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 at Knight Inlet Lodge

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Knight Inlet Lodge had another successful grizzly bear viewing year in 2011 and is looking forward to 2012. Our grizzly bear viewing season opens on May 17 and will run until October 15, 2012. The response of our guests to the lodge and our program and what we do is a very gratifying one that never grows old.  While working at a grizzly bear viewing lodge sounds like fun, and it is, like anywhere it does have its challenges.  It is the energy and good spirits of our guests that help smooth out the rough spots that go with any job.

We truly appreciate all the fantastic comments on TripAdvisor and we promise it will not go to our heads or at least not too much! for guests that will be visiting us in 2012 our TripAdvisor page and our Facebook page are a great way to learn more about our lodge. We update our Facebook page regularly with photos, videos and news so keep checking back as your visit nears.

grizzly bear cubs sleeping at Knight Inelt Lodge

grizzly bear cubs sleeping

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Grizzly Bear Research

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Grizzly Bear Research in Glendale Cove

Some of you who have visited the lodge in the past three years may have met me during your stay. My name is Melanie Clapham and I have been conducting research out of Knight Inlet Lodge since 2009. My research is looking into how grizzly bears communicate with each other using their sense of smell. This forms the basis of my whole PhD project, of which I am now in my final year. My project is co-funded by Knight Inlet Lodge and the University of Cumbria in the UK. This is where I am based during the winter months, analysing the data I have collected in the previous summer/fall, and writing up my findings. I am now back at the lodge conducting my final field season, and will be here until October. When I am here my days are usually spent searching the estuary for bears, and out in the forest maintaining my trail cameras. These heat and motion-sensitive cameras are the main method of data collection I am using. By placing these cameras facing bear ‘marking trees’ (or ‘rub trees’ as they’re known), I am able to monitor natural scent marking behaviour by different individuals in the population. This way I am also able to assess whether its adult males which seem to be communicating, or adult females, or subadults, and so on. I am also looking at which individuals investigate the scent marks of others, but don’t actually mark on trees themselves. By conducting this data collection between May and October, I can assess how marking behaviour changes during different seasons i.e. the breeding and non-breeding season.

In addition to looking at the social function of scent marking, I have also been documenting the trees which bears mark on. Focusing on what we call ‘traditionally used trees’ which are trees marked on by different bears over many generations, I am looking at whether it is the species, the size, or the location of the tree which makes it favourable to be marked on over others. I believe this is key to explaining the use of trees for scent marking by bears, rather them just been used to relieve an itch. It seems that the selection of these trees is much more structured. So by studying differences in marking behaviour by different age and sex classes, and analysing the trees which bears use to mark on, we are beginning to fit different pieces of the puzzle together in understanding the complexities of chemical communication in grizzly bears.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Wyatt and all the staff at Knight Inlet Lodge for their continued support and field assistance throughout this whole project.

Melanie Clapham

PhD Candidate

University of Cumbria

grizzly bear rub tree

Grizzly bear rub tree

grizzly bear rub tree glendale cove

Grizzly bear marking tree

Grizzly bear blog by Knight Inlet Lodge guest

Friday, November 12th, 2010

It was a clear October (2009) morning as we departed Campbell River on Vancouver Island Air’s turbo Otter.  We could see for miles in every direction and had amazing views of all the grand mountain peaks and fjords of the BC Coast as we flew into Knight Inlet Lodge in Glendale Cove.  On the flight was our family of four and six other guests.  As it was near the end of the season Knight Inlet Lodge was able to accommodate our family with our two children Zach 8 and Clem 6

Knight Inlet Lodge

Knight Inlet Lodge

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Within an hour of arriving at the lodge we were viewing our first grizzly bears – a sow and her cub in the estuary.  These would be the first of many that we would see during our two-day stay at the lodge.  In the afternoon, after a hearty lunch, we went up to the ‘Weir viewing stand’ to try and see more bears.  Another sow with two cubs were there feeding on the abundant salmon when we arrived and two more quickly joined them. Our guide Jamie explained that there was a good return of Pink and Chum salmon this year so the bears had lots to eat.  It appeared as so as the bears could easily and effortlessly scoop up salmon with their paws or their mouths.

When we returned to the lodge we had the option of participating in a marine cruise up Knight Inlet, which we were all eager to join. Highlights of the cruise included waterfalls, humpback whales and Dahl’s porpoise all within an hours boat ride from the lodge.  Our guide also shared some stories and legends from local First Nations people. After dinner we were treated to an interpretive talk by one of the naturalists.  Then it was a quick hot tub before bed.

With all the highlights of our first day I wondered what was in store for us on our second day.  I wondered if we would see the blond grizzly cub the guides were talking about.  After breakfast our guide Jamie offered to take just our family on an interpretive walk to find animal tracks and other signs of wildlife.  He brought along some plaster to make some casts if we found some good animal tracks.  We did find lots of great tracks of bear, wolf and cougar among others, but the best were two perfect deep grizzly tracks in a sand bar by the river.  While we let the plaster set Jamie took us back to the ‘Weir viewing stand’ and then to the ‘Finger viewing stand’.  Like the day before we saw lots of bears, and yes we also saw the blond cub.

That afternoon we went on a family paddle in the lodge’s kayaks.  We paddled up into the estuary to see the ducks and sea birds.  The boys got a bit chilled so we warmed up in the hot tub when we returned to the lodge.  After another great dinner and interpretive presentation we retired to our comfortable suite.  We spent the next morning lazing around and checking out the Lodge’s salmon hatchery before departing.  Jaime gave the kids the plaster casts of the bear tracks we made the day before.  They were all nicely wrapped and safe for the trip home.  There couldn’t be better souvenirs from our stay.

Thanks to Dean and Kathy and everyone at Knight Inlet Lodge for two amazing days of adventure, learning and exploration.  The tour package was seamless right down to every detail, from start to finish.  We look forward to our next adventure in British Columbia’s wilderness.

Evan, Sue, Zack and Clem Loveless

Grizzly bear blog by Knight Inlet Lodge guest

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

This story was posted by Knight Inlet Lodge guest Yvonne J. Thank you Yvonne!

grizzly bear on bus

grizzly bear on bus

In September 2010 we stayed in Knight Inlet Lodge. A trip down to paradise! We had the time of our lives. We experienced some great bear viewing. What a thrill to see the bears in their natural habitat. Chasing and feeding on salmon, bears walking down under the viewing platform, but the icing on the cake was when one bear jumped up on the car! Talking about close encounters! The bear was very interested in the window wipes and was not impressed when the guides tried to chase her away, afraid she would might wreck the car. She didn’t wreck anything, but she sure put on a great show! The whole trip was an experience of a lifetime! The flight down there, the lodge, the staff and the great bear viewings made a big impression I will never forget!

grizzly bear on bus

grizzly bear on bus

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.

Our stay at Knight Inlet Lodge

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Before we left Australia we had no idea what an introduction to Canadian fiord scenery and wild life we were about to experience.

This introduction commenced from day one with the float plane’s picturesque flight from Campbell River through the mountain valleys and across the lakes to the lodge.

Floatplane flight to Knight Inlet Lodge

Floatplane flight to Knight Inlet Lodge

We arrived at the well maintained floating Knight Inlet Lodge surrounded by crystal clear water. The Lodge supplied all our requirements for the next four days, serviced by such friendly, competent and knowledgeable staff. The meals were as one would have ordered, plentiful, varied and tasty. There was always a drink ( hot or cold ) and a snack available. The equipment supplied was of the highest standard.

What a super sight as we, “the Monks” awoke in “The Church” to see the snow capped mountain scenery of the cove. The accommodation was spotless and warm with a cozy fire for the evenings.

Knight Inlet mountains

Knight Inlet mountains

The boat trips up the cove to Mt Kennedy Glacier and out and about the inlet and out to Johnston Straight showed us magnificent fiord scenery of mountains capped with snow and ice. We saw at close range wild life of all description, from Humpback whales, both blowing and diving, Orca whales, Dolphins playfully swimming in the wake of the boats, Seals, mature and immature Bald Eagles, Scoters, Gulls, Egrets, to the “work-ups” of the myriad of birds feeding on the balls of bait fish. Beavers prowled the lodge verandah at night.

dolphins in Knight Inlet

We had hardly arrived at the cove before we had sighted grizzly bears by the river and then a further 14 sightings from the Weir Stand, all before lunch.

Grizzly bears of Knight Inlet Lodge

Grizzly bears of Knight Inlet Lodge

grizzlies fishing for salmon

grizzlies fishing for salmon

The knowledge freely given, the care of our safety both on land and sea, the friendly approach of the guides and lodge staff was exceptional. It would not be proper to single out staff for they all fulfilled their roles competently.

floatplane at Knight Inlet Lodge

floatplane at Knight Inlet Lodge

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Whales in Glendale Cove

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

The spring of 2009 has seen Orca Whales appear twice in Glendale Cove where our lodge is located. While this is unusual it is not unheard of compared to the Humpback Whale that stopped by for a visit at the end of May. For a few early season guests that were fortunate enough to be out on a marine tour this was truly their lucky day! We do not expect these sightings to continue right at our back door but we are looking forward to an excellent season of whale watching in 2009. Of course if the whales do continue to show up in Glendale Cove we won’t complain!