Duration : 4 hours
  • Price: US$175 pp

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime marine adventure with an award-winning Indigenous tour operator with this wildlife and grizzly bear watching tour on Vancouver Island.

Discover the magnificent creatures of the Salish Sea, including humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and more.

Travel on a modern and comfortable vessel, equipped with an onboard toilet as you set out from Campbell River and make your way to the Discovery Islands. 

Your guide is a knowledgeable marine wildlife naturalist who will help you spot a variety of avian species, including bald eagles, and an array of marine mammals in their natural habitat.

Listen as your Indigenous guides share their rich cultural knowledge of the area and its history, legends, and stories. 

From the breathtaking views of the mountainous coastline to the chance to see black bears, sea otters, and rarer species of whales, this whale-watching adventure is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Whale watching tour from Victoria BC

Best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island BC 145

  • Meeting point: Behind the Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina in Victoria
  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Price: US$123 pp
  • Reviews: 4.6/5

Get kicked up from your accommodation in Victoria BC and head off on an unforgettable whale-watching tour from Vancouver Island.

Your guides and captain know where to look to increase your chances of seeing transient and resident orcas (killer whales), humpbacks, minke and grey whale s.

Onboard the boat you’ll have access to free tea and coffee, onboard bathrooms and both indoor and outdoor viewing areas to help keep you comfortable whatever the weather.

But the adventure doesn’t stop at whales! You may also see Dall’s and harbour porpoises, harbour and elephant seals, playful otters , and marine birds like cormorants and bald eagle s.

Plan your trip during peak whale watching season, which spans from April to October, maximizing your chances of witnessing these magnificent creatures in action. In the unlikely event that your tour doesn’t result in a whale sighting, you’ll get a second tour for free.

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from downtown Victoria
  • Marine guides
  • Whale sighting guarantee
  • Conservation fee

Guest reviews: “We saw beautiful Orcas and a big bonus is they encourage you to just enjoy and watch with your eyes and they take pictures that are uploaded and shared for FREE! We had a great time “

Full-Day Grizzly Bear Tour

grizzly bear tour on vancouver island

  • Meeting point: E Dock, Campbell River
  • Duration : 8-10 hours
  • Price: US$486 pp
  • Where to book: On Viator

Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure as you embark on a small-group grizzly bear tour in the Homalco First Nation’s traditional territory. 

With a focus on wildlife viewing and safety, this Vancouver Island grizzly bear tour offers elevated viewing platforms and trained bear guides to help you spot these magnificent and beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

Hop aboard a comfortable, covered vessel and travel from the Campbell River waterfront out to the wilderness. 

The group size is limited to just 12 people which means you’ll have more opportunities to see grizzly bears hunting and swimming in their natural environment without having to clamber over people. 

Stay fuelled throughout the day with a delicious lunch, snacks, and hot drinks provided onboard during this grizzly bear tour in Vancouver Island. 

Whether you’re an avid wildlife enthusiast or just looking for a unique outdoor experience, this grizzly bear tour is a must-do adventure. 

Campbell River: Waterfall and Wildlife Guided Boat Tour

grizzly bear tour on vancouver island

  • Meeting point: Brown’s Bay Marina, Campbell River BC
  • Duration : 6 hours
  • Price: US$199 pp

Get ready for an unforgettable springtime experience in stunning British Columbia! Join a guided boat tour from Campbell River and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the coast.

Depart from the Brown’s Bay Marina on Vancouver Island and board a custom-designed vessel, featuring bench-style seating and a heated cabin to keep you comfortable and cosy as you head out on this waterfall and wildlife and grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island.

As you set sail, be prepared to be awed by the spring landscapes and waterfalls that come to life after a long winter.

Spot mumma bears with their babies that come out to forage for food along the shore and keep an eye out for orcas and humpback whales, which are known to frequent these waters during the annual herring spawn in spring. This is also the time when these gentle giants return to their summer feeding grounds, so you may even catch a glimpse of them.

Your onboard naturalist will provide insights into the local wildlife, habitats, and geography, making this an educational tour, as well as a visually stunning adventure. 

The tour also includes hydrophones too which allow you to hear the sounds of the whales underneath the sea.

Take a break from your journey and enjoy a delicious homemade lunch with a refreshing drink, while you soak in the peaceful surroundings.

  • Packed lunch

Spring Bear & Waterfall tour

Best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island BC

  • Price: US$194 pp
  • Where to book: Through FareHarbour

Experience the beauty of nature awakening after a long winter on this Spring Discovery Grizzly Bear Tour!

On this 6-hour Campbell River bear watching trip aboard a comfortable, covered boat, you’ll explore the beautiful inlets around Campbell River and British Columbia’s coast.

You’ll be amazed by the waterfalls cascading down the rugged cliffs, and make sure you keep your eyes open for wildlife making their seasonal return.

Get ready to be amazed by the sight of majestic sea lions, vibrant sea birds, and orcas and be among the first to spot humpback whales as they grace our northern waters once again on this springtime wildlife trip!

But the true highlight of this adventure is the opportunity to observe bears in their natural habitat, foraging along the shoreline as they emerge from their hibernation for a delicious seafood feast of crabs, mussels, oysters, and more.

Vancouver Island: Coastal Adventure from Brown’s Bay

things to do in campbell river bc canada (2 of 3)

  • Meeting point: Campbell River, Browns Bay Resort & Marina
  • Price: US$161 pp

This once-in-a-lifetime springtime adventure grizzly bear tour from Vancouver Island in British Columbia is one of the best ways to experience Vancouver Island’s wildlife. 

This Vancouver Island wildlife tour leaves from Brown’s Bay Marina in Campbell River and whisks you out to the beautiful islands and coastline of this area.

Your guide will either take you to the north where the Seymour Narrows and Okisollo Channel await, or to the south around Quadra Island. Their choice often depends on where the most recent wildlife sightings have come from to ensure you get maximum sightings yourself.

Spot some friendly harbour seals, porpoises, and the mighty Bald Eagle from the comfort of the boat. 

If you’re lucky, you will be greeted by larger creatures, such as humpbacks, orcas and Pacific white-sided dolphins too.

The tour runs for approximately 4 hours and returns back to the dock at Brown’s Bay Marina. Hopefully, you’ll have seen loads of wildlife along the way! 

Vancouver Island: Grizzly Bears of Bute Inlet in Orford Bay

grizzly bear tours on vancouver island

  • Duration : 8.5 hours
  • Price: US$404 pp

Step into the heart of Canada’s wilderness with Campbell River’s original grizzly bear tour company , as you journey to the traditional territory of the Homalco First Nation to witness grizzlies in the wild on this Bute Inlet grizzly bear tour.

This is one of the best Campbell River grizzly bear tours and offers a full-day adventure with a one-of-a-kind experience, offering the chance to see some of Canada’s most iconic wildlife in its natural habitat.

Sail through the stunning Salish Sea and Orford Bay, where you’ll spot an abundance of marine life, from humpback whales and sea lions to orcas and colourful sea birds.

As you arrive at the dock in Orford Bay, prepare to embark on a 3-hour land experience guided by First Nation experts. They’ll take you to raised viewing platforms and prime ground locations to search for grizzlies and other wildlife, such as elk and bald eagles while sharing knowledge about the bears, salmon, and the rich history and culture of the Homalco people.

Savour a delicious lunch with an unobstructed view of the estuary and its mountain surroundings, and listen as your Indigenous guide shares insights into the nation-run salmon enhancement hatchery.

With a small group size and comfortable, heated tour boats complete with indoor seating and a toilet, this full-day excursion is the perfect trip of a lifetime for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Vancouver Island: People Water Land – Indigenous & Whales

things to do in campbell river bc canada (1 of 3)

  • Duration : 5 hours
  • Price: US$237 pp

This unique whale and grizzly bear-watching tour on Vancouver Island is not just an incredible experience but an educational journey that combines whale watching and cultural immersion at the historic First Nation village site of Aupe. 

Set sail on a custom landing craft boat, designed for comfort and convenience, with inside and outside seating and a toilet on board.

Take in the stunning coastal scenery as you search for some of the most magnificent marine animals, such as orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, and sea lions, in the Salish Sea. 

Learn about the Indigenous history and culture of the Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) people from a knowledgeable First Nations guide, who will share traditional stories, language, and legends throughout your journey.

You’ll leave your boat partway through the tour and step onto the shores of a former village site. You’ll be taken through the rich history of the Homalco people and get hands-on with cedar bark weaving. 

You’ll also have the chance to make your own cedar bracelet while observing the natural beauty of the area. You might even see some black bears which are known to live here! 

 Includes:

  • Lunch snacks, and beverages
  • Live commentary with First Nation guide

Final thoughts on the best grizzly bear tours, Vancouver Island

When it comes to where to see grizzly bears in BC, Vancouver Island is one of the best places. Starting your grizzly bear tour from Vancouver Island in British Columbia on the Salish Sea offers breathtaking wildlife experiences that are not to be missed.

Whether it’s a guided boat tour from Campbell River, navigating ocean rapids and discovering the natural beauty of the coast, or embarking on a cultural and whale-watching adventure to the historic First Nation village site of Aupe, there is something for everyone on this list of the best bear tours Vancouver Island has to offer.

These Vancouver Island wildlife and grizzly bear tours are not just about sightseeing, but also an educational experience where you’ll learn more about the local wildlife, its habitats, geography, and culture.

My personal favourite is this full-day grizzly bear tour from Vancouver Island which gets great reviews with many guests seeing grizzlies, eagles, whales and more wildlife during their day trip.

What are you waiting for? Book your Vancouver Island grizzly bear tour now!

FAQs on grizzly bear Vancouver Island tours

Have questions about the grizzly bear tours Vancouver Island has on offer? You might find the answer below.

Can you see grizzly bears on Vancouver Island?

Vancouver Island is one of the best places to see bears in Canada because as well as seeing grizzly or brown bears in the inlet off the east coast of the island, you can also see bears off the west coast of the island in towns such as Tofino and Zeballos.

Where is the best places to see grizzly bears?

Vancouver Island in Canada is one of the best places to see grizzly bears. There are numerous grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island that take you out to the wilderness to catch glimpses of bears and other mammals including whales.

Do I need bear spray on Vancouver Island?

If you are hiking in BC, including Vancouver Island, you should carry bear spray. While bear attacks are rare, bear spray can save you should a bear get too close. Always carry bear spray in a holster or somewhere where it is quickly accessible and ready to use in seconds.

When is the best time of year to see grizzly bears on Vancouver Island?

Grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island usually start in mid-May and run until the end of September. The best time to spot grizzly bears in their natural environment is the summer season, from June-September.

How many grizzly bears are there on Vancouver Island?

While grizzly bears aren’t typically Vancouver Island bears (though they have been sighted in the past), there are believed to be about 14,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia and many coastal grizzlies feed along the shorelines for shellfish as well as during salmon season though mostly in the north.

Are there grizzly bears on Vancouver Island?

While not unheard of, there are usually no grizzly bears on Vancouver Island BC. The bears Vancouver Island is home to are black bears.

Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Hannah

hannah author bio

Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe , a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada , you’ll find posts on all of this.

Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.

Now back in Europe, you’ll find new guides as Hannah and her husband spend the next year ‘digital nomading’ from Norway to Portugal, Switzerland to Scotland and places in between.

Great Bear Lodge Logo

Grizzly bear viewing tours

From early May through October, Great Bear Nature Tours offers grizzly bear viewing excursions from Port Hardy to a beautiful river valley on the central coast of British Columbia. Known as the Great Bear Rainforest, this area is one of the best places in the world to observe grizzly (brown) bears and many other forms of wildlife including black bears, wolves and bald eagles.  We are privileged to operate on the traditional lands of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation.

Great Bear Nature Tours is rated by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. Our ecotourism lodge is the ideal base for photography and wildlife viewing tours, nestled at the mouth of a pristine salmon river. Wilderness-gourmet meals await you upon your return from the two guided viewing sessions per day. With a maximum of eighteen guests, you are assured of a personalised wilderness adventure in this very special area.

Great Bear Nature Tours was fortunate to host the BBC in during the filming of a portion of the “ Magical Forest ” episode of the “Secrets of our Living Planet” series, which aired on BBC HD and BBC Two. It was a perfect match in philosophy between the theme of the program and Great Bear Nature Tours. While powerful imagery of magnificent grizzly bears is what brings people to us, most leave with a greater understanding of the complex ecosystem which supports the great bear.

Floating Great Bear Lodge

Great Bear Lodge

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to a significant concentration of coastal grizzly bears. During the late summer and early autumn bears are drawn to the many salmon spawning streams feeding into the coastal inlets. While the local bear population reaches its peak in the  autumn , during the  spring  and  summer  bears feed on sedges, succulents and grasses that make up the dense bio-mass of the river estuary. These ongoing sources of high quality food are why coastal grizzlies or brown bears are larger than inland grizzlies. Click on our  bear-viewing  page for more information on the bear viewing program, or you can find out more about the  Great Bear Lodge .

Explore TV scouted the lodge for themselves, so you can hear all about their experiences .  Great Bear Lodge has been chosen by Destination Canada as a Canadian Signature Experience, providing a unique connection with the geography, wildlife, culture and people of Canada.

Wildlife Seeing

best bear tours vancouver island

Best Grizzly Bear Tours: Vancouver Island & Campbell River

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable wildlife experience, then look no further than our article on the best grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Island and Campbell River.

This beautiful island located on the west coast of Canada is a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The island is home to a thriving population of grizzly bears, which can be observed in their natural habitat on one of the many guided tours available.

These tours provide an opportunity to witness these magnificent animals up close, while also learning about their behaviour, habitat, and importance in the ecosystem. With a variety of tour operators to choose from, visitors can enjoy a unique and personalised experience that caters to their interests and needs.

Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or a first-time visitor to Canada, a grizzly bear tour in Vancouver island is an experienced not to be missed.

The Best Grizzly Bear Tour on Vancouver Island

My pick is this tour which picks you up at Campbell River and takes you to the Toba Inlet, which is one of the best places to watch grizzly bears. I think its the best option because you get to go to a viewing platform to watch the bears eat salmon, be guided by a Klahoose first nation person, and also see one of the nearby waterfalls.

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read the full article, I recommend booking this tour .

Best Grizzly Bear Tours on Vancouver Island

best bear tours vancouver island

Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour at Toba Inlet

This tour visits the Toba Inlet, where you can visit a viewing platform above the salmon feeding area. There is a good chance to see bears in action here, and afterwards you’ll get to see the nearby waterfall.

The tour is guided by a Klahoose first nation person who will give you some information about grizzly bears as you cruise towards the Toba Inlet. On the way you may spot wildlife such as whales.

On arrival you’ll have roughly 3 hours at the viewing platform, and the tour is around 8 hours in total, including the cruise there and back. Fair warning, grizzly bear tours to the viewing platforms are expensive, but no matter which platform you choose, the prices are similar.

If this is a bit out of your budget, you may want to consider the Campbell River cruise option at the bottom of this list.

Take a look at the prices of the tour here .

Bute Inlet Grizzly Bear Tour

Similar to the above tour, you’ll hop on a speedboat where you’ll be afforded some wildlife spotting along the way, although in this tour your destination is the Bute Inlet. Your guide will be a Homalco first nations person and on the ride you’ll learn some interesting facts about grizzly bears and their habitat.

At the Bute Inlet you’ll climb up to the viewing platforms for a birds eye view of the salmon spawning and hungry grizzly bears. Make sure you pack a camera capable of sharp images, and ofcourse, a zoom lens, to make the most of your position.

Much like the Toba Inlet tour, these grizzly bear tours are higher in price than other types of wildlife tours in the area, but are well worth it if you want to be right where the action is.

See the prices and more information here .

Campbell River Wildlife Cruise

A little different to the first two, this cruise doesn’t just focus on bears but instead all of the wildlife you can see on Campbell River. This tour would be the perfect fit for families or someone who wants to relax on a boat with some binoculars and / or a zoom lens, who is more interested in seeing different types of wildlife.

It should be advised that you are not guaranteed to see a grizzly bear, and since it is a cruise, rather than stopping at one of the viewing platforms, you may have less of a chance of seeing bears. So if you want the highest chance of seeing grizzly bears, pick on of the other two tours above.

For more information and to see prices of this tour, click here .

Tips for Choosing a Grizzly Bear Tour

Look for experienced guides.

When it comes to grizzly bear tours in Vancouver Ireland, it’s crucial to look for experienced guides who can provide a safe and educational experience. Grizzly bears are powerful and unpredictable animals, and interacting with them can be dangerous without proper knowledge and expertise.

An experienced guide can ensure the safety of the group, while also providing valuable insights into the behaviour of the grizzly bears. Experienced guides can also identify the best spots for observing grizzly bears, and can increase chances of seeing them in their natural habitat.

To find an experienced guide, you can do research online and read reviews from previous customers. Tour companies may state the amount of years that their guides have in guiding grizzly bear tours, but if not, reviews are the next best indicator.

You can also ask for recommendations from local tourism offices, your hotel, wildlife conservation groups, fellow travelers, or travel agencies. It’s essential to choose a guide who is knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate about grizzly bears and their conservation. This will help ensure a memorable and informative experience on your grizzly bear tour.

Look at the Reviews

Looking at reviews is an essential step when choosing a grizzly bear tour in Vancouver island. Reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality and safety of the tour, as well as the experience and expertise of the guides.

Reading reviews from previous customers can also help you determine if the tour will meet your expectations and interest, providing you with a better understanding of what to expect and what you prepare for.

Why is Vancouver a Good Place to See Grizzly Bears?

best bear tours vancouver island

Vancouver Island is considered one of the best places in the world to observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat. This is because the island offers a unique blend of geography, climate and wildlife that makes it an ideal location for these magnificent animals.

The island is home to vast areas of pristine wilderness, including rainforests, rivers and estuaries which provide ample food and shelter for grizzly bears.

Additionally, Vancouver Island is one of the few places in the world where grizzly bears can be observed in a coastal environment, as they feed on the salmon that swim in the nearby waters. This unique environment creates the opportunity to observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat, providing a once in a lifetime experience for wildlife enthusiasts.

Furthermore, the island is easily accessible, with many tour operators offering guided tours that allow visitors to witness these majestic animals up close, while ensuring their safety and protection.

What to Wear on a Grizzly Bear Tour?

When going on a grizzly bear tour in Vancouver island, it’s crucial to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.

It’s recommended to dress in layers, as weather conditions can vary throughout the day. A waterproof jacket and pants are also essential, as tours often involve walking through rainforest or along riverbanks, where conditions can be wet and muddy.

Comfortable, sturdy shoes or boots with good traction are also necessary, as some tours require hiking through rugged terrain. It’s also important to bring a hat, sunglasses, and insect repellent.

Some tours provide additional gear, such as rain boots and binoculars, but it’s best to check with the tour company beforehand to ensure you have everything you need for an enjoyable tour.

By dressing appropriately, you’ll be able to focus on observing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, without worrying about the weather or your clothing.

Photography Tips for your Grizzly Bear Tour

best bear tours vancouver island

Here are 4 tips for taking photos on a grizzly bear tour:

  • Bring the right gear, have the right settings: bring a camera with a zoom lens, and use a high shutter speed to capture sharp images from a safe distance. If your tour is photography centred, you may also want to bring a tripod to help steady your camera. Some tours specifically state they don’t allow tripods, while others you’ll be able to take them – so make sure you check beforehand.
  • Respect the bears: remember that grizzly bears are wild animals, and it’s important to keep the safe distance from them at all times. Make sure you follow the guides instructions, and avoid approaching the bears or disturbing their natural behaviour.
  • Be patient: grizzly bear tours can involve a lot of waiting, as the bears may take some time to appear. Be patient and keep your camera ready, as you never know when the perfect shot may present itself.
  • Take advantage of the lighting: Vancouver island has stunning natural light which can enhance your photos. Early morning and late afternoon light can create a warm and golden glow, while overcast days can provide a soft and diffused light that is great for capturing details.

Grizzly Bear Tours FAQ

Can I see grizzly bears without a tour on Vancouver Island? – While it is possible to see grizzly bears without a tour on Vancouver island, it’s not recommended due to safety concerns.

Grizzly bears powerful and unpredictable wild animals, and encountering them in the wild without proper knowledge and expertise can be dangerous for both humans and the bears.

Are grizzly bear tours safe? – Grizzly bear tours in Vancouver island can be safe when conducted by experienced and knowledgeable guides who follow strict safety protocols. However visitors must also take responsibility for their own safety by insuring they follow the guides instructions and stay alert during the tour.

Can children go on a grizzly bear tour? – Children can go on a grizzly bear tour in Vancouver island, but it’s essential to choose a tour that is appropriate for their age and abilities. Some tours may have age restrictions, well others may offer special programs designed for children, insuring a safe and educational experience for the whole family.

advertise

Grizzly Bear Viewing on Vancouver Island

Bear watching on Vancouver Island is one of the many recreational activities annually, attracting many visitors. There are two bear subspecies on Vancouver Island, which has prepared the opportunity to view these gigantic land creatures along with family or friends. Grizzly bears are the rare bear subspecies on Vancouver Island; that is why many people are looking for a tour operator who promises them the chance for actual grizzly bear watching. In other words, a grizzly bear watching trip in which they can encounter the brown bears of BC for real. Grizzly bears aren’t originally from Vancouver Island. However, they live in abundance in the Great Bear Rainforest . Grizzly bears are great swimmers, and during the past years, some of them have migrated to Vancouver Island through the water. There have also been some rumors that claim grizzly bears have been sighted on the Island. These rumors have raised the curiosity in people to go grizzly bear watching just to gaze upon these majestic brown creatures of BC. After hibernation , male grizzly bears weigh around 225 kg, and females weigh about 130 kg. Before Hibernation, grizzly bears start eating more than usual to store for the long sleep they have ahead of them. When bears are eating right before their Hibernation is one of the times to go grizzly bear watching. In the following, we are going to introduce you to everything you must know in advance to your grizzly bear watching adventure on Vancouver Island. Stay with us!

Grizzlies: Diet, Habitat, and Lifespan

Grizzly bears are huge and come in a variety of colors ranging from a light tan (nearly white) to a dark brown. They have a prominent shoulder hump, a dished face, and short, rounded ears. The hump is a mass of muscles that link to the bear's backbone and provide additional digging strength. Grizzly bears can weigh over 700 pounds (315 kilograms). Males are larger than females, with males weighing up to 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms). A big woman can weigh up to 800 pounds (360 kilograms). Grizzly bears are adaptive, and they will eat insects, a wide variety of flowering plants, roots, tubers, grasses, berries, small rodents, fish, carrion (roadkill and other dead animals), various meat sources (e.g. young and weakened animals), and even human rubbish if it is readily available. In Alaska, the oldest known wild inland grizzly lived to be roughly 34 years old; the oldest known coastal bear lived to be 39, but most grizzlies die in their first year. Grizzlies in captivity have survived up to 44 years. Grizzly Bears have an average lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild.

Best Places to See Grizzlies on Vancouver Island

As already mentioned, grizzly bears are rare on Vancouver Island. However, if you have grizzly bear watching on your bucket list and you’ve already planned to come to Vancouver Island, don’t worry! Although there aren’t many grizzly bears on Vancouver Island, our tours to places such as Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet , Rivers Inlet , and Bute Inlet let you get lost in between grizzlies while checking the grizzly bear watching on your bucket list. The departure part of the tours is Port McNeill , Port Hardy , and Telegraph Cove . The only way through which you can get into the grizzly heaven is the ocean; therefore, you can enjoy much pristine scenery along the way to grizzly bear locations. For Bute Inlet bear watching though, the departure point will be Campbell River. Bute Inlet Grizzly bears are waiting for visitors.

Some of the grizzly bears may have swum to Northern coastal parts of Vancouver Island through the years, but their population isn’t that much that tours can be defined for grizzly bear viewing.

Best Time to See Grizzly Bears on Vancouver Island

Regardless of the subspecies, the peak time for bear watching on Vancouver Island is before and after hibernation, especially before hibernation since bears are feeding. Grizzly bear watching tours usually operate from mid-August to mid-October. Grizzly bears on Vancouver Island typically hibernate from November till the beginning of April. As mentioned before, grizzlies will lose 30 to 40 percent of their weight, so, for the best, wait till they regain the lost weight back because nobody would enjoy watching skinny grizzlies. Since grizzly bears are rare on Vancouver Island, it can be claimed that hiring a professional and experienced guide is a must in this regard. An experienced bear watching tour guide can efficiently operate your journey at the right time and, of course, in the right place. Viewing rare wildlife such as grizzlies is no easy job. So, leave it to the professionals.

Grizzly Bear Watching Tours' Cost

Grizzly bear watching is available in Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet, Rivers Inlet, and Bute Inlet. The easiest way to get to these bear watching locations is through the ocean. Two things happen; first of all, it is time-consuming, which by the way, isn’t something wrong for someone who loves nature and wildlife watching. Second, it is more expensive than black bear watching , which happens on the island itself. Well, although grizzly bear viewing is a little bit costly, if you have it on your must-to-do-before-I-die list, start saving money and don’t miss this excellent opportunity for the world. Our prices for grizzly bear watching tours on Vancouver Island start from $495 per person. You can also use our services (e.g., meals) to make your grizzly bear watching experience even more delightful. Anyhow, if you have any questions regarding the cost of grizzly bear tours, please feel free to contact our experts.

Book Your Grizzly Safari

Although Vancouver Island is not one of the lands grizzles inhabit in North America, We have a great offer for bc grizzly safaris.

Amazing Facts to Know about Grizzly Bears

• Grizzly bears stand up on their hind feet to be dominant when they feel threatened. So, for the best try not to anger one during your grizzly bear watching tour. • Grizzlies are not social and you may see a male walking all alone by itself. • Grizzly bears are acknowledged as carnivorous , while they are omnivorous and one of the pristine things you can be blessed with while on a grizzly bear watching tour is the brown creatures feeding on fish or berries. • If you encounter a mom grizzly and its cubs follow them to where you are allowed. Watching how the mother treats her kids is so cute • Warning! Just follow the female grizzly and its cubs. DO NOT ever disturb them. The weak spot of a grizzly mama is its offspring. If you approach the cubs, you may increase the danger of the grizzlies attacking you.

The Best Grizzly Bear Viewing Tour Guide

Bears and nature are inseparable. On the other hand, the nature on Vancouver Island is so vast that even indigenous people aren’t entirely dominant on every part of it. So, if you don’t want to get lost in it, it’s best to ask a wildlife viewing tour operator to introduce you to an experienced guide. But let’s elaborate on the reasons why it is best to have a guide for your bear watching trips on Vancouver Island:

1. They have guided too many visitors and have enough knowledge regarding the possible grizzly bear watching locations. 2. They can help you learn how to behave around the grizzly bears and make the most of it while viewing them. 3. If you want to experience grizzly bear viewing on the water and you don’t know how to paddle , well, bear watching tour operators are here to give you what you want. 4. Grizzly bear watching tour guides have guided so many people through this magnificent journey, and they know when is the best time to view some bears amongst the dense trees of the forest. 5. Last but not least, you can benefit from the services they provide for the convenience of your grizzly bear watching journey.

With regard to grizzly bear watching, asking a tour operator to guide your bear watching journey is merely a must since, as mentioned before, you should first get to the grizzly bear watching heaven through the ocean. First, you need a guide to take you to the locations and then know where to bring you that you can enjoy watching grizzlies and then the safety of your journey is assured. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, hop on and head to Vancouver Island. Bring your nature-expedition bucket list and check them all here. Plan your bear watching adventure in advance and finish it by choosing the right tour operator. For more information regarding selecting the best grizzly bear watching tour operator on Vancouver Island, please feel free to contact our team.

Go Beyond for You Grizzly Bear Viewing

Port Alberni Wildlife Watching

Port Alberni Wildlife Watching

Parksville Wildlife Watching

Parksville Wildlife Watching

Sooke Wildlife Watching

Sooke Wildlife Watching

Campbell River Wildlife Watching

Campbell River Wildlife Watching

Port McNeil Wildlife Watching

Port McNeil Wildlife Watching

Port Hardy Wildlife Watching

Port Hardy Wildlife Watching

Telegraph Cove Wildlife Watching

Telegraph Cove Wildlife Watching

Port Renfrew Wildlife Watching

Port Renfrew Wildlife Watching

Sidney Wildlife Watching

Sidney Wildlife Watching

Ucluelet Wildlife Watching

Ucluelet Wildlife Watching

Victoria Wildlife Watching

Victoria Wildlife Watching

Tofino Wildlife Watching

Tofino Wildlife Watching

Grizzly bear viewing faqs.

logo

  • All Activities
  • Adventure Packages
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Hiking & Biking
  • Backpacking
  • Fly Fishing
  • Signature Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Private Tours
  • Family Friendly
  • The Guide Hut
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Conservation

NATURE JOURNAL

©2018 Long Beach Nature Tours Design: Owen Perry

HOME > LONG BEACH NATURE JOURNAL  > BEAR WATCHING ON THE WEST COAST OF  VANCOUVER ISLAND

Bear watching on the west coast of vancouver island.

Canada is home to 60% of the world's bear population, and Tofino offers some of the best opportunities in the world to watch these stunning mammals in their natural habitat at a safe distance.   Vancouver Island has its own unique and healthy population of black bears, aptly named the "Vancouver Island Black Bear." They are slightly larger and have a deeper shade of black than their mainland counterparts. Population estimates on the Island are around 7,000, with males weighing up to 275kg and females weighing up to 180kg. Despite being picky eaters, with a 90% plant-based diet of grasses, roots, berries, and insects, coastal bears also enjoy feasting on crabs and shellfish. Fall is an important feeding time for black bears, as they stock up on the protein and calories provided by the salmon run just in time for their hibernation in October.

best bear tours vancouver island

Cubs are born during this hibernation period, usually in groups of one to five, and emerge from the long winters weighing around a mere 3kg before embarking on a season of bulking up and learning all the essential skills needed to survive in preparation for heading off on their own into the vast wilds and temperate rainforests of Vancouver Island. Watching a mother bear teach her cubs how to flip over rocks in search of food in the tidal pools and beaches around Clayoquot Sound is a unique and memorable experience.   The bear-watching season in Tofino runs from May until the end of September when the black bears habitually head out of the dense forests around Clayoquot Sound at low tide to feed along the beaches and reefs dotted around the region. Visitors have a superb chance to experience one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights as bears in this region hunt for hours at a time to find food on these exposed beaches.

When selecting your bear-watching tour, it's important to consider what sort of experience you're looking for. All tours from Tofino are via boat, and given the inclement weather that can at times be associated with coastal bear viewing, some visitors prefer a vessel with a covered viewing area providing protection from the elements. The more adventurous types prefer an open boat, such as a zodiac, which gives the viewer a more natural bear-watching experience and an unencumbered view of all the action.   One non-negotiable to look for when deciding upon a tour is that your Tour Operator is a Commercial Bear Viewing Association member, and that your bear-viewing guide is also CBVA certified. This way, you can be sure that your tour is operating to the highest possible industry standards and that you have the best guiding experience possible.   An added bonus of bear watching in Tofino is the breathtaking scenery. Whether it's in a covered or open vessel, visitors are immersed in some of the most stunning nature on earth. The journey to the bears' feeding grounds weaves through islands and breathtaking remote coastlines dwarfed by the Strathcona Provincial Park mountains that lay behind.   All of which make Bear Watching on the West Coast of Vancouver Island a truly unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

black bear watching wildlife tour near Tofino with Long Beach Nature Tours

Interested in booking a tour? Join us during your visit to Tofino!

Privacy Preference Center

Privacy preferences.

Facebook

Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

Bears are an iconic Canadian creature and Vancouver Island has more than its fair share of these beautiful beasts that play within plain sight! Because of this, it’s no surprise that bear watching tours are one of the top things to do on Vancouver Island. Whether you’re up near Port Hardy, are exploring the west coast in Ucluelet and Tofino, or are taking in the sights of Campbell River, there’s a chance to embark on an adventure and witness these magnificent creatures in a safe, and non-invasive way. So, what do you need to know about bear watching on Vancouver Island? Read on to learn about the different areas, types of tours, types of bears and what to expect on your adventure!

Photo by: Ferdinand Reuss

Photo by: Ferdinand Reuss

Black Bears

Vancouver Island is estimated to be home to about 7,000 black bears, which marks it as the densest population for these bears. They can be found pretty well anywhere on Vancouver Island, but there are definite clusters in places like the Pacific Rim National Park!

With darker fur than its mainland brethren and a few other distinctions such as a larger size, the Vancouver Island black bear is a clear subspecies of the black bear family. Females grow up to 180kg (~395lbs) and males up to 275kg (~605lbs) – you can’t miss them when they’re on the shore looking for fish!

Black bears are omnivores and eat pretty much anything and everything when it’s available. In the spring, meals consist mostly of light roots, shoots and berries, with the occasional crab when they flip rocks at the shoreline. Fall is an active time, as the black bears get a salmon feast when the run returns to the rivers!

Cubs are born during hibernation in groups sizing from one to five, although two is a usual occurrence. When the family emerges from their den, the cubs are some mere three-or-so kilograms! They spend their first year learning survival skills from their mom and then head off on their own into the temperate rainforests of Vancouver Island.

Photo: Hawg Wild Photography by Terry Green

Photo: Hawg Wild Photography by Terry Green

Grizzly Bears

While grizzly bears do not live on Vancouver Island, it isn’t far to go in order to see these big guys first hand. Departing from Port Hardy, Telegraph Cove or Campbell River, the Great Bear Rainforest is just a hop away! In fact, it’s so close, that there was the first reported case of grizzly bears on Vancouver Island in 2016 with the assumption that they merely swam across from the mainland.

About 15,000 grizzly bears live in British Columbia. Their big shoulder hump and long claws are their major identification cues. When they first emerge from hibernation, females weigh about 130kg (~287lbs) and males about 220kg (~485lbs). By the time they’re ready to go back to bed for that winter beauty rest, they’re anywhere between 30-40% heavier! The bears hibernate from November to March, during which time they go without eating, urinating or defecating. At the same time, they still manage to burn about 4,000 calories a day in order to maintain their minimum body function.

Grizzlies are considered the second largest carnivore in North America after the polar bear, although a lot of their diet consists of grasses, berries and roots. In fact, they eat about 70kg of sedge grass every day in the spring! They will also consume spawning salmon in the fall, crustaceans, shell fish and can hunt deer and elk calves.

Grizzly cubs are few and far between, with females producing about two per litter. Cubs are sometimes taken care of by her for over two years before they’re ready to head out on their own!

As of November 30, 2017, there will no longer be trophy hunting for grizzly bears in B.C.  Up until then, around 250 grizzlies were shot by hunters annually.

Photo by: Chris Hancock Donaldson

Photo by: Chris Hancock Donaldson

Tofino and Ucluelet

The west coast of Vancouver Island is major black bear territory, with the Pacific Rim National Park as one of their main stomping grounds. Plenty of tours depart from both Tofino and Ucluelet until about October. Even on the drive to the coast along Highway 4, and between the two towns, black bears and their adorable cubs can be a common sight. If you do see bears on the highway though, remember to give them space and respect the fact that you are in their territory. Mother bears are very protective of their young, and putting them, or yourselves, at risk for a photograph is never a good idea.

The coast itself is a beach and wilderness paradise with enough outdoor activities to please even the most active of adventurers. Besides bear watching tours, there is whale watching, surfing, hiking, kayaking , beach combing, tide pooling, birding and plenty more! Be prepared to plan in advance however, as accommodation in the summer season can be tough to come by!

Photo by: Allan

Photo by: Allan

Campbell River

The city of Campbell River is a great adventure destination, with bear watching tours as just the tip of the iceberg. Tours depart until the end of October, and typically head out across to the Bute Inlet on the mainland. Campbell River is home to a stunning marina, beautiful waterfalls, a quaint downtown and art scene, and numerous outdoor activities.

Fishing, kayaking and mountain biking are available, as are whale watching expeditions and the unique opportunity to snorkel with the spawning salmon ! With plenty of provincial parks to hike in and rivers to raft down, Campbell River is a destination worthy of a few, action packed days.

Photo by: Alison Brown

Photo by: Alison Brown

Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove is not quite as far north as Port Hardy, but takes you beyond Campbell River and into a more remote section of the North Island. A quaint, boardwalk community with picturesque buildings and a beautiful harbour, it is definitely worth a visit. Although it’s known especially for its whale watching , Telegraph Cove also offers plenty of bear watching tours. From the beautiful marina, tours will take you out to places like the Knight Inlet along the mainland to see grizzly bears firsthand.

Photo by: Graeme Watkinson

Photo by: Graeme Watkinson

For a remote experience, Port Hardy definitely makes the cut. It is considered the end of the line for the developed part of Vancouver Island and is the gateway to some incredible hikes on the northern tip of the Island.

Despite its remoteness, Port Hardy is still quite beautiful and there are plenty of days when the small fishing town is shrouded in fog with boats bobbing in its serene marina. From Port Hardy, a destination bear watching lodge awaits, taking you on excursions to the Great Bear Rainforest by boat.

Aside from hiking and bear watching, more adventures from Port Hardy take the form of fishing charters and whale watching. If you do depart on a hike, be sure to take a bear bell along – while seeing bears can be exciting, you definitely don’t want to run into the guys on the trail! Be prepared to create bear caches for camping and avoid bringing smelly foods/products!

Time of Year

Spotting bears, whether you’re on the lookout for grizzlies or black bears on your tour, is do-able nearly any time of year. That excludes winter, of course, when the bears are snoozing the rainy days away in hibernation. With different behaviours and activities going on for them depending on the season, you’ll have quite the show no matter when you go!

Photo by: Brian Tucker

Photo by: Brian Tucker

Spring is when the sleepy bears awake and the new cubs make their way out into the wilderness for the very first time. Mischief and curiosity make for playful days, and starving mamas seek to replenish their bodies after months without food. Spring is also a season of romance and the bears will be hoping to shake off the lonely winter blues with a special new friend or two.

Photo: Hawg Wild Photography by Terry Green

June is still part of their summer of love and replenishment – the cubs are starting to grow and those bodies are starting to thicken up again! By mid-late August, the salmon have started to head back into the rivers and places like the Thornton Creek Hatchery in Ucluelet see a lot of action as the bears try their luck at fishing.

Photo: Hawg Wild Photography by Terry Green

By fall, the fish are mostly back in the river and the spawn has started. This is a very active time for bears, as they are along the shores and in the shallow zones to have a feast before heading back to bed for the winter.

What to Expect on your Tour

Photo by: Mark Akendall

Photo by: Mark Kendall

Certified Guides

Make sure that the company you are using has certified guides and follows the CBVA guidelines. These are put in place to ensure minimal disturbance of the bears, as well as for bear and guest safety. Remember, as exciting as it would be to see a grizzly or black bear right up close, these are still wild animals living in a fragile environment. Minimum impact on them is a priority!

Boat vs. Platform Viewing

Check out the type of tour the company you’re considering offers. Some will take you on zodiacs and covered boats to cruise close to shore, while others offer platform viewing of the bears. Depending on the type of experience you’re looking for, the type of tour could be a deal breaker.

The time of year will determine what behaviors you’re likely to see, where the bears will be and whether or not those cute little cubs will be out to play. Most tours run between May-October, with the west coast tours ending sooner than those on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

Where you choose to take your bear watching tour from determines the type of bears you’ll see. If you’re venturing out from Tofino or Ucluelet, you’re going to be seeing black bears, and only black bears. Departing from Port Hardy or Campbell River will likely take you over to places like the Great Bear Rainforest, where you’ll be watching grizzly bears go about their day. While both are magnificent, the kind of bear you want to see will determine where you should take your tour out of.

Photo by: Peter Lindenburg

Photo by: Peter Lindenburg

Bears in Urban Environments

While grizzly bears do not often venture into towns, or onto Vancouver Island, there are certainly some urban black bears that take to the streets in smaller coastal towns. It can be amazing to see these creatures up close, but it is important to respect them. This means putting garbage in secure, bear-proofed cans, hiking all of your trash out of the forest, and recognizing that you are in their home. Many tours will not let you participate if you’re wearing fragrant things like deodorant, perfume or cologne.

Tragically, many black bears are shot each summer when they enter towns and become a threat to the people living there due to unsafe bear practices. Read up on how to keep the peace between humans and nature and know what it takes to be bear-smart if you live in a place where the bears roam free, or are planning a visit. The more people learn how to keep their area bear-safe, the safer bears will be!

Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk

best bear tours vancouver island

Recent Comments

West Coast Grizzly Bear Tours

  • Bear Watching
  • Campbell River
  • Wildlife Viewing

Experience Grizzly Bears up close and personal with our tours to Toba Inlet! Aboard our covered vessels, we will embark along British Columbia coastline towards Toba. Keep your eyes open and cameras ready for Whales, Seals, Sea lions, Dolphins and Eagles! You never know what may be on the way! Enjoy Grizzly Bear viewing along the Klite River with Klahoose First Nations Guides from raised viewing stands. Be prepared to have an unforgettable opportunity to observe some of natures most magnificent creatures; the Grizzly Bear.

  • Phone : 250-286-3050
  • Take the Wild Pledge
  • Travel Wishlist
  • Travel Media
  • Privacy Center
  • Stakeholder Resources

best bear tours vancouver island

Home - Things to Do - Wilderness Adventures - - ... - Bear Watching

Giants roam on Vancouver Island North and remote sections of the neighbouring mainland coast. Grizzly and black bears to be precise.

Black bears are remarkable roadside attractions along Highway 19 during the spring and summer and can be spotted fishing for salmon in local rivers in the fall. Mammoth grizzly bears, meanwhile, thrive not far from the north island in the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Cute cubs and towering adult bears spend the May to October season feeding on sedge grasses, seaweed, shellfish and salmon at the edges of Smith, Seymour and Knight Inlets on the BC mainland. Embark on the trip of a lifetime from Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove by air in a floatplane or helicopter or by water in a modern cabin cruiser accompanied by naturalist guides. Cameras and binoculars are essential at sea or when travelling in safari-style overland rides to foraging grounds.

Know Before You Go

Here are a few tips to keep you safe and comfortable on your adventures:

  • Prepare for the unexpected
  • Check the weather before you go
  • Bring extra layers

Best Time to See Grizzly Bears on Vancouver Island

  • January 20, 2023

Watching the magnificent grizzly bear in their natural habitat is on most people’s bucket list. These impressive animals weigh up to 900lb (408kg) and stand up to 6ft (1.8m) tall! Most visitors on Vancouver Island want to know when is the best time to see grizzly bears, and where to see them.

Are there grizzly bears on Vancouver Island?

Yes! Grizzly bears have been spotted on Vancouver Island, but they typically don’t stick around for very long. A handful are sighted every year between Campbell River and Port Hardy. They are known to swim over from the mainland, island hopping as they go. We’ve seen them swimming across channels near Sayward, only 1hr north of Campbell River!

However, sightings are rather infrequent on Vancouver Island. The vast majority of grizzlies are sighted on the mainland of British Columbia, and only at certain times of the year.

SPRING GRIZZLY BEAR VIEWING

In the spring, after waking up from their winter hibernation, coastal grizzly bears need to replenish their diet.  They travel to the coast to feed on protein-rich sedge grasses in estuaries. They can also be seen flipping over rocks in the intertidal zone in search of marine life like barnacles, mussels, and gunnels.

Grizzly bear feeding on succulent grasses.

They can be seen in the intertidal zone of the mainland from mid-April until early July. Our spring wildlife tours often search for grizzlies and black bears on beaches!

Once the warmth of summer hits, the grizzlies leave the coast and travel inland to feed on the plentiful berries that have just ripened. They’re not often seen on the coast after July.

Fall Grizzly Bear Viewing

Fall is the prime time for grizzly bear viewing in British Columbia! After a summer of feeding on berries inland, they’re ready to start fattening up for their winter hibernation.

In August, salmon are ready to travel from the ocean into their natal rivers to spawn. Once rainfalls raise the levels of the rivers, they begin their final journey upriver.

The grizzly bears converge at these coastal rivers and begin to feast on the plentiful spawning salmon. Males, females, and cubs can be spotted fishing for salmon surrounded by dense forest and the mainland mountains.

By November, the bears are ready for hibernation.

A grizzly bear catches a coho salmon in the Orford River. Photo by Andy Scheffler . 

CAMPBELL RIVER GRIZZLY BEAR TOURS

We run Grizzly Bear Expeditions from Campbell River every fall. From the end of August until mid-October, we run daily tours to the remote wilderness of the mainland in search of grizzlies!

We travel by boat deep into Bute Inlet where countless grizzlies are feeding on the spawning salmon in the Orford River. Local Indigenous guides take you up the river by bus to look for these magnificent bears from raised viewing towers and prime ground viewing locations.

On the 2 hour boat ride there, you can find humpback whales, killer whales (orcas), dolphins, sea lions, bald eagles, and more.

Book your Grizzly Bear Expedition and join us for the wildlife tour of a lifetime!

What is the Best Whale Watching Season on Vancouver Island?

Planning is key when travelling! If you’re wondering when is the best season to go whale watching on Vancouver Island,

Humpback Comeback in BC Waters

Over the past 10 years, humpback whales have made a big comeback in British Columbia waters. Not only are humpbacks

Why Is The Herring Spawn So Important?

The yearly Pacific herring spawn on Vancouver Island is one of the most important natural events in the Pacific Northwest.

Big Animal Encounters

© 2024 All rights reserved Big Animal Encounters

Website by The Web Smith

VISIT OUR NEW COMOX LOCATION

A gift shop with daily tours departing from the beautiful Comox Municipal Marina. We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

Vancouver Island View

Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours

Although over the years there have been sightings of Grizzly bears on Vancouver Island, officially, they don't live here. So, if you want to view these magnificent brown bears, a guided tour to the inlets of the mainland is what you are after. And there are several Vancouver Island Grizzly Bear Tours to choose from.

The tours mentioned below leave from Campbell River and head to either Bute or Toba Inlet and typically run from mid to late August until mid-October . Grizzly bear tours also leave from the north island; however, I will leave those for another post.

Grizzly bear tours aren't cheap, and it's an all-day adventure, but if seeing grizzlies up close is on your bucket list, do it! It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you won't regret. As an added bonus, you will most likely see other wildlife along the way.

Grizzly Bear Tours of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island View

Grizzly Bear Tours – Campbell River to Bute Inlet

Great bears of bute tour.

Operated by Homalco Tours , this 100% indigenous-owned tour company provides an immersive indigenous experience. Join an Indigenous guide and visit the traditional territory of the Homalco First Nations in Bute Inlet. This one-of-a-kind adventure provides bear viewing, whale watching, and cultural exploration.

During the boating portion of your trip (2 hours – one way), you travel in a covered and heated vessel and will be supplied coffee and /or tea, as well as lunch and snacks. Once you arrive at your destination, you are transported to a mini-bus, and trained guides take you to viewing platforms to watch the bears in their natural habitat.

On your return trip to Campbell River, the guides watch for whale activity and show you more cultural sites.

The duration of your trip is approximately 7- 8 hours.

Book now: Great Bears of Bute

Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours. Vancouver Island View

Grizzly Bear Expedition

This tour, operated by Big Animal Encounters , offers you a scenic boat ride through Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park on your way to Bute Inlet. Desolation Sound is a spectacular location to spot whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. Lunch, snacks, tea, coffee and water are supplied.

Once you arrive at your destination, you are greeted by a member of the Holmalco First Nations, who takes you to your safe viewing location to watch the bears. This tour runs from mid-August until mid-October. Going later in the season gives you an even better opportunity to view grizzlies catching and eating migrating salmon.

Duration is approximately 9 hours.

Book now: Grizzly Bear Expedition

Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours. Vancouver Island View

Grizzly Bear Tours – Campbell River to Toba Inlet

The Toba Inlet tours take you to the beautiful jewel-coloured waters of the Klite River. Along the way, you will view the incredible steep walls of Toba Inlet and the thundering waterfalls that tumble into the ocean.

Once you arrive, you are greeted by members of the Klahoose First Nations. These trained guides provide you transportation by mini-bus to the four viewing platforms. From there, you watch the bears in their natural habitat from a relatively safe distance. As these tours typically run from late August until mid-October , you see grizzlies gorging on fish in preparation for hibernation.

While observing the bears, you may have the opportunity to see other wildlife, such as black bears, wolves, cougars, elk and deer. You spend 3 hours at the viewing platforms. It sounds like a lot of time, but trust me, you won't want to leave!

Book your Toba Inlet Tour here: Toba Inlet Grizzly Bear Tour .

The Klahoose First Nations works with the following tour operators:

  • Westcoast Grizzly Bear Tours – This tour departs at 10:00 a.m. and is approximately 8 – 9 hours long. Lunch is included.
  • Eagle Eye Adventures – The tour departs at 8:00 or 8:15 a.m. (with a meeting time of half an hour prior). The tour includes lunch and snacks, onboard wildlife education, gloves, hats, survival suits, sunscreen and onboard washrooms.
  • Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventures Tours – This 9 – 10 hour tour departs at 7:00 a.m., providing more time to view marine mammals. Lunch and onboard washrooms are provided.

Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours. Vancouver Island View

My Personal Experience

We have our own boat and aren't afraid to take it on long journeys. And we also know that if we head towards the mainland inlets, we will most likely see a few grizzlies foraging on the shore. So, last fall, we decided to make the trek down Toba Inlet on our own. However, it wasn't as successful as we'd hoped.

We DID spot a mama grizzly and her two young cubs foraging on the shore. However, we could not get close enough to them for my images to turn out. And we also discovered that once we arrived at the end of Toba Inlet, you HAVE to be on a tour to get to the platforms. So, our adventure was a bit of a bust. And we realized purchasing a tour was the way to get what we were after.

And so we did, and it was the most amazing experience I've ever had!

We went with a company called Aboriginal Journeys , which was amazing. Our tour guide, Gary, was awesome, but the bears were the ultimate highlight. It's the ability to see grizzlies walking down the river 20 feet in front of you, searching for fish. It's the awe you feel when observing these magnificent creatures so close.

Is it scary? I guess it should be, for you are really close to them. However, I found the experience exhilarating, not scary. Being that close to a large creature with sharp teeth and claws that's been known to attack humans is not everyone's cup of tea. However, if viewing bears is on your bucket list, what are you waiting for?

This truly is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I would absolutely LOVE to do again.

A Quick Note

My experience was with only one company, so I can't vouch for any other tour operators mentioned above. (Other than the gracious Klahoose First Nations guides we met on our Toba Inlet tour). However, before I mention any company/business on Vancouver Island View, I always check online reviews. Each tour operator noted above gets rave reviews. So, no matter which one you choose, I have no doubt you will have a wonderful experience.

Places to Stay in Campbell River

If you are coming from afar, you may want to spend the night in Campbell River to make your long tour day more enjoyable.

Here's a great place to start for hotels, motels and resorts: Campbell River Accommodations .

If you are looking for vacation rentals, check these out: Vrbo Vacation Rentals in Campbell River .

Have you been on a Grizzly Bear tour out of Campbell River? Let us know about your adventure in the comment section below.

Please pin this image on Pinterest to save this article for future use.

best bear tours vancouver island

*This article contains affiliate links, which means if you happen to book through the provided link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

' src=

Meet Kim Parcher, the creative mind and driving force behind Vancouver Island View. Kim's passion for experience-based travel and her talent for sharing valuable information have made her a dedicated niche blogger and freelance writer since 2016. Her unwavering dedication to unlocking the secrets of Vancouver Island, her home since 2009, has made her an undisputed authority in the realm of immersive exploration of the island.

Similar Posts

Finding the Best Sunsets on Vancouver Island

Finding the Best Sunsets on Vancouver Island

Whether near the ocean or exploring inland, look to the sky at dusk; you will almost always see amazing sunsets on Vancouver Island. We often get emails from tourists planning an upcoming trip, asking, “Where can I find the best…

Cumberland Lake Park Hidden Gem

Cumberland Lake Park Hidden Gem

A short but leg-burning hike through the forest adjacent to Cumberland Lake Park takes you to a bird’s eye view of Comox Lake and a seasonal waterfall. It’s a trail with a sinister name but breathtaking results. This hike’s name……

A Must See Hidden Gem in Port Alberni

A Must See Hidden Gem in Port Alberni

Sometimes, you arrive at an area that takes your breath away. A place so beautiful you feel like you are walking in a painting, or perhaps through a fairytale. This is the case with this must-see hidden gem in Port……

Two Hidden Waterfalls One Hike

Two Hidden Waterfalls One Hike

And here I thought I had exhausted Nanoose Bay’s hidden gems! After exploring all the nooks and crannies of Nanoose I thought I could, I came across yet another glorious relatively unknown attraction. And this one gives us two hidden……

Pender Island Hidden Gem: A Local Recommendation

Pender Island Hidden Gem: A Local Recommendation

This Pender Island hidden gem is brought to you by a local Penderite. While purchasing our morning coffee and expressing our desire to hike Mount Norman, the barista exclaimed that there was an even better, lesser-known hike we might be……

Cumberland Potholes – A Unique Vancouver Island Hidden Gem

Cumberland Potholes – A Unique Vancouver Island Hidden Gem

Cumberland Potholes, nestled in the Comox Valley, offer a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts. Quick Guide to Cumberland Potholes What to Expect The Cumberland Potholes are located in an area that is not very big; however, the surrounding trails are…

I went on a tour with Westcoast Grizzly in Sept 2021. I loved it. The guide from Klahoose First Nation was amazing. The group got to see four grizzlies on the river hunting the salmon. I got quite a few photos of them tearing the salmon between their mouth and claws, amazing. And like Kim said the viewing platforms are great, the bears were not that far from us but you felt safe. For our lunch (before we got to the inlet) we stopped at the Toba Inlet waterfalls, they are beautiful. On our return to Campbell River the tour guide on the boat did his best to keep an eye and ear out for orcas and dolphins. We got to see a few humpbacks. I plan on going out again next year, just saving up for it. I highly recommend doing one.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Trish! And yes, I’d love to go on another one again too.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Wildlife Trails

Bear Viewing Vancouver Island. Best Places to Go!

Published on: July 15, 2021

best bear tours vancouver island

Having lived on Vancouver Island for several years, we look at the best locations for bear viewing on Vancouver Island, the best way to get there from Vancouver, the best time of year to travel for bear viewing and why you should include this very special wildlife destination as part of your  Canada Wildlife Holiday . Talk to Allan on  Whatsapp  about the amazing variety of wildlife safaris available in Canada to suit all budgets. We don’t just sell wildlife holidays – it’s our passion!

Table of Contents

best bear tours vancouver island

Are there Grizzly Bears on Vancouver Island?

Although there are several wildlife operators offering grizzly bear day tours who operate from Vancouver Island they are not actually viewing the brown bears on the island itself, but inlets on the west coast of mainland British Colombia. So world famous grizzly bear locations such as Knight Inlet and Bute inlet are accessed by boat safari or floatplane from towns such as Campbell River and Telegraph Cove. These are amazing scenic journeys in their own right, with the chance (if you travel by motor cruiser) to see Orcas, Humpback Whales, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. However the jewel in the ground is to see large brown bears feasting on salmon as they bulk up for hibernation.

best bear tours vancouver island

One of the best places to see bears in Canada?

Vancouver Island is definitly one of the best places to see bears in Canada, because as well as seeing grizzly or brown bears in the inlet off the east coast of the island, there are also some fabulous black bear viewing opportunities off the west coast of the island in towns such as Tofino and Zeballos. Grizzly Bear viewing off the east coast of Vancouver Island is mainly centred on two coastal towns. The first is the larger and busier Campbell River, from which you can fly into Knight Inlet for bear viewing at Grizzly Bear Lodge or take boat safaris to Bute Inlet, where you can watch brown bears fishing for salmon from multiple observation platforms located a manmade spawing channels for the returning clients. The number of brown bears fishing will depend on the intensity of the salmon run, river levels, the time of year you travel and other environmental factors. During the salmon season expect to see multiple bears fighting over this important food resource; whereas for spring bear viewing it is a more relaxed affair with female brown bears and their cubs eating huge quantities of sedge grasses in the beautiful estuaries.

best bear tours vancouver island

Grizzly Bear viewing at Knight Inlet

In recent years the  grizzly bear  viewing at Bute Inlet has become a lot more popular and it is important to note that the visitor numbers are not controlled in the same way as Knight Inlet. At Knight Inlet, they limit the number of people at the bear viewing stands to a pretty small group size of 12, whereas at Bute you can certainly have more than 4 times this number. However, by choosing a bear viewing operator from Campbell River who has a smaller group size for their boat tours, you can certainly make your bear safari in Bute a special wildlife experience. We work with some of the best bear viewing operators out of Campbell River and can sometimes arrange for them to pick you up from the private jetty of your Canadian wilderness lodge.

best bear tours vancouver island

Best time of year to see bears in Canada on Vancouver Island

We have been organizing bear viewing on Vancouver Island since 2003 and have noticed a definite trend for the largest salmon runs to be later and later. On a practical basis this means that the month of September on Vancouver Island has become the prime month for viewing grizzly bears and this does bring with it some considerable advantages. Firstly, in Canada generally and on Vancouver Island the peak months for tourists are July and August, so by delaying your Canada wildlife holiday until September, you not only avoid the crowds and keep accommodation costs down, you also maximize your wildlife viewing and opportunities to see bears and whales.

best bear tours vancouver island

Grizzly Bear Tours on Vancouver Island your way!

If you would like to follow in our footsteps and view grizzly bears in the wild then we would love to organize a custom Canada wildlife holiday for you to a country we have a deep passion for. As a starting point take a look at the following tours – bear viewing at Grizzly Bear Lodge and grizzly bear viewing Bute Inlet. Or you can contact us at northamerica(at)wildlifetrails.co.uk and we will create a bespoke Canada wildlife tour just for you.

About the Author

best bear tours vancouver island

Allan Blanchard

Allan Blanchard is the founder of Wildlife Trails, a biologist, and conservationist. He studied animal behaviour and has a passion for using real time data to pick the ideal time to see endangered flagship species. Whether that be Snow Leopards in India, Gorillas in Uganda, or Jaguars in Brazil. 27 years of continuous recces to the best safari destinations in the world, is both a privilege and a huge advantage when curating award winning wildlife holidays for Wildlife Trails.

best bear tours vancouver island

Black bear 'wreaked havoc' on car after being locked inside, RCMP say

This photo, posted to X by the Coquitlam RCMP, shows the inside of a car where a bear was trapped on Thursday, July, 11, 2024.

A black bear accidentally got locked in a car in Coquitlam Thursday, destroying the interior before being freed by police.

The local RCMP detachment posted about the incident on social media, saying the bear was able to get into the car because it was left unlocked.

"The bear wreaked havoc on the interior. Officers broke a window to set the bear free," the Coquitlam RCMP said on X, urging locals to be "bear smart" to prevent similar "wild encounters."

Today, officers were called to rescue a black bear locked inside a car. After a door was accidently left unlocked, the bear wreaked havoc on the interior. Officers broke a window to set the bear free. Let’s all be “bear smart” to help prevent these wild encounters. pic.twitter.com/4OoQOyEOef

Coquitlam is a certified Bear Smart community , a designation that means the city has committed to a number of measures meant to prevent human-bear conflicts. Most of these incidents happen when bears become habituated to human food, and once that has happened the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says there is often "no choice but to euthanize those bears."

The BCCOS' publicly available statistics for 2024 only go up until the end of April. During the first four months of this year, officers attended 142 calls about black bears, destroyed 29 bears, and relocated one adult and seven cubs. However, the highest number of conflicts per year are typically reported later in the spring and through the summer.

Vancouver Top Stories

best bear tours vancouver island

Pit bull cross that mauled man, killed cat must be euthanized, B.C. court rules

best bear tours vancouver island

Convenience stores push back on B.C. nicotine pouch ban

best bear tours vancouver island

Growing number of unpaid medical bills at Metro Vancouver hospitals

best bear tours vancouver island

Black bear 'wreaked havoc' on car after being locked inside, RCMP say

best bear tours vancouver island

Free festivals and sweet sounds: Things to do in Metro Vancouver this weekend

best bear tours vancouver island

Some Alaskan salmon fisheries lose Ocean Wise label amid concern for B.C.-bound stock

best bear tours vancouver island

2 dead after B.C. crash on Highway 1 near Boston Bar

best bear tours vancouver island

Repairs to Merritt, B.C.'s water system could take 'significant time': officials

Ctvnews.ca top stories.

best bear tours vancouver island

One person in hospital after falling from swing ride at Canada's Wonderland

One person has been hospitalized after falling from a swing ride at Canada's Wonderland.

Biden forcefully declares he's staying in re-election race in major news conference

U.S. President Joe Biden used his highly anticipated news conference Thursday to deliver a forceful defence of his foreign and domestic policies, and batted away questions about his ability to serve another four years even as he flubbed a reference to Donald Trump in one of his first answers.

'A terrible tragedy': 4 dead in another multiple-fatality B.C. crash

A crash in Keremeos, B.C., Wednesday morning is the latest in a string of fatal collisions, this time claiming the lives of four people, Mounties say.

Trudeau says he still has 'full confidence' in Freeland, but has been talking to Carney

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he continues to have 'full confidence' in Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, but he's also been talking to Mark Carney about entering federal politics.

'An avoidable tragedy': Calgary woman charged after dog dies in hot car

A Calgary woman is facing charges for the death of her dog, which died after being left in a hot car on Canada Day.

Oilers star engaged to marry girlfriend after proposal in Spain

Edmonton Oilers superstar Leon Draisaitl is engaged to be married. The 28-year-old centre proposed to his girlfriend, actor Celeste Desjardins, who said yes. Both posted about the engagement Thursday to their Instagram accounts.

Benji Gregory, former child star on the '80s sitcom 'ALF,' dies at 46

Former child actor Benji Gregory, who played the young boy on the 1980s television sitcom 'ALF,' has died in suburban Phoenix. He was 46.

At least 200 crocodiles crawl into cities as heavy rains hit northern Mexico, near Texas

Heavy rains associated with Hurricane Beryl and the earlier Tropical Storm Alberto have led at least 200 crocodiles to enter urban areas in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, across from Texas, state and federal authorities said this week.

Shopping Trends

The Shopping Trends team is independent of the journalists at CTV News. We may earn a commission when you use our links to shop.  Read about us.

Editor's Picks

I'm fairly certain you’ll never drive without this car phone mount again (and it's on sale right now), if you have no idea what to get them for their birthday, try one of these gifts, prime day is a few weeks away, but you can already snag these 30+ deals on amazon canada, if you’re looking for a new bath mat, check out these 15 highly-reviewed options canadians are loving, our guide to the best window fans in canada in 2024 (and where to get them), this instant-read meat thermometer has nearly 100,000 5-star reviews on amazon canada, and here's why people are loving it, 19 foolproof gifts for kids that cost less than $50, 21 kitchen goodies and gifts for the foodie in your life (or yourself), 15 gifts they'll get plenty of use out of this summer, the maybelline instant age rewind concealer is a tried-and-true reviewer favourite — and here's why, how to make your nails grow faster, longer, and stronger, i swear by kérastase products for my damaged highlighted hair — and here’s why, prime day is a week away, but these fashion deals are already live on amazon canada, the countdown to prime day is officially on, but you can take advantage of these beauty deals on amazon canada right now, this is not a drill: you can get this lefant robot vacuum and mop for 57% off right now, vancouver island.

best bear tours vancouver island

Cowichan Valley wineries off to promising start for grape growing

Wineries in the Cowichan Valley say they’re off to a strong summer start for grape production – and are keen to grow their visitor base during an annual festival through the month of August.

You can get all the essentials at a Richmond convenience story run by Tam Do, but one thing you can't get is flavoured nicotine patches or pouches, which are marketed as smoking cessation products. B.C. opted to move the products fully into pharmacies earlier this year.

'Swarm of earthquakes' rattle off B.C.'s coast, no tsunami expected

Multiple earthquakes were recorded off B.C.'s coast Thursday morning, but no tsunami is expected.

best bear tours vancouver island

He thought his gnomes were stolen. But then a secret society returned them

A Kelowna, B.C., man says he's always liked gnomes because they have a 'bit of mystery' to them. And he recently got a taste of that whimsy when his garden gnomes disappeared, and came back to him in a peculiar fashion.

Kamloops shooting linked to ongoing drug conflict, RCMP say

Mounties in Kamloops have released photos of two suspects and a vehicle believed to have been involved in a shooting last week linked to an "ongoing conflict" between drug traffickers.

Staff sick days causing B.C. ER closures during heat wave: health minister

B.C.'s health minister said multiple emergency room closures in the Interior this past weekend were unavoidable due to an above-average number of health-care workers calling in sick.

best bear tours vancouver island

Community evacuated in northern Alberta as wildfire creeps closer to highway

A northern Alberta community declared a local state of emergency Thursday after wildfires close to it forced the evacuation of almost 1,000 residents.

Pickled poutine, donut grilled cheese and eel omurice waiting to be eaten at K-Days

K-Days has a reputation to uphold between rides, music and some odd food for attendees to try and this year will be no different.

Extreme heat prompts calls for a 'maximum temperature bylaw' forcing landlords to cool rentals

A group of climate activists is worried about renters who have no escape from the summer heat.

best bear tours vancouver island

Defence calls Coutts murder-conspiracy trial 'un-Canadian,' accuses RCMP of lying

A lawyer for one of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., says the trial is "un-Canadian" and alleges RCMP officers lied under oath.

Outdoor workers try to keep cool during extreme heat

With extreme heat settling in, people in Calgary are doing what they can to keep cool. However, there's little to no escape from sweltering temperatures for workers stuck outside.

best bear tours vancouver island

Southern Alberta, East Kootenay fire risk grows to extreme as hot temperatures continue

As southern Alberta and the East Kootenay of British Columbia continue to see temperatures in the low-to-mid-30s, the risk of wildfires is continuing to grow.

Lethbridge health centre struggles to keep the elevators working

An elevator that has been broken since June 14 is leaving some long-term care residents stranded at St. Michael’s Health Centre.

best bear tours vancouver island

'Justice was served today': Winnipeg serial killer Jeremy Skibicki convicted on four counts of first-degree murder

A Manitoba judge has found confessed serial killer Jeremy Skibicki guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, determining he was not suffering from a mental disorder when he ‘mercilessly’ killed four Indigenous women.

'We want justice for our daughter': Family of Jordyn Reimer disappointed by province not ordering independent review

The family of a Winnipeg woman killed by a drunk driver is frustrated after they tried to have another person charged for giving the truck keys back to the driver.

Flin Flon on evacuation standby

Residents of a northern city are being asked to prepare emergency kits as a wildfire continues to burn nearby.

best bear tours vancouver island

Big questions, tiny particles: Sask. researcher receives Vanier scholarship for work in physics

A researcher based in Regina has received a prestigious scholarship to aid her work in unravelling mysteries at the subatomic level.

FNUniv annual feast honours children of residential schools

The First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) held their fourth annual feast and pipe ceremony on Thursday in honour of the children who did not return from residential schools.

Traffic stop in Chamberlain, Sask. sees 75 tickets issued on first day

Thousands of country music fans who are making their way to Craven for Country Thunder may have encountered some delays due to an RCMP initiative.

best bear tours vancouver island

Saskatchewan under province-wide fire ban as uncontained wildfires spread in the north

The province’s firefighting agency is issuing a province-wide fire ban in the wake of a week-long heat wave, as the hot and dry conditions have contributed to a high fire risk.

Crop report shows good progress across most of Saskatchewan

After a cool, wet June, Saskatchewan farmers are watching their fields closely now as pockets that were drowning have started to dry out.

'Valuable information for cyber criminals': Expert weighs in on recent cyberattacks

A cybersecurity expert is weighing in on recent cyber attacks on Federated Co-op Ltd. (FCL), among others.

Driver was going nearly triple the speed limit when he ran red light, causing deadly collision in Scarborough: SIU

A 19-year-old driver sped through a red light at 133 km/h, causing a fatal multi-vehicle collision in Scarborough in March, the province's police watchdog has found.

Thousands of Toronto utility bills impacted due to failing water meter transmission units

The City of Toronto will be replacing all of its water meter transmission units (MTU) after roughly 141,000 devices unexpectedly failed, causing some customers to receive utility bills that are double or even triple what they’re used to paying.

best bear tours vancouver island

Tear gas used during altercations between Montreal police and pro-Palestinian protesters

Pepper spray and tear gas were used as altercations between pro-Palestinian protesters and Montreal police escalated during a march the day after the McGill University encampment was taken down.

McGill University on consequences for students, divesting after pro-Palestinian camp dismantled

McGill University says it hasn't ruled out expelling any students involved in the pro-Palestinian encampment on its campus.

Montreal sponge parks soak up the storm

After over 100 millimetres of rain pummelled Montreal Wednesday evening, some Montreal streets saw less flooding, and sponge parks played a big part in soaking up the precipitation.

best bear tours vancouver island

Costco to increase membership fees this fall

Costco will raise its annual membership prices in the U.S. and Canada starting Sep. 1.

Restaurants struggling as LCBO strike nears one week

It's nearly a week into the LCBO strike and restaurants are feeling the effects. Many are struggling to stay stocked with alcohol in order to be able to offer full menus.

Ottawa police officer fires anti-riot weapon at hospitalized man, Ontario SIU investigating

Ontario's police watchdog says it is investigating what led to the discharge of an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) at a 26-year-old man in an Ottawa hospital Wednesday evening.

best bear tours vancouver island

Emergency Management Office launches coordination centre amid flooding in N.S. counties

Drivers are being warned to avoid certain roads in Kings County, N.S., due to flooding Thursday evening.

New designated encampment sites for Halifax homeless 'completely nuts,' premier says

Halifax council's decision to choose recreation grounds in the heart of the city and a wooded south-end park as designated sites for homeless encampments is "completely nuts," says Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston.

Labatt’s Halifax brewery stops beer production for disaster relief water program

The Labatt brewery in Halifax is taking a break from making beer to expand its water can program for disaster relief.

best bear tours vancouver island

VIDEO | Woman rescued from the Thames River

London Fire Department crews made a water rescue Thursday evening.

Fire crews tackle roaring blaze at dairy farm

A massive hay fire at a London dairy farm kept firefighters busy Thursday night.

Millions announced to close transportation gap for Londoners travelling through SOHO

London will soon close a gap in the Thames Valley Parkway (TVP) between Wellington Street and Maitland Street that currently forces cyclists onto busy neighbourhood streets.

best bear tours vancouver island

Ontario woman found safe five days after being reported missing

Eugenia 'Jenny' Da Silva, the Brantford, Ont. woman who was reported missing after she failed to return home from work five days ago, has been found safe.

Wilmot farmers say Region of Waterloo denied their freedom of information requests on farmland expropriation

A group of farmers, who expressed concern about expropriation in Wilmot Township, say they’ll keep fighting even though their latest push for answers has failed.

Erin, Ont. man competes with best friend on the Amazing Race Canada

John Ferguson is back in his hometown of Erin, Ont. after competing in season 10 of the Amazing Race Canada on CTV.

Northern Ontario

best bear tours vancouver island

His brother was found dead, his mother was arrested before this baby was found crawling by a highway

A Louisiana sheriff says a one-year-old 'miracle baby' survived two days of sometimes stormy weather before a truck driver spotted him crawling along a roadside the day after his four-year-old brother was found dead and his mother was arrested in Mississippi.

Anger with drug use, homelessness draws crowd to Timmins event

The advocacy group Voices of Timmins staged a rally at Hollinger Park on Wednesday evening to call for action on crime, homelessness and public drug use.

Cage ‘unavailable’ at Vale mine Wednesday, workers not brought to surface until Thursday

A cage used to transport workers at Vale’s Creighton Mine “was unavailable” Wednesday afternoon, meaning workers had to spend the night underground.

best bear tours vancouver island

Newfoundland and Labrador aims to bring standards, oversight to for-profit shelters

An Ontario-based consulting form has developed a set of standards for public and private emergency homeless shelters in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fisher protest interrupts environment ministers' press conference

About a dozen fishers interrupted a news conference with the country's environment ministers in St. John's on Wednesday to demand the federal government reinstate a 32-year moratorium on commercial cod fishing in the province.

After delay, new ferry Ala'suinu begins carrying passengers between N.S. and N.L.

After delays due to repairs, a new Marine Atlantic ferry sailing between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia is expected to make its inaugural passenger trip this evening.

Stay Connected

best bear tours vancouver island

IMAGES

  1. Tide Rip Grizzly Bear Tours

    best bear tours vancouver island

  2. A Complete Guide to Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

    best bear tours vancouver island

  3. Best Grizzly Bear Tours On Vancouver Island BC

    best bear tours vancouver island

  4. A Complete Guide to Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

    best bear tours vancouver island

  5. Bear Watch Tour from Tofino, why you should do it.

    best bear tours vancouver island

  6. Best Grizzly Bear Tours: Vancouver Island & Campbell River

    best bear tours vancouver island

VIDEO

  1. Bear tracks in the arena

  2. Whale Watching (Orca Camp Tour) Close Encounters

  3. #welcome #canadaday #downtownvancouver

COMMENTS

  1. Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours

    Our Grizzly Bear Tours would not be possible without our Partners! We are very fortunate to work with two local First Nation's — The Homalco First Nation, and Klahoose First Nation, who host us in their territory to view Grizzlies each season! Campbell River Grizzly Tours is located on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada - experience Grizzly Bears ...

  2. 6 Best Grizzly Bear Tours in Vancouver Island 2024

    2. Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour. ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 - 10 hours | Book it!. Campbell Adventure Tours offers one of the best small-group grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island.. The tour starts with a 2-hour boat ride on the Campbell River.

  3. A Complete Guide to Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

    Whilst Vancouver Island does not have its own Grizzly Bear population, it is one of the best launching points in the province for Grizzly watching tours. These tours depart from the north of the island and head for the world famous Great Bear Rainforest for some exceptional up-close (but safe) encounters.

  4. Bear Watching

    Bear Watching. Watch black bears live and play in Ucluelet, Tofino, Telegraph Cove, Campbell River, Port McNeill, and many other locations around the Island. With an estimated 7,000 - 12,000 black bears living in the region, a guided tour is a smart way to see these gorgeous creatures in their natural habitat, eating berries, snacking on ...

  5. Grizzly Bear Viewing Tours in the Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet Lodge

    Grizzly Bear Viewing & Whale Watching. Knight Inlet Lodge offers unique spring-to-fall grizzly bear tours and seasonal marine and whale watching tours during your 4 to 6 night stay at our west coast-style floating lodge. Choose from a range of options to see bears and marine wildlife in one of the most magnificent natural settings in the world ...

  6. Our Expeditions

    This all day tour begins at around 6:45 am and returns to Telegraph Cove between 3:30 - 4:30 pm. Please check in the day before the tour to confirm departure time. Grizzly Bear Nature Tours includes: Coastal exploration in a comfortable, Coast Guard-certified vessel; Small intimate groups (max. 11) A light breakfast and lunch included

  7. Grizzly Bears of The Wild Tour

    Grizzly Bears of the Wild tours last eight to nine hours and depart from our office at 1514 Broughton Blvd., Port McNeill on Northern Vancouver Island. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks are provided. Tours have a minimum age of 10 years old. All passengers aged 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  8. Bute Inlet Grizzly Bear Tour Campbell River

    Please contact us directly at 250-923-0602 to cancel. Great Bears of Bute Tour is a full-day grizzly bear viewing tour from Campbell River, Vancouver Island, across the Salish Sea to Bute Inlet.

  9. Book The Best Grizzly Bear Tours On Vancouver Island

    Discover Grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island with Eagle Eye Adventures. Book our small group expedition online for an unforgettable experience in Campbell River, British Columbia. Cruise to Toba Inlet on our comfortable boat, led by experienced guides and Klahoose First Nation guides. Witness grizzly bears in their natural habitat amid the stunning Toba Inlet scenery. Don't miss this unique ...

  10. Grizzly Bear Watching Knight Inlet

    Ethics, Experience, knowledge and time is the secret to good wildlife watching - and we have it all!. The Knight Inlet, marine based, photo wildlife tour does it all in one full day from Port McNeill, Alder Bay or Telegraph Cove on the northern part of Vancouver Island with a maximum of 4 guests (5 with children) on board my covered, insured, safe custom built boat.

  11. Great Bear Lodge & Nature Tours

    Wilderness-gourmet meals await you upon your return from the two guided viewing sessions per day. With a maximum of sixteen guests, you are assured of a personalised wilderness adventure in this very special area. 6420 Hardy Bay Road. Port Hardy, BC. Phone : 2502302605.

  12. Best grizzly bear tours on Vancouver Island BC

    Best for Indigenous history and wildlife: People, Water, Land tour. Best for whale watching on Vancouver Island: Salish Sea whale watching adventure. Best Grizzly bear tour on Vancouver Island: Toba Inlet Full-day Grizzly bear watching tour. Best wildlife watching tour from Victoria, BC: 3-hour whale watching tour from Victoria.

  13. Great Bear Lodge

    Great Bear Nature Tours is rated by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. Our ecotourism lodge is the ideal base for photography and wildlife viewing tours, nestled at the mouth of a pristine salmon river. Wilderness-gourmet meals await you upon your return from the two guided viewing sessions per ...

  14. Best Grizzly Bear Tours: Vancouver Island & Campbell River

    The Best Grizzly Bear Tour on Vancouver Island. My pick is this tour which picks you up at Campbell River and takes you to the Toba Inlet, which is one of the best places to watch grizzly bears. I think its the best option because you get to go to a viewing platform to watch the bears eat salmon, be guided by a Klahoose first nation person, and ...

  15. Grizzly Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

    Our prices for grizzly bear watching tours on Vancouver Island start from $495 per person. You can also use our services (e.g., meals) to make your grizzly bear watching experience even more delightful. Anyhow, if you have any questions regarding the cost of grizzly bear tours, please feel free to contact our experts.

  16. Bute: Grizzly Bear Viewing & Indigenous Cultural Tour 2024

    Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Victoria Full Day Guided Wine Tour With 4 Wineries. 3. from $141.88. Vancouver Island, British Columbia. From Victoria: Scenic Seaplane Transfer to Salt Spring. from $133.13. Vancouver Island, British Columbia. SUP'Xperience the Gorge Waterway Park.

  17. Bear Watching on the West Coast of Vancouver Island

    Vancouver Island has its own unique and healthy population of black bears, aptly named the "Vancouver Island Black Bear." They are slightly larger and have a deeper shade of black than their mainland counterparts. Population estimates on the Island are around 7,000, with males weighing up to 275kg and females weighing up to 180kg.

  18. Bear Watching on Vancouver Island

    Learn what to expect on tours, about the bears and the areas to find them. 800-778-6044. Open Menu Menu. Things To Do. ... Birds of Vancouver Island; Wildlife on Vancouver Island; Best Sandy Beaches; MISC. Top Things to Do on Vancouver Island; ... the Vancouver Island black bear is a clear subspecies of the black bear family. Females grow up to ...

  19. West Coast Grizzly Bear Tours

    Enjoy Grizzly Bear viewing along the Klite River with Klahoose First Nations Guides from raised viewing stands. Be prepared to have an unforgettable opportunity to observe some of natures most magnificent creatures; the Grizzly Bear. 1348 Island Hwy, Discovery Harbour Marina. Campbell River, BC. Phone : 250-286-3050.

  20. Vancouver Island Bear Tours

    Giants roam on Vancouver Island North and remote sections of the neighbouring mainland coast. Grizzly and black bears to be precise. Black bears are remarkable roadside attractions along Highway 19 during the spring and summer and can be spotted fishing for salmon in local rivers in the fall. Mammoth grizzly bears, meanwhile, thrive not far ...

  21. Best Time to See Grizzly Bears on Vancouver Island

    Best Time to See Grizzly Bears on Vancouver Island. January 20, 2023. Watching the magnificent grizzly bear in their natural habitat is on most people's bucket list. These impressive animals weigh up to 900lb (408kg) and stand up to 6ft (1.8m) tall! Most visitors on Vancouver Island want to know when is the best time to see grizzly bears, and ...

  22. Campbell River Grizzly Bear Tours

    Westcoast Grizzly Bear Tours - This tour departs at 10:00 a.m. and is approximately 8 - 9 hours long. Lunch is included. Eagle Eye Adventures - The tour departs at 8:00 or 8:15 a.m. (with a meeting time of half an hour prior). The tour includes lunch and snacks, onboard wildlife education, gloves, hats, survival suits, sunscreen and ...

  23. Grizzly Bear Viewing On Vancouver Island, Canada

    Vancouver Island is definitly one of the best places to see bears in Canada, because as well as seeing grizzly or brown bears in the inlet off the east coast of the island, there are also some fabulous black bear viewing opportunities off the west coast of the island in towns such as Tofino and Zeballos. Grizzly Bear viewing off the east coast ...

  24. Black bear destroys car's interior in Coquitlam B.C.

    Our Guide To The Best Window Fans In Canada In 2024 (And Where To Get Them) This Instant-Read Meat Thermometer Has Nearly 100,000 5-Star Reviews On Amazon Canada, And Here's Why People Are Loving It

  25. Vancouver Island ranked best Canadian island by Travel + Leisure

    Vancouver Island was voted the #1 Canadian Island by Travel + Leisure, dethroning Cape Breton Island after six years.. For the 29th edition of the World's Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure sought out one-of-a-kind experiences across the globe, resulting in 125 lists of reader favourites. With two of the best beaches in the world — Chesterman's Beach in Tofino and San Josef Bay in ...