Grizzly Bear Viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest

Grizzly Bear Viewing Blog 

We’re getting ready for another epic season of grizzly bear viewing, starting on September 1st! With 600 metres of frontage on the scenic Atnarko River, situated inside Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the healthiest bear habitats in the world. From the chalets and our main lodge deck, it is often possible to see bears wandering past. Occasionally, we even catch them napping on the lawn!

Imagine yourself strolling through the crimson and burnt orange forest with leaves crunching under your feet as you survey for grizzlies. Meander the Great Bear Rainforest in search of sows (mother bears), twins and even triplets in the safety of our small, guided groups. Retreat to your chalet and, if you’re lucky, watch cubs graze and play on the Lodge lawn under the watchful eye of the sow.

Grizzlies and the Grrrrrreat Bear Rainforest

With much of the grizzlies’ coast range taken away due to logging and urbanization, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the few isolated habitats left for B.C.’s grizzly bears. That’s what makes Tweedsmuir Park Lodge so unique - our access to remote areas and ethical wildlife viewing, in addition to a variety of viewing tour formats! The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest and most vast strongholds for the B.C. grizzly population. In fact, we’re home to black bears too! We are a proud supporter of the Brown Bear Research Network, which facilitates innovative and progressive research on Grizzly Bears in the Bella Coola Valley and Great Bear Rainforest. For each guest that stays with us during bear viewing season (September to mid-October), we make a donation to this great cause.

Bear Viewing Packages 

Grizzly Bear Safari 

Our Grizzly Bear Safari has been called one of the ultimate wildlife viewing opportunities available. Period. And, although we might know it, hearing it from our globe-trotting guests makes us happy (read unbiased reviews here). We’ll take you through old-growth forests, where you’ll literally be walking in the footsteps of bears, near a forest bed of wild mushrooms, and along the shores of the river. Trek worry-free knowing you’re far away from crowds, and instead surrounded by deciduous trees displaying every variation of green, yellow, orange, red and pink you can imagine. 

From examining day beds to searching out claw marks on trees, we’ll make sure this is a wilderness experience unlike any other. Oh! We should also mention you’ll be assessing LOTS of bear scat. Unsure what scat is? Well, no time like a grizzly tour to find out ;) 

Our all-inclusive Grizzly Bear Safaris include: return transfers between the lodge and the Bella Coola Airport or Harbour, delicious meals, private chalet accommodations, and guided bear tours on every day of your stay!

Tour Types

One of the advantages of grizzly bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is the variety of viewing formats. While some operators offer limited viewing at man-made finishing channels, our guests can observe grizzlies catching salmon by;

River Drifts

As you float down the Atnarko River, often teeming in salmon, you’ll be surrounded by the towering peaks of the Coast Range mountains. But try not to get too distracted – keep your eyes peeled for splashing salmon. Chances are a bear isn’t too far behind! 

We offer 2 types of watercraft, McKenzie Drift Boats and rubber rafts. Both types come equipped with swivel seats for 360-degree viewing. If you’re looking for a stable platform to you use a tripod, or to avoid getting other guests in your shot, then we suggest opting for a Private tour that uses the McKenzie Drift Boat which is made of fibreglass, so is very stable. 

To find out more about the river drift, read our most recent blog

Ecology Walking Tours

Take your adventure to the next level and track grizzly bears on foot! Our friendly guides will use their expert navigation skills to guide you through the Great Bear Rainforest while teaching you about grizzly bear ecology and. Wind and weave your way through the Great Bear Rainforest and learn to look for signs of bears and how to react when you see one! 

Wildlife Viewing Platform

Just a 60 seconds walk from your private chalet, our Wildlife Viewing Platform offers an elevated (...literally) experience to observe wildlife. Our Viewing Platform overlooks the Atnarko River, which connects to the Bella Coola River and the Pacific Ocean. This is often where grizzly bears feed on salmon and a perfect spot to capture the majestic grizzly in all of its glory. Great news! This Platform is available to anyone staying at the lodge, meaning you don’t need to wait for your tour to go grizzly watching – you can observe them right in our backyard. 


As the apex predator of British Columbia, the grizzly bear has long been sought after by visitors. Capturing this majestic animal in its natural setting through a camera lens can be one of life’s most thrilling experiences for both professional and novice photographers. We share your enthusiasm, which is why our Wildlife Viewing Platform was made with photographers in mind! 

Photographers, we have a few suggestions for you to have the best experience possible: 

  1. Opt for a Private package so the guide can focus on helping you get your shot! 

  2. Bring a lens in the 400mm-600m range

  3. Book early 

  4. Book a minimum of 4 nights 

The Bear Necessities (aka what you need to know)

Believe us, anytime between September to October is a great time to visit – crowd-free and bears galore! Prime viewing season runs all of September, and shoulder season spans from October 1st to the 16th. Package and tour formats include a Small Group and a Private option. The Small Group option matches a maximum of 6 people together. Alternatively, if groups aren’t your thing (we completely get it!), we offer Private tours, too. These include your choice of a half or full day and with the benefit of selecting the activities that make up your package (the Small Group option has a set itinerary). Please note, we do not permit children under the age of 12 to join us in Bear Season (September 1-October 16). If you have children 12 and under and hope to catch a glimpse of a bear, we suggest booking a trip in late August...but there are no guarantees you will see them at this time.

Visit our Grizzly Bear Safari webpage to view our rates and itineraries, including private and small group options. 

Give us a call for more information, or send us an inquiry today! 

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