Great Bear Rainforest Tour

Great Bear Rainforest

The Great Bear Rainforest is a land of fjords, islands and great river estuaries. It’s world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. Bears and wolf packs thrive as they have for millennia. Explore the wildlife, the waterfall-filled wonder, and the human history of one of earth’s most spectacular coastlines – “the last stand of the great North American rainforest,” according to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Explore the Great Bear Rainforest

Highlights

  • View grizzly bears, spirit bears, and black bears with some of BC’s most experienced guides.
  • Sail the fjords, where 4,000-foot cliffs rise above you.
  • Walk in rainforest and wildflower meadows with naturalist.
  • Visit local villages and, welcomed by residents, learn about coastal culture, from First Nations’ earliest culture to the present.
  • Explore the region’s other wildlife, including whales, wolves, bald eagles, and other marine mammals and birds.
  • Beach-comb and land on remote islands.
  • Experience the entirety of this special region, by taking the time to get to know its rhythms and intricacies, through cruising by yacht and anchoring in special places each night.
Dev-Pro - Conversion Geek - Maple Leaf Adventures - GreatBear_R_3
 
 

Activities

  • Moderate walking
  • Bear viewing (from shore boats, on land, and in some cases at a bear viewing stand)
  • Small boat rides
  • Marine mammal viewing (whales, sea lions) and bird viewing
  • Natural history through hands on experience and talks with your naturalist and any scientists encountered on your trip
  • Village visit, cultural history and experience
  • Sailing (on sailing ship)
  • Village visits
  • Hot-springs
  • Exploring beaches
  • Kayaking and fishing (optional)

 

Great Bear Rainforest

 

Nature and Landscape

The Great Bear Rainforest is a land of fjords, rainforests, islands and great river estuaries. There are no roads. Instead, everyone travels by water.

The many protected, unlogged and ancient rainforests, and the quiet, nutrient-rich ocean, support wildlife and ecosystems as they would have been thousands of years ago across the continent – where grizzly bears and wolf packs roam free and live from what they naturally have always lived from, including abundant salmon runs.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calls it “the last stand of the great North American rainforest”.

Great Bear Rainforest

 

GBR_NES_5260

Wildlife Highlights

  • Grizzly bear
  • Spirit bear (rare) and black furred black bear
  • Baleen whales (humpback, fin)
  • Killer whale / orca
  • Dall’s porpoise
  • Grey wolf (rare)
  • Bald eagle
  • Pacific salmon (in autumn)

GBR_243-DSC_6424

 

GBR_345-NES_4711

Cultural History

Explore the worlds of several northwest First Nations: the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xai’xais, Haisla, Gitga’at and Henaaksiala. Everywhere is evidence of their civilization. 

Fish traps, bark-stripped trees and longhouse remains give testimony to a way of life tuned to the rhythm of nature. 

You’ll visit modern villages, talk with local residents, and see the ancient art traditions still in place today. 

GBR_308-DSC_9599

GBR_031-GBR361

 

Comfortable Ship, Expert Guides

Get ready for days of adventure and wildlife, supported by a very comfortable expedition ship, a gourmet chef and welcoming guides. Maple Leaf Adventures is a pioneer of tourism in the Great Bear Rainforest, having designed tours here starting in 1991 and advocated for its protection.

naturalists-small

 

 

3 Seasons in the Great Bear Rainforest

Three Seasons in the Great Bear Rainforest

Our experienced crew and naturalist will take you to areas where you’ll be able to witness peak wildlife events:

  • Spring highlights bird migrations, newly awakened grizzly and black bears grazing on sedges, pink salmonberry blossoms, spectacular snowcapped mountains and deep fjords where mountain goats come down almost to sea level in spring, hot springs.
  • Summer highlights bears on estuaries, mountain goats, porpoises, dense intertidal life. Humpback whales arrive in spring to feast until fall. West coast, sandy beaches beckon, some of them home to elusive wolves.
  • Autumn highlights witness the return of the salmon to spawn, which draws grizzly, spirit and black bears to the estuaries again, along with whales, sea lions, seals, eagles and elusive wolves.

See each trip’s sample itineraries for specific wildlife that it is customary to see in each season. Not all species are visible in all seasons. Also wildlife have their own agendas and while we plan our trips in the peak season and areas for wildlife viewing, with very experienced guides, we do not guarantee sightings.

GBR_NES_5260

GBR_252-DSC_3709

GBR_370-DSC_8318

 

What Makes It Unique?

  • A vast area of rainforest and islands that has not submitted to human industrial human culture.
  • Healthy populations of bears, including the rare, white spirit bear.
  • Our links with groundbreaking science & conservation initiatives in the area.

Human cultures that have evolved in this landscape for millennia.

GBR_139-DSC_2915

 

Trip Itineraries

group bubble net feeding humpback whales in bc canada
Whales & Wild Isles

Wild west coast beaches with white sand and plenty to explore. Spend days travelling among humpback whales and marine birds. Watch for fin whales, orca, or possibly even a sea otter. Enjoy adventurous shore trips with knowledge guides....

Great Bear Rainforest - fjord in spring
Great Bear Rainforest Spring

Colorful passage ways, with bright green fjords, and estuaries filled with wild flowers. Watch grizzly bears emerge from the tall sedges as they forage on roots. Travel with humpbacks through sunny waters and look for black bears along shorelines....

Kitlope anchorage
Great Bear Rainforest & Kitlope

Dramatic landscape surrounds as you cruise deep into the coastal mountain range. From the Kitlope witness steep snow capped peaks, grizzly bears relaxing among tall green sedges, and colorful wildflowers in shades of purple and blue....

spirit-bear-great-bear-rainforest
Great Bear Rainforest Autumn - Tugboat

Remote reaches of coastal fjords are full with salmon throughout the fall. Wildlife gather to feast on the fish allowing you to watch grizzly bears, bald eagles and black bears. On some occasions witness the rare sprit bear as it emerges from the forest....

grizzly bears fishing for salmon in the great bear rainforest
Great Bear Rainforest - Whales and Grizzlies

As the summer ends and the salmon run is under way, grizzly bears come to the coastline to feed. Humpback whales, orcas and fin whales are all in the area, feeding, too, on krill and small fish. On this short, 5-night trip, explore the fjords and islands...