Bear Viewing

Witness the Fascinating Behaviors of Bears in their Natural Habitat

Grizzly Bears (Brown Bears)

The west coast of Canada and Alaska is one of the world’s last sanctuaries for the brown bear, or grizzly bear. Bear viewing expeditions are an ideal platform for visiting these areas, with experienced guides, and access to these watery fjords, we are able to view the bears in a sustainable manner.

British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest encompasses 6.4 million hectares of temperate coastal rainforest. Within these valleys, fjords, forests, and estuaries is a grizzly bear population larger and more dense than anywhere else in Canada.

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest has a higher density of brown bears than anywhere on earth. On Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof Islands, an interesting subspecies of brown bears, more closely related to polar bears, can be seen. It is thought that polar bears were stranded on these islands after the last ice age and gradually morphed into brown bears through mating with the brown bear population over millennia. 

Black Bears

With their keen sense of smell and hearing, black bears are expert foragers and can be found searching for food in the intertidal zone, along riverbanks, and in the lush rainforest. They play a vital role in the ecosystem, spreading seeds and nutrients as they travel through the forest.

One of the best places to view black bears is the Great Bear Rainforest, where they can be spotted along rivers and estuaries during the salmon spawning season. The bears feast on the nutrient-rich salmon, fattening up for the winter months ahead. Other places to see black bears include Vancouver Island, Desolation Sound and Haida Gwaii, where they are occasionally spotted patrolling the coastline.

Guided tours with knowledgeable naturalists can provide visitors with an insight into the behavior and biology of coastal black bears.

Seasonal Highlights

With careful planning and our experienced guides, guests can enjoy exceptional bear-viewing experiences year-round.


In the spring, green sedges fill the estuaries where grizzlies come out to forage. Watch carefully as the sedges grow tall, sometimes hiding a napping bear!


Some bears are still feeding in the estuaries, though there is a good chance guests may not see a bear. In Alaska, bear viewing is at its best as the salmon run begins early here.


Each year as salmon return to their natal streams to spawn, bears on the coast of BC (grizzly, black and spirit) gather in the estuaries to feed on the abundance.

Our Bear Viewing Experiences

We are passionate about not only providing safe and exceptional bear viewing experiences for guests but also setting a standard for responsible and sustainable bear viewing practices.

Welcome to Bear Country

Throughout our tours in the Great Bear Rainforest and Alaska, we are able to witness amazing wildlife events and witness the crucial ecological role bears play within the temperate rainforest and estuary. 

Observe Fascinating Behaviors

From digging for roots which aerate the soil and promote new growth to feeding on salmon which bring nutrient-rich carcasses onto the land and into the forest, we are able to observe it all by visiting the area each spring, summer, and fall. 

Explore in Safe Hands

On each bear cruise, a knowledgeable crew will lead you by zodiac and by foot into estuaries where you can safely view these calm bears together as a group. 

Learn From Engaging Naturalists

A skilled naturalist will accompany you as you explore these intimate bear habitats, providing insightful interpretation and a resource for all your questions.

Our Connections

Special permits and local connections allow us to provide exceptional bear-viewing experiences along the BC and Alaska coasts.

Pioneers In Responsible Bear Viewing

Maple Leaf Adventures is a founding member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC and works closely with local communities and organizations to support conservation efforts, helping ensure bears and their natural habitats are protected for future generations.

By being a responsible and ethical member of the bear-viewing community, we hope to inspire others to appreciate and protect bears and their natural ecosystems.

What People Say

See what past guests have to say about our bear-viewing experiences.

    “We saw eagles and bears, including a mom and three tiny cubs. I highly recommend this trip”

    Michael S., Tripadvisor

    “What a magical place! Great bear sighting with mom and cub and so many eagles on the way out! And kudos to the Sandhills! First time seeing so many in one gathering spot”

    Jen and DeWayne, Tripadvisor


Discover the best places to see bears in their natural habitat.

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