Great Bear Lodge
Port Hardy, British Columbia
At a Glance
Small intimate lodge with only 8 newly refurbished and cosy en-suite rooms
No other lodges in the area so have the bears to yourselves
Bear viewing mostly by boats with just 4 people and a guide per boat
Floating lodge in stunning wilderness location, completely away from it all
Wilderness gourmet meals await
To start planning your vacation to Great Bear Lodge
Quite simply, a stay at Great Bear Lodge is an opportunity to have a unique experience with the grizzly bears. The location here is stunning and in one of the best spots to get close to these magnificent creatures, especially during the Fall salmon spawning season when the bears head down to the estuary and rivers to fish for the migrating salmon.
Nestled into the Great Bear rainforest, the real beauty of the lodge is it's location. Far away from civilization, there are no other lodges or groups of visitors out here, simply the guests at lodge who have the whole area to themselves. This gives plenty of time with the bears and flexibility to go where you want and stay longer than in many other places.
To make the most of the experience, stays at the lodge are normally three nights which allows for plenty of viewing time. Day two begins with a flight from Vancouver to Port Hardy and then a spectacular scenic flight across to the lodge. The flight in itself gives an awe inspiring birds eye view of this incredible area and perhaps the opportunity to spot your first wildlife along the way. Arrival to the lodge is normally late afternoon and no time is wasted in getting guests out to the bears. The first walk or boat trip is taken right after settling in and returns in time for a hearty wilderness dinner, made from fresh local and often organic ingredients and enjoyed all together with tales of the afternoon's activities and hopefully, sightings.
The next two days begin with a delicious breakfast before heading out once again with your biologist guide. Return to the lodge for lunch and some relaxing time to perhaps take a nap, read a book or just take in the clear air before you head back out later in the afternoon. In the evenings there will often be talks and slide shows on the bears and the ecology of the area.
On the final day there is one more viewing opportunity before a final lunch and then time to say goodbyes after an unforgettable experience. The seaplane returns to Port Hardy late in the afternoon so an overnight stay there is recommended before continuing your journey.
The eight guest rooms have been newly refurbished and now each feature a double bed and en-suite shower room, views out to the water and cosy bathrobes.
Due to the nature of the bear viewing and lodge experience, the minimum recommended age for children is 15 years. However, please do contact us to discuss if your children are younger but would still love to have the lodge experience.
The lodge is a simple pleasure to enjoy. There is a common area where guests can relax and a dining area where guests eat together. The lodge is surrounded by wooden decks, a perfect place to sit, relax and admire the view.
The lodge experience is all about the bears and all guests will enjoy two guided bear viewing sessions each day. Guests reach the "blinds" (bear viewing areas) either by foot or by boat depending on time of year. The viewing is usually first thing in the morning and late afternoon when the bears tend to be at their most active. Guests will return to the lodge for lunch and some time to relax in the early afternoon. Guided interpretive walks of the rainforest are popular and an opportunity to learn about the ecology of the area and watch for bear signs. It's also a chance to watch for other wildlife including wolves, otters, black bears, mink and bald eagles. Sea kayaks are also available to explore the area under paddle power. Rubber boots and rain wear are provided at the lodge if required.
Often in the evenings there will be talks or slide shows from the on site biologists, explaining about the interaction of the grizzly bear with this unique ecology.
Location & Directions
Port Hardy, British Columbia
Great Bear Lodge is only accessible by air. Located on the mainland of British Columbia although guests have to travel to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island for transportation over the lodge.
When to go
The lodge is open from early May through to late October and is predominantly set up as a bear viewing experience. The best time to visit is during the salmon spawning season when grizzly bears are at their most active fishing in the rivers. This is usually from early September to mid to late October. The lodge books up early during this time. In June and early July, bear viewing is still good as they come out of hibernation and forage in the grasses close to the river.