Extra Lodge Day

Trapper's cabin

If as a guest you choose to stay an extra day with us at Grizzly Bear Lodge we take you to our wild river, the Kakweiken River. Viewing Black Bear, Seals, and perhaps a school of playing White-Sided Dolphins on the way. Once at the river you meet one of our river guides, Trapper Rick or his assistant, and ride the Trapper’s “Grizzly Truck” to the spawning area of the river. Here you may view grizzly and Black Bears and Bald Eagles while watching the schools of salmon preparing for spawning. If you wish, fish off the bank for the salmon or trout. On this day while guests were enjoying a picnic lunch at the trapper’s cabin, which overlooks the waterfalls, I took a few pictures. The one above of the cabin and guests and then I walked to the right side of the above photo to get a picture of the river and one of the fishing pools to find a black bear approaching the cabin. Needless to say lunch was interrupted for a few photos.

Black Bear





Well fed Grizzly Bear

Large grizzly bear

Unlike the black bear in the May 8th posting this grizzly bear has access to the rivers that contain spawning salmon and flow into Knight Inlet. The overhead view means this bear was near the viewing platform on the Glendale River, which has a man-made spawning channel. This platform is used by Grizzly Bear Lodge after August 24th for its grizzly bear watching trips. This is a large well-feed male grizzly that definitely getting close to it’s hibernation weight.


Gourmet food

Table set

We frequently have guests say: “I now know why you want us to keep our luggage on the incoming plane at 10 kg (app. 20 lbs.). It is because of the weight we add eating.” Meals at the lodge are not only gourmet they are a social occasion. It does not matter if it is the first meal before any tours or the last meal before you leave there is always lots to talk about. Dinner is normally around 6:30 and we seldom leave the table before 8:30 so it can be set for morning breakfast and then the conversation carries on in the “living room”. The one thing the guest comment about beside the great food is that they eat with the staff, which is always around to answer questions and provide great stories.

Food on table




People Watching Tour

Black Bear

This past summer black bears were hard to find along the shore as the berries seemed to last longer than normal so the bears stayed in the bushes. However we still managed some good photos and in this case I am not sure who was more interested the guests or the bear. The first evening in the lodge we do a black bear tour so you get to know your guide, the operation of the boat and work up an appetite for diner. See tomorrow’s post.



Grizzly Bear Posing

Grizzly Bear beach

This photo presents what seems to be a common pose for grizzly bears on a wildlife tour from our lodge. Fortunately the pose only lasts while the bear is turning over rocks and they do move from rock to rock and the trip allows hours of observing bears so there is ample time for good photos. The reason for this pose is the beaches slope to the water and it is easier to roll rocks downhill than uphill.



Bald Eagle Watching Us

Bald eagle

One of the hardest parts of a good photo of a bald eagle is not finding the eagle but getting a clear photo. Although this photo is interesting it would be better without the branch in the way. This required that I back the boat away from the eagle in hopes that it would not move than travel along the shore and drift back so the branch is behind the eagle. There are enough eagles in the area that if guests want a good picture they will get one.



Perspective on Whale Watching

orca  with guests

When I am in the boat with guest I try to get photos that show that there are opportunities for good pictures. Although the Whale Watching Guideline specify that boats stay 100 meters (yards) from the orca / killer whales at sometime during your trip that may not be true. In the area we do our marine wildlife viewing there is less than eight boats whale watching and over the period of the day every one has an opportunity for photos. Once taken we move off to view the humpback whales, stellar sea lions, harbour seal, dolphins, porpoise, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds.  Must not leave out the black bears we often see as we travel between the viewing area and the Lodge.



Healthy Grizzly Bear Population

Grizzly Family

The grizzly bear population in the Knight Inlet area is healthy and growing. Grizzlies are frequently having triplets and this year there was a mother with four cubs. It is not unusually for one of the three cubs not to survive into its second year but for the past several years that has not been the norm. The number of grizzly bears in the area has increased so that the juvenile bears are moving down Knight Inlet and are becoming more common close to the Lodge. In the spring mothers with cubs are starting to appear in areas adjacent (ten minute boat ride) to Minstrel Island the location of the Grizzly Bear Lodge. This summer (2014) we had a large sub-adult grizzly on the island that took a week to scare off the island. Grizzlies are nice to visit on a tour but when the bear is in the front or back yard and guests are watching bears from the lodge deck that is taking grizzly watching to a new level. This mother and triplets are in the best location and are being viewed from the platform on the Glendale River, which flows into Knight Inlet.



Humpback Whale Lobtailing

lobtailing humpback

Lobtailing is when a whale lifts its fluke (tail fin) out of the water and brings it down forcefully to slap the surface of the water with a big splash and loud report. Humpback whales will frequently lobtail repeatedly for several minutes at a time. They can lobtail both dorsally and ventrally (right side up as this photo shows or upside down), sometimes stopping just long enough to take a breath before rolling over to continue on the other side. As more and more whales are spending their summers in our viewing area, often as many as twelve to sixteen different whales a trip, the lobtailing is becoming more common. This tends to support the belief that lobtailing is most likely a form of non-verbal communication, like breaching or pectoral fin slapping, and can be used to call attention to an individual, to impress a potential mate or intimidate a foe.



Grizzly Bears Doing?

Grizzly Bears in river estuary

The “Doing?” is because we do not know what they were doing. It was mid-September when most of the bears are up the river after the salmon and we had already been up to the viewing stands saw some bears. We had come back to the dock to have lunch and had time so we took the skiff up the Glendale River.  As the tide rose we came across Bella, her two cubs and the four-year-old siblings that are frequently in the area. They were in shallow water and as the tide came in they just stayed there and eventually swam to the far shore. No idea why and we had never seen this behaviour in the past.