Spot rare wildlife and discover the rich culture of the Great Bear Rainforest with a multi-night stay at Spirit Bear Lodge.
There’s off the beaten track and then there’s Spirit Bear Lodge. Tucked away on the edge of an island in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the lodge is reached by a scheduled flight from Vancouver to Bella Bella followed by an hour-and-a-half boat ride along the Inside Passage.
You can stay at the lodge for three, four or seven nights with wildlife viewing and other excursions included in the cost of your holiday. Itineraries are flexible and depend on your interests and no day is ever the same. The main draw is the Kermode bear – also known as a spirit bear – a rare subspecies of the American black bear that has either cream or white coloured fur. You’ll head out on full-day excursions into the wilderness with First Nations guides. They’ll take you to the places where you’ll have the best chance to spot both grizzlies and spirit bears, and as you wait you will learn all about their habitat – the gloriously unspoilt temperate rainforest.
Where you go will be dependent on the weather, recent bear sightings and the interest of those on the tour. One day you might stay in the same place for the whole day while on another day you can move around to different spots in the rainforest. As the seasons change, you’ll have the chance to see different wildlife and behaviours – the best time to see spirit bears is in September and October while grizzly bears could be spotted in June and from late August to October. The salmon run in the autumn is an amazing time to visit as bears will be out attempting to catch the leaping fish as they make their way upstream to their spawning grounds.
3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries; depatures on Friday (3 nights) or Monday ( from early June to early October
On the first day of your trip, depart from the South Terminal at Vancouver’s international airport on your flight to the town of Bella Bella. On arrival, you’ll be transported to the port where you will board a boat for the 90-minute trip to Klemtu. Once you’ve reached the lodge there will be a welcome orientation before you can settle into your room and have appetisers and dinner.
Your full days at the lodge will be spent on full day bear-viewing trips or you could choose from a range of other excursions. Breakfast will be served at 7am each day and you’ll meet at the dock at 8am where you’ll set off on your adventure. If you choose the four or seven-night packages, you can pick from a selection of extra excursions on your extra days at the lodge. These include a trip to a First Nations cultural site, a marine tour in search of humpback whales (seasonal) and visit to the beach at Kitasu Bay on the west coast of Swindle Island.
Spend the final morning on a short excursion before heading back to Klemtu for your return boat trip to Bella Bella. It’s then just a short flight back down to Vancouver where you will continue on with the rest of your holiday.
On the coast of Swindle Island in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest and along the Inside Passage
Good to know
The lodge is open from 05 Jun-05 Oct. You will be spending full days out in the wilderness on wildlife-spotting excursions. There are no roads, viewing platforms or bathroom facilities and viewings can’t be guaranteed. Gratuities are not included.
Full Board • Meals and snacks starting with dinner on the day of arrival and ending with lunch on the final day of your stay • Packed lunches on excursions • Table wine with dinner • Flights between Vancouver and Bella Bella and a water taxi to the lodge • Excursions as detailed • Use of waterproof gear if required • Evening presentations.
*Denotes local charge