Welcome to Knight Inlet Grizzly Bear Adventure Tours at Knight Inlet Lodge in British Columbia, Canada. Enjoy one of the premier grizzly bear viewing spots in the world, set amidst the snow-capped peaks of Canada's rugged coastline.

grizzly bear viewing report for early September

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Knight Inlet Lodge guide Lori Kublik has kindly supplied us with the following report.

Yesterday and today a LOT of salmon moved up into the spawning channel during the hot, sunny afternoon when the bears must have been hiding in the shade. Yesterday late morning me and my group of guests were VERY lucky to see adult grizzly bears playing together. It started with a male and female, and they wrestled in the water, play biting each other. Then they separated as they noticed another male arrive. The two males then started playing together, while the female swam off to go check out the salmon in the deep pool.

Those two males played, bit, hugged, wrestled and swatted for over half an hour! It was totally wild. One of the most amazing wildlife experiences I will ever have, I’m sure. We were all flabbergasted. Not sure if all 3 of these playful bears are siblings, or if they’re just happy to have so much salmon around that they’re willing to play with anyone?? This morning we saw the same male and female playing in the spawning channel on the drive back out of the channel, and the other day Mel saw this female nuzzle the nose of another female who had a salmon in her mouth, in a friendly way, so she thought they were siblings. Who knows. Pretty cool to see adult grizzly bears playing.

Peanut was hanging out at the weir while the bigger bears were playing, and he was so focused on watching the bears downstream, and hoping for salmon, that he didn’t notice a female approaching. She stealthily moved under our stand, down the bank, into the water, right up to Peanut. She bit him on the side before he knew she was there, jumping in shock and running out of the water and out of sight. Hilarious! We figured he must have been pretty embarrassed.

The bear that bit him didn’t stick around too long, so Peanut returned to his favourite spot just below the weir. All the while the big bears are still playing. The female who had played with one of the males got bored of swimming in the deep pool of salmon, and she approached Peanut at a slow walk. Peanut ran out of the channel up onto the road when she got close, and she ran up after him. He ran for about 15m then slowed, thinking she wouldn’t follow. She kept running, and he glanced back and realized it and really turned on the speed. The last we saw of them they were tearing down the road out of sight. Hee hee.

Peanut survived alright, because we saw him later that afternoon, no new scars. In fact, it looked like the same female that chased him in the morning was sharing one side of the weir with him for fishing, so maybe they reached a truce. VERY interesting bear dynamics this year.

On a Glendale Cove estuary tour this afternoon we also saw Bella and her cubs near the water’s edge, and the cubs were playing quite a bit. Very cute.

grizzly bear fishing for salmon

grizzly fishing for salmon

Knight Inlet Lodge first guest blog for 2011

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Richard Davis & Praline Barrand    May 2011

What a wonderful experience!!

Our visit to Knight Inlet Lodge was the 2 days of our Canadian holiday we were most looking forward to & it did not disappoint.

From the moment we were met at Campbell River airport by Harold, the Knight Inlet Lodge shuttle driver everything was perfect.    The information Harold shared on what lay ahead only magnified our excitement level.

I should mention the overnight stay in Campbell River at Heron’s Landing Hotel exceeded our expectations – lovely atmosphere, well appointed, spacious rooms and staff which went out of their way to make you feel welcome.  The continental breakfast included was also a great start to the day.

The 25 minute floatplane flight out to Knight Inlet Lodge from Campbell River was amazing – stunning scenery in every direction & it felt like we had only just taken off when we started our descent into Glendale Cove.

floatplane flight to Knight Inlet Lodge

floatplane flight to Knight Inlet Lodge

aerial view of Knight Inlet Lodge

aerial view of Knight Inlet Lodge

grizzly bear in Glendale Cove estuary

grizzly bear in Glendale Cove estuary

black bear in Glendale Cove estuary

black bear in Glendale Cove estuary

Lenore and Peanut in Glendale Cove

Lenore and Peanut

The guided bear viewing excursions, all taken by boat, were fabulous.   Due to our visit being so early in the season it was more a case of quality rather than quantity but we were delighted with the bear viewing we experienced.   The stars of the show were ‘Lenore’ & ‘Peanut’ – a grizzly bear sow & her 3 year old cub.   The Knight Inlet Lodge guides are experts on the bears as well as all the other wildlife you are likely to encounter in Glendale Cove.   As well as both grizzly & black bears, we saw harbour seals, minks, pine martens, bald eagles, Canada Geese & an enormous variety of other seabirds, too numerous to mention.

A highlight on one of the estuary tours was seeing a black bear with her two tiny cubs.   We had the privilege of being the first Knight Inlet Lodge guests of the season to see these cubs which would have been born in the mother’s den during her winter hibernation.

The excursion by boat up Knight Inlet was breathtaking – in fact we enjoyed the experience so much we chose to do it again on our 2nd day at the lodge.    The enormity of the spectacular British Columbia wilderness surrounding Knight Inlet Lodge is truly humbling.    The boat excursion was full of highlights – a large black bear fossicking for mussels on the rocky shoreline, bald eagles soaring overhead, Pacific White-Sided dolphins playing in our bow waves & literally dozens of majestic, towering waterfalls tumbling into the inlet.  The Knight Inlet guide was a fountain of information & kept us entertained with stories on a wide range of subjects from the First Nations people that have inhabited the area for centuries to the geological history of the inlet.

We also thoroughly enjoyed a tracking tour, an educational walk through the forest searching & learning about the tell tale signs of the local wildlife which call Glendale Cove home.    Again, the Knight Inlet Lodge guide amazed us with his knowledge.

One cannot end this blog without praising the exceptional quality of the food served at Knight Inlet Lodge – the chefs deliver meals so delicious one has to keep reminding yourself you are dining at an isolated wilderness lodge, not an award winning restaurant in a major metropolis.

To the entire Knight Inlet Lodge team, many thanks for an unforgettable experience.

Knight Inlet scenic view

Knight Inlet Lodge marine cruise scenic view

waterfall on Knight Inlet marine cruise

Knight Inlet waterfall

In the presence of grizzly bears, a Knight Inlet Lodge guide’s story

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

In the presence of bears
Water laps at the edges of the boat as the tide ebbs, the comforting, familiar sound of the Glendale River adds perfect a background to the scene before us.  I’m standing in the water knee-deep, holding onto my boatload of British tourists stationary in the river, keeping our position between Luke’s boat upstream and Shawn’s boat downstream. Our three boats float quietly together, all of us focused on the creature standing on the opposite riverbank. We’re watching a beautiful sub-adult female grizzly bear named Bonnie go about her business as if we weren’t there at all.

The sights and sounds can almost overwhelm the senses here some days, but this morning is calm and quiet; rain is softly falling in Glendale Cove, onto Bonnie and her viewers on this slightly soggy spring morning. All we can hear is distant bird song from the forest, the occasional bald eagle that flies over, calling out to us as it goes, camera shutters snapping away and Bonnie’s contented munching on the estuary sedge grass.

We sit quietly, the enthralled viewers barely moving a muscle as this little grizzly allows us to join her for breakfast. Bonnie tears off mouthful after mouthful of the sedge grass, occasionally flicking her intelligent brown eyes towards us, making sure we’re behaving ourselves. She pads almost silently through the long grass, out onto the stones of the riverbank and sits down, nose high in the air, reading the messages on the breeze.

The tide is quickly retreating from the river now, and reluctantly Luke, Shawn and I pull ourselves and our guests away from the beautiful little bear and start heading down river.  My guests make remarks about how they can’t believe we sat silently and watched her for almost half an hour, but then again it’s always surprising how fast the time goes in the presence of bears.

They know no concept of time as humans do – it’s meal time when they’re hungry and the tide is right, it’s play time when they feel playful and it’s nap time when they’re tired. Spring and summer for the bears are spent fattening up and possibly finding a mate when the time is right; fall is all about eating as many salmon brains and eggs as possible and winter is for hibernation. When they wake up the following spring, they awake as a slimmer, older and wiser version of their former selves.
At least one species of British Columbians have it figured out…

I’m back up here for my second season as a guide at Knight Inlet Lodge, and as always, Glendale Cove and all its inhabitants never cease to amaze. In my first 10-day shift of the season I’ve seen eight different grizzly bears, a handful of black bears, the rear end of a fast-retreating wolf, four transient killer whales, almost a hundred dolphins and on my last day of the shift, was lucky enough to find two humpback whales bubble feeding just outside of the cove – a rare sighting up here.

Rain or shine it’s beautiful here – this place enchants the people that visit with the birds and the beasts, the mountains, the ocean and the rainforest itself. I consider myself to be entirely addicted.
Words can’t do it justice – you’ll just have to come and see for yourselves.
Looking forwards to seeing you on the dock.
Moira

Grizzly bear blog spring 2010 Knight Inlet Lodge

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

“Spring has arrived and the lodge is open.  Familiar furry faces are popping up everywhere and it’s shaping out to be a strong beginning to the season for us.  We’ve been open for a week now and already we’ve had multiple bear sightings in the estuary and the other morning we were woken up early by the blows of transient orcas in the estuary.  A small pod of four patrolled the cove twice in the day hopeful for the opportunity to feed on one of the many harbour seals and pacific white-sided dolphins that are abundant in the Inlet at this time of year.  We had an excellent view of the whales before they gave up their search in the cove and made their way back out of the inlet.

We are pleased to announce that the moms and cubs are very strong at the moment.  Lenora and her yearling cub Peanut have been regularily spotted in the estuary, and to our delight our famous white cub from last fall is out with her two siblings and impressive looking mother.  One small subadult has also been sighted feeding on the protein-rich sedge that’s coming up quickly in the estuary.”

This story contributed by Jamie Scarrow, Knight Inlet Lodge Head Naturalist and professioanl photgrapher. To see some of Jamie’s photos

The first Grizzly bears of 2010 spotted

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Knight Inlet Lodge is excited to announce that we have had our first grizzly bear sighting of 2010. Tuesday, April 27 saw “peanut” and is mom return to Glendale Cove after a long winters nap. Enjoy these photos taken by Knight Inlet Lodge guide Luke Denbigh. spring is truly here at last! The photos were taken in the Glendale Cove estuary, Knight Inlet, British Columbia.

grizzly mom and cub, first bears of 2010

grizzly mom and cub, first bears of 2010

grizzly sow at Knight Inlet Lodge. the first bear to appear in 2010

grizzly sow at Knight Inlet Lodge. the first bear to appear in 2010

Photos from guests of Knight Inlet Lodge

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Over the years Knight Inlet Lodge has been fortunate to receive many excellent photos from guests. We thought that you might enjoy seeing some of them. Many thanks to the numerous people that have sent us photos over the years. The grizzly bears of Knight Inlet Lodge make for some exciting photography opportunities as they fish for salmon or just hang out in the estuary.  Over time we intend to post more of these pictures on our blog as a way to let everyone see our bears in the wild. Here is few of my favourite photos, enjoy!

grizzly bear with bus

grizzly bear with bus

grizzly bear cub in boat

grizzly bear cub in boat

grizzly bear running in water

grizzly bear running in water

Another guest blog from “down under”

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Knights Inlet, Sept. 2009 four days that will be etched in my memory forever and when my memory fails, I have my photos to look back on (thanks to Phil and team for returning my camera after I left it behind).

The people you meet. Being an animal person myself I have little time for people. However through the common goal of seeing grizzly bears in the wild we some how magically came to know those strangers sitting across from us at Vancouver airport. In fact we now email one another to share our stories and photos of our great adventure at Knights Inlet.

Day 1.

Day one involved boarding a small plane (I did not realize the planes would get smaller as the trip progressed) in Vancouver and flying to Campbell River. On arrival at Campbell River we were taken to our accommodation. Whilst researching my bear holiday I noted in blogs people were dissatisfied with having to stop over at Campbell River the night prior to continuing onto the bears. Well all I can say is make the most of it, see the museum, watch the tall cruise ships out on the horizon, enjoy the wild weather, which makes that meal at the local eatery all that much better. Then finally walk back to the accommodation, watch a bride get married out on the pier and wonder what was she thinking, wonder how the locals live, take photos of the old Chinese monument, the driftwood and gigantic kelp that lay in the water, enjoy the wild weather and the emotions of anticipation of what lays ahead.

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Campbell River

Day 2.

As we arrive at the float plane terminal we see two tiny, small, minute, float planes moored at the jetty. The weather is dark and stormy and we are supposed to get on these things, oh my god, what we do to see grizzly bears in the wild. Anyways it goes to say, they got us there safely.

Knight Inlet Lodge floatplane

Knight Inlet Lodge floatplane

As we get to the other end we are greeted by a leprechaun of a looking man playing an accordion and two dogs jumping around with excitement as we land. We are quickly debriefed and given the guided tour and then loaded into awaiting tinnies. As we come around the first bend, not more than five minutes from our camp we spot a grizzly and her two cubs. The cameras go wild and the scene is set. We sat and watched in ore for about half hour.

knight Inlet Grizzly bears

knight Inlet Grizzly bears

We then moved on to find more bears and wildlife such as eagles. On return to camp we were served a delicious lunch. After lunch we tried to figure out what clothes we were suppose to wear to go up the river to view the scenery. Was it the red suit with the green boots or the blue suit with the red hat hmmm? Any ways I think we got it right in the end as we stayed dry and warm, even after our tour guide tried to drown us under a waterfall.

After our sightseeing tour we returned to camp for a much earned cup of coffee and cake, oh so yummy. Next we boarded and old school bus and were taken down a windy track to the bear lookouts. There was a bit of waiting for the bears to turn up obviously someone failed to let them know we were coming. However while we waited we did get to learn about the tragic life of a salmon. If you ever think your life sucks remember the poor salmon. Just as we were about to leave, a bear decided to grace us with his or her presence. We all watched the bear fish for salmon, shredding them with its large claws. Cameras were going crazy, people were whispering amongst themselves and jostling for a better viewing spot. At this stage a good lens would have come in handy, which sadly we did not have. However those kind strangers from the airport lent us one of their lenses so we could get better photos, thankyou. You think that would be enough for the day. We returned to camp to sit down to a great meal and discuss the days adventures with our fellow bear enthusiasts. Later that night we were entertained with an informative talk on whales. We then returned to our cabin and sat up to midnight talking to our Aussie cabin mates. What a day.

Day 3.

Up bloody early the next morning, I was still tired from the day prior. Following a yummy breakfast, pancakes yum o. How did they know they are my favourite? We headed out to look for more bears. It wasn’t to long a wait and cameras and people once again were in a frenzy. More great photos.

grizzly bear fishing for salmon

grizzly bear fishing for salmon

Today we were asked what we wanted to do. We were given the choice of whale watching, kayaking, or bear poo tracking. Well what can I say, bear poo tracking hands down! Where there is bear poo (scat) there are bears. Plus we got to learn about the bear’s habitat, their rubbing trees, their sleepy holes etc. However the highlight of this little tour was seeing how gullible my husband was. Our guide told us that if we licked a slug, not just any little garden slug, it was a big blob of a thing with spots that made your tongue go numb. Your name would go down in history. In other words you got to put you name in a book at the lodge to signify that you were stupid enough to lick a grose slug. Well guess who volunteered? I’m glad they didn’t tell him to run naked through the bush with honey all over him to attract the bears, who knows what would have happened.

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We were fed well through out the day and given multiple opportunities to view bears.  Later that evening we were provided an in service on the mythology of whales or bears, something like that. On return to our cabin the Aussie house mates had a rip roaring fire, a few yarns were passed around and once again after midnight we retired to bed.

My husband was up at four in the morning suffering from a cold or maybe the slug had shared something more than a numb tongue. He was sitting in the lounge of our cabin when he was given his own private comedy show, presented by the one and only knights inlet otters. He tried to ply me out of bed to watch the antics of the otters, but I wearily mumbled “im tired”, I was exhausted. In the morning he told me of the show that they put on and how they kept setting off the night sensor lights as they would pitter patter across the deck. I now regretted not getting out of bed to see them.

Knight Inlet Lodge, Glendale Cove

Knight Inlet Lodge, Glendale Cove

Day 4.

Early to rise once again. As I did with each morning I sat on the front deck of the cabin and just enjoyed the moment and the scenery. However this morning was different, I started to hear gurgling noises coming from behind me, was the cabin sinking? Then I noticed splashes here and there in the water. Finally a little head popped up in front of me. It was a little furry faced otter (not official binomial nomenclature – scientific name). He was checking to see if the coast was clear. He looked at me and I at him, he wasn’t going to risk it. He then with his entourage of otters swam over to the moored tinnies. Somehow the next thing I know they are all in the tinnies rolling around playing like little kittens. Well the dogs wanted in on the game, however the otters are a bit selective of whom they play. I came to this conclusion as the otters hastily exited the tinnies and speared back into the water to return to where ever it was they came. As legend goes they live under the end cabin at Knight Inlet Lodge. Hence apart from the bears those otters were the high light of our holiday and to elusive to be photographed.

After breakfast we did a quick trip up the estuary for some last minute bear viewing. We then reboarded the float plane to return home, people were a lot quieter now. I’m gathering they were doing what I was and reflecting back on what a great holiday it was, and how sad I was to be leaving. Thank you to all of you at Knights Inlet. Tracy Dean and Graham Badke, Queensland, Australia.