Spirit Bear Quest | Search for the Elusive Kermode Bear in Northern BC

Holiday Duration: 7 Nights

Overview

Overview

This holiday offers a great chance to see and learn about Spirit (Kermode) bears; actually a black bear with a recessive gene and only found in a small area of the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia.

The small fishing village of Klemtu, home to Spirit Bear Lodge, is in the heart of the rainforest, and offers unparalleled access to some of the best grizzly and Spirit Bear viewing in the region. Spirit Bear Lodge is owned and operated by First Nations, many of whom were born and raised here, thus with exclusive access to some of the special Spirit Bear viewing areas.

As well as bear viewing opportunities, you will also discover the local First Nations culture, see the ancient and modern cultural sites, as well as watch marine wildlife, wolves, bald eagles and other birds.

Ask us about the different package options; this itinerary is flexible and can be from 3-6 nights at the lodge. You can also add more nights in Vancouver or extend your holiday to visit other areas. Talk to one of our experts about how to make this holiday the perfect one for you.

When to see the bears

When to see the bears

For the best chance to view the elusive Spirit Bear, we suggest a minimum 5 day/4 night package (as described here) and to consider coming in August, September or October. Visitors earlier in the season or those that stay for a shorter time may well see the Spirit Bear,  but as the bear – known as moskgm’ol – is elusive and shy, sightings are more likely later in the year and if you have more time to spare.

The lodge is open from June 1 to October 10 and each month offers a different opportunity for bear watching, wildlife and other activities.

June is Spring in the Great Bear Rainforest when the sedge grass, the main early season protein food source for the Grizzly Bears, is most abundant.  The combination of the deep green sedge grass and wildflowers is also great for keen photographers. There is a also a good chance of seeing Grizzly mums with cubs in tow or sub-adults who will often seek out the outer fringes of the big coastal estuaries to feed on the grass un-disturbed by the larger males who may still be working their way down from the upper alpine meadows. Humpbacks are also a relatively common sight as they forage the shore for krill, herring and mackerel. Bear in mind that opportunities to view Spirit Bears are limited in June and July as they don’t tend to appear in the river systems until late July. Although chances are low, it is still possible to see Spirit Bears foraging along the shoreline.

July is very similar to June and is also the month with typically the best weather; the warmest days and the most sunshine. The grizzlies will be moving between the estuaries for sedge and the forest for berries. Later in in the month is the beginning of the salmon spawning season in the outer coastal rivers where black bears will begin to to be seen in greater numbers.

August is when the bears start to know that it is the beginning of the great salmon feast. Salmon begin to school in greater numbers at the entrances to the rivers and the bears then begin to congregate near the river mouth of many systems. By mid to late August, the spawning has begun in the inner coastal rivers. Also, although Spirit Bears can be seen anytime after they emerge from their dens in early Spring, the first good sightings are typically in August.

By September, the salmon spawn is well underway and grizzly bears, black bears and Spirit Bears will all be vying for the best fishing opportunities. The bear numbers begin to spike upwards at this time as they are feeding almost continuously.

October often sees another spike in bear numbers as the spawned-out salmon are being pushed back down to the river mouth, making the fishing easier. Bears are keen to fatten themselves up before winter so activity can be busy and exciting. While bear viewing can be excellent in October, this month also often brings with it the start of the seasonal rains that gives the Great Bear Rainforest part of its well-earned name.

Early Season: June 1 – July 31

Shoulder Season: August 1 – August 28

High Season: August 29 – October 10

 

Suggested Hotels

Klemtu

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"Thanks for your expertise"

We have just returned from our Holiday in Canada organised by Frontier Travel. We have in the past always booked independently but found your service excellent and certainly saved us a lot of time researching options. Thanks for your expertise, we hope to do more business with you in the future.

Mrs Rugg

Itinerary (7 Nights)

Here’s a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by contacting us directly, so we can give you the best price.

Day 1

Fly to Vancouver and stay overnight at the airport where you can rest and relax...

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Day 2

Vancouver to Klemtu

Head to Vancouver’s South Terminal for your Pacific Coastal Airlines scheduled 2-hour flight to Bella...

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Day 3

Klemtu

After breakfast, you will meet on the dock at 8am for the first full day...

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Day 4

Klemtu

Breakfast will be at 7am, then you will be on the water at 8am for...

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Day 5

Klemtu

Today you will be able to choose from one of the following options: Spirit Quest...

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Day 6

Klemtu to Vancouver

After breakfast, you have a choice of a morning sea kayak paddle along the shores...

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Day 7

A full day in Vancouver to enjoy the city and take in the sights, maybe...

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Day 8

Enjoy some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you head back to the airport for...

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