“The coast is an amazing place to visit, as it’s like Vancouver, but there are no people and a lot of bears,” says Beverly Evans, travel trade representative with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. “This is an amazing place to go and disconnect in today’s busy and hectic life.”
One of the best places to spot those numerous majestic creatures is in the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia, where a large population of grizzlies roam the land. Evans says Bella Coola Grizzly Tours offers bear watching along with guided marine tours, and lodging in deluxe log cabins or aboard the MV Nekhani, a 42-foot vessel. The grizzly bear-watching tours are offered in the Great Bear Rainforest, an area consisting of the Bella Coola River watershed and the saltwater fjords of the mid-coast.
Some other accommodations in the area include:
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
With views of the Atnarko River and exquisite mountains, the main lodge is the hub for games, socializing at the bar and lounging by the fireplace. The lodge has nine private chalets and a viewing platform for watching grizzly bears as they hunt salmon in the river below. It’s an ideal location for fishing, horseback riding, heli-hiking, First Nations & Valley Tours and fjord cruises.
Rip Rap Camping
Nestled near the Bella Coola River and against the mountainous skyline, the family-owned campsite offers 26 spacious camping and RV spots with and without power. The site is close to the BC Ferries terminal, the airport and the town of Bella Coola. Campers can enjoy a private fishing area, nearby hiking trails, a viewing deck on the river and fire pits. There are also four cozy cabins on-site.
Top photo by Elana Rabin