Vancouver Island grizzly tours take you into the Great Bear Rainforest of Knight Inlet with some of the best jaw-dropping views on the planet.
If the Great Bear Rainforest is not on your bucket list of places to visit, it should be!
Grizzly bears are huge. Deceptively huge. And they live in freedom and protection in the Great Bear Rainforest on the western side of mainland British Columbia.
Grizzly bears are among Canada’s wild land animals that are seldom seen. Especially on Vancouver Island, as there are no full time resident grizzly bears.
That didn’t stop us in going on a Vancouver Island Grizzly Bear Tour!
Thanks to Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures out of Telegraph Cove Resort, our family jumped on a boat to the mainland for our very own adventure. It can be challenging at times to find adventures for all three of our teenagers to simultaneously enjoy. As we ventured out into the water, we were sure this would be one for the memory books.
I could tell we were all excited. What would we see? Would the grizzly bears come out of the woods?
As we began our 2 hour journey, the Tide Rip staff on board pointed out different features in the landscape, highlighting old First Nations villages, and even pointing out the change in landscape as we approached mainland British Columbia.
The scenery is breathtaking.
As we neared Knight Inlet, the shoreline changed from mounds of tree covered islands to towering cliffs rising from the water.
Cascading streams create beautiful waterfalls as the mountains they cover stretched high and disappeared into the clouds.
Our skipper, who has toured much of the world and seen the best many countries have to offer, even stated that this area holds its own when it comes to gorgeous displays of nature. Out here, it’s easy to see why.
Our Tide Rip Grizzly Bear Tour had only just begun when my youngest spotted the spray of a humpback whale in the distance. We paused the boat and turned it off to watch for a few minutes as the lone humpback came over to say a quick hello.
We stood in awe as this whale came to us, mere feet away, to offer its welcome for our journey.
Nature in these parts is spectacular.
It continued to delight us by offering up a pod of porpoises eager to play within the wake of the boat. Our giggles turned to squeals as close to 50 of them joined us for a few minutes. I paused for just a moment to watch my teens point and exclaim in utter amazement at the sight.
Memories solidifying right before my eyes.
Though whales and dolphins were fantastic, they were not the purpose of our excursion. So we settled back in for our goal…the grizzly bears of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Binoculars were passed around as we kept our eyes focused on the shoreline. Grizzly territory sat before us. And it was only a matter a time now before we spotted the first mama grizzly.
I sat looking out the window when the skipper slowed the boat. Though I thought I was quick, the kids and Jay all beat me outside to see the beauty of mama with her newborn cub!
After being informed to keep our voices to a whisper, we watched as mother and cub ate from a banquet of mussels, crabs, and other small sea creatures. It’s astounding to see. Before this, I had only see bears in an enclosure at the zoo.
Here, right before us, a mama teaching her baby to forage in their own habitat in the wilds of The Great Bear Rainforest.
I knew we would be in the boat the whole time, but deep in my mind I thought maybe the bears would get angry at us and charge. However, this fear could not be further from the truth. Not once did we feel unsafe.
In fact, instead of looking like a protector, the mama seemed disinterested in us.
Imagine that! She knew she was safe and she had nothing to fear.
Therefore, so were we.
We looked on in wonder at the beauty of this grizzly bear in her natural home, completely content in the moment.
Moving on in our journey, we gracefully entered Glendale Cove where grizzlies come to dine on the abundant spring sledge in the area. It was here we docked our boat and boarded a skiff that was more suited to the incredibly shallow waters of the sledge field allowing us the closest views.
We were in the skiff just a couple minutes before the kids spotted a female grazing by herself in the tall grasses.
The skipper said he may have to give them a job for their eagle eyes!
Unfazed by us, the huge lone female continued to eat throughout the entire morning. Spring sledge contains incredibly high levels of plant protein which is needed in their diet.
All Spring the Grizzly Bears of the Great Bear Rainforest gorge themselves on the tall grass before the heat of summer makes it bitter.
After sitting in silence for many minutes in delightful awe, we worked our way around the shoreline looking for more bears. It’s a fun game of hide and seek. Grizzlies blend in with the rocks of the low tide.
But again, we spotted more bears! Our search was rewarded with the matriarch of the area…20 year old Glenora and her two 4 year old cubs.
They saw us too, but were definitely not bothered by our presence.
We were thankful for Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures. They took care of all our needs. They not only provide an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience, they fed us lunch too.
Our skiff returned to the dock where we dined on a modest lunch while continuing to watch the grizzly bears. We were in the nature channel!
Watching the grizzly bears of the Great Bear Rainforest never got old. Remote, peaceful, serene and definitely inspiring, my family experienced something off our bucket list. Each of us commented on the unique and specialness of this once in a lifetime outing. All of it. Unforgettable.
All of us.
Impacted by the rugged wilds of The Great Bear Rainforest.
Though our Grizzly Adventure excursion lasted 8 hours, in some ways it seemed but a moment and almost a mirage.
Did we actually experience all those wildlife sightings? Our pictures and memories cannot lie. It will truly be one of our most memorable family adventures. Looking for something different?
North Vancouver Island Region is rugged, wild and filled with opportunities to get out in nature and immerse yourself just like a Vancouver Island Grizzly Tour!
Website: grizzlycanada.com – Your Vancouver Island Grizzly Adventure Tour Guides
Contact Info For Your Vancouver Island Grizzly Adventure: Connect With Tide Rip
Traveling Islanders Tips for your Vancouver Island Grizzly Tour:
- Accommodations: We highly recommend staying at Telegraph Cove Resort for a few nights of your North Vancouver Island vacation. It’s the perfect home base for all your adventures, especially your Vancouver Island Grizzly Tour.
- Summer Is The Best Season: North Vancouver Island is often much cooler than the rest of the Island. Be sure to bring warm clothes with you even during the Summer.