Best time to travel to British Columbia

Grizzly Bear Watching in British Columbia

Take a close look at grizzly bears in the mountains

Grizzly Bear Watching
Grizzly Bear Watching
Grizzly Bear Watching
Grizzly Bear Watching
Grizzly Bear Watching

Bears are forest and mountain inhabitants in North America, widely spread in British Columbia, Alaska, the Yellowstone National Park, and other territories. If you want to take a step into their everyday life, Vancouver's valleys, coasts, and mountain regions are the places to go. From mid-May till late October, they roam around searching for food. Around 50 bears live in the forests around Whistler.

You can join one of the bear-watching tours provided in this region. Guides know a lot about these animals, their personalities, behaviour, and even their names. During such tours, you can come across deer and other wildlife as well. Grouse Moutain is a perfect place for grizzly sightings as well. Grinder and Coola are two orphaned bears that live on the top of the mountain. As a rule, bears do not come close to humans, but local people are "bear wise" and know how to behave. Summer is the prime time to come for bear sightings.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit British Columbia for grizzly bear watching?

Grizzly bears in British Columbia are best viewed from mid-May to late October when they emerge from hibernation in search of food. The summer months offer a prime opportunity for sightings while the weather is warm and days are long. It is best to avoid bear-watching tours during harsh weather conditions or rain as the animals tend to stay safe. Tours typically last several hours and allow visitors to witness the bears' natural habitat firsthand. Show more

Where can I spot grizzly bears in British Columbia other than Whistler?

Bella Coola, the Great Bear Rainforest, and the Knight Inlet are all excellent locations in British Columbia to spot grizzly bears. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, bear-watching tours are typically available during the summer months. In addition to grizzly bears, visitors may spot other wildlife such as black bears, deer, coyotes, and bald eagles. There are even viewing platforms at certain locations such as the Knight Inlet for optimal and safe bear watching. Show more

What other wildlife can be seen during bear-watching tours?

Besides grizzly and black bears, wildlife such as elk, deer, bald eagles, and coyotes may be encountered during bear-watching tours in British Columbia. Visitors should keep in mind that these sightings are not guaranteed as the animals roam free in their natural habitat. Tour guides are typically well-versed in identifying the animals seen and providing additional information about their behaviors and characteristics. Such tours offer nature enthusiasts the chance to experience the wild beauty of the region firsthand. Show more

How close do bears come to humans during bear-watching tours?

Although bears may come near visitors during a bear-watching tour, they typically avoid contact and remain at a safe distance. Tour operators understand bear behavior and ensure the safety of visitors and the animals. During the tour, visitors must stay quiet and maintain a safe distance from the bears to avoid any disturbance. Before the tour begins, guides provide detailed instructions on proper behavior while in the presence of the animals. Show more

Are there any safety precautions visitors need to take during bear-watching tours?

Bear-watching tours in British Columbia require visitors to comply with certain safety measures. Tour guides will always provide a safety briefing before departure. These essential guidelines include not approaching the bears, not feeding them, and remaining part of the group. Sudden noises may startle the bears, so visitors are encouraged to keep voices down and avoid wearing perfume or scented lotions. The weather in British Columbia can change quickly; thus, visitors should always bring appropriate clothing and rain gear. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin