Brown bears can be found all over the globe, from Asia to Europe and of course North America. And it was in North America, on the pacific coast of British Columbia, that we were fortunate enough to get up close and personal with the North American brown bear, more commonly known as the grizzly bear.
Knight Inlet is home to grizzlies all year round; however in the peak of the fall salmon run the bear population booms. Hundreds of hungry bears make their way to the coast and the nearby streams to feed on the abundant salmon returning to their spawning grounds. This makes for amazing bear viewing for those lucky enough to get there.
The day starts at the small harbour of Telegraph Cove, at the office of TideRip Tours. There are a couple of companies who will take you over to see the bears but we found TideRip to be excellent. From the harbour you head out through Johnstone Strait on the look out for the resident orca, porpoise and migrating humpback whales who are annual visitors to the strait. Once through the strait you will hit the mainland again and pull into Knight Inlet.
Here you will transfer onto a small open sided skiff, before setting off upstream until the water becomes too shallow for the boat. With a little bit of luck you will encounter a few furry friends along the way.
We had an amazing day with the bears, we saw a number of solitary males hunting for salmon in the shallows as well as a mother and cub moving along the shoreline. On the way back to Telegraph Cove we were fortunate enough to see a pod of transient orca hunting a porpoise through the strait. Head to Knight Inlet during the fall salmon run for your best chance of spotting the bears.
Is seeing a grizzly on your travel Bucket List?
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