G R E A T
B E A R
River Drift Tours
Mid August through October is when the chances of observing grizzly & black bears fishing for salmon are at their peak. These guided trips are very popular & fill up quickly. Eco-rafting trips are subject to availability &/or environmental /river conditions. Obviously bear sightings /interactions cannot be guaranteed – regardless, “A day (or half day) spent on the river, is time well spent.” More..
Walks of Reverence
“Take a Walk on the Wild Side…” We will share an interpretive adventure, either drifting the river, or hiking along the ancient trails of this grizzly kingdom. We strive for something more than a ‘bear tour’. Our hope is to “re-wild your Spirit” – immersing you in some of the most ecologically & culturally significant, salmon and grizzly bear habitat that remains on earth. More..
We offer guests the opportunity to reserve five day guided backpacking trips into the spectacular backcountry of South Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Wilderness hike options are: The Turner Lake/Hunlen Falls route or, The Rainbow route. Guests are guided into alpine environs & travel down portions of two trails with historic significance – the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail & the Tweedsmuir Trail. More..
Birding & Photography
Birding & nature photography opportunities are virtually limitless. The Great Bear Chalet is situated on the bank of the Atnarko River in an interior Douglas fir forest. The diversity of vegetation & the presence of freshwater (everywhere) makes this ecosystem a veritable smorgasbord for avian seed & insect eaters. Within an hour, we can travel up into an alpine environment where an entirely different collection of resident & migratory birds flourish. More..
The Great Bear Chalet is fortunate that our geographic location allows us to experience definite seasons. Snowshoe out the back door along ancient grizzly trails of the Atnarko River or up “the hill” for a day of deafening quiet, deep powder & bright sunshine. More..
Enquire about Winter season snowshoeing and/or backcountry skiing trips, family Christmas packages, or our romantic, ‘wild’ Valentine’s getaway weekends.
We have respectfully coexisted with grizzly bears for decades.
Please join us in becoming stewards for their preservation.
Guests of Great Bear Chalet will always be accompanied by your hosts – accredited guides in good standing with the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of B.C. & members of Bella Coola Ground Search & Rescue.
GREAT BEAR CHALET
is Open Year Round.
During May ~ October,
Bear tours often need go no further than our peaceful back deck.
Spring at the Chalet is marked with the return of this territory’s dominant male grizzly bear – “Hank”, inspired by Henry V and my grandfather. His sole mission is most ancient, he seeks females in estrus. Over the years that he has shared his home, we have come to know Hank to be a most powerful yet, benevolent king.
As the days lengthen, native plants, insects and birds thrive in the meadow below us. Resident female grizzly bears bring their cubs here to forage on succulent greens. Black bears and mule deer are also regular grazers. Where there are deer, wolves and cougar are never far behind. You may feel the awe that comes from hearing, or seeing these elusive beings. We are very fortunate to share this land with other megafauna such as moose, lynx, and wolverine.
Autumn brings the return of pink salmon to the Atnarko River. Spring salmon also begin to die at this time, having fulfilled their exhaustive commitment to the next generation. Resident and transient grizzly bears come to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to take advantage of this salmon feast. Being situated on the bank of the Atnarko, allows us a front row seat to this annual spectacle. The Atnarko/Bella Coola River is the ‘heart’ of this valley; the salmon, the ‘blood’ – the ‘Circle of Life’ still churns in this intact ecosystem.