Our Spring Bear and WaterFall tour runs from April 15 – June 15. A true Spring Awakening tour as our coast wakes up from a long winter.
Bute Inlet Grizzly Bear Tour – August 19th – October 15
Toba Inlet Grizzly Bear Tour – August 28th – October 15
Our Grizzly Bear Tours run in the fall as the bears head to the river to hunt for salmon and load up on nutrients to carry them through winter.
Each part of the bear viewing season has different qualities that make it slightly different.
Early Season (late August to early September) – As the season begins and the salmon run is just starting, we often see bears closer to the beach foraging on shellfish and vegetation along the shore. The salmon gather at the river mouth, waiting for a good rainfall to move up river. The bears are sorting out their territory and getting reacquainted with the river. We are still enjoying sunny, warm, bright days which are always a perk out on the water!
Mid Season (September) – In September the bears are actively hunting in the river catching salmon. This is also the busiest time of year for travel so most tours are fully booked. As we get later in the month we move into our (usually much anticipated) rainy season, which feeds our temperate rainforest.
Late Season (October) – As we move into October many of the salmon have spawned and their carcasses can be seen along the river banks. The bears can freely feast along the shores. October is a favorite time of year for photographers as the lighting is no longer as bright as it once was and it’s a great time to get some of those epic bear photos! Later in the month we get weather that can be a little less predictable, but the sights are still epic and we generally have smaller group sizes.
First things first, these are both awesome tours, with fantastic wildlife. Whichever tour you choose, you won’t be disappointed! Ultimately they are quite similar in structure and will both take you to world class bear viewing destinations.
A few factors might help you decide:
- Departure Time – Toba Inlet departs at 7:00 am or 9:30 daily while Bute Inlet departs at 8:30 am and 10:00 am.
- Tour Length – Toba Inlet is a bit further away so it is a longer tour, closer to 9-10 hours vs the 8.5-9.5 hours that the Bute Inlet tour is.
- The Scenery — While on the water traveling to the respective inlets we see some different landscapes. On our Toba Inlet Tour, we see towering glacier mountains right off the water, spectacular waterfalls and stunning gem toned river water. On our Bute Inlet tour we pass by tidal rapids, a unique natural phenomenon unlike anything you’ve ever seen! Watch as the water boils and whirlpools appear out of nowhere! With this you can spot bald eagles seeking a snack, and sea lions playing in the currents.
- The Bears – We tend to see larger male bears in Toba Inlet, and more sow and cubs in Bute Inlet