View grizzly bears and other wildlife on this safari tour along the north coast of British Columbia. In the autumn, when the salmon arrive to spawn, the town of Bella Coola is host to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears. Among these old growth forests, pristine rivers, stunning peaks, soaring eagles, and vast glaciers, there is one animal at the top of the food chain: it is the mighty grizzly bear.
These grizzly bear viewing trips, recognized by the Canadian Tourism Commission as a 'Signature Experience' that showcases authentic, immersive and engaging tourism experiences for travellers, are in the autumn, from mid August to the middle of October. This is when the local rivers are host to teeming numbers of returning salmon which in turn draws lots of grizzlies hoping to fatten up for the coming winter. At this time of the year the grizzly bears are intent on fishing and are more tolerant of both other bears and people and are therefore much easier to observe.
Accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable guide, the drift trips are the perfect way to see the bears and wildlife of the Bella Coola valley. The McKenzie River boats are non-motorized and therefore do not disturb the bears in their natural habitat. The leisurely pace and silence offer a relaxed and peaceful way to travel the valley, as well as a completely unique opportunity for viewing wildlife up close and personal.
On some occasions, guests see up to 15 different grizzly bears in a single float. In addition to the river floats you will also be able to walk old growth forests, literally in the footsteps of the bears. Your guide will show you day beds, claw marks on trees, tufts of bear fur, and of course lots of bear scat. Guests from all over the world have stated that this is one of the ultimate wildlife viewing opportunities on the planet, and they have the pictures to prove it.