Our Location

Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge is on Minstrel Island, on the edge of Knight Inlet.

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Not only does it have a colourful history but it is located perfectly for wildlife viewing – in the middle between the Grizzly river, our wild river and Johnstone Straits where the whales reside. Our lodge is accessible only by float plane or boat. We fly all of our guests in from Campbell River by float plane. It is a short (half hour) flight with some great views along the way.

Explore the Beauty and Nature – Campbell River

Campbell River is situated on Vancouver Island and accessible via car [ferry involved] or air [Pacific Coastal Air or Central Mountain Air]. It is from here that you fly to our lodge.  For guests driving to Campbell River approximate drive times are as follows.

Victoria – Campbell River 3 hrs.
Nanaimo (ferry from Vancouver) – Campbell River 1 hrs.
Port Hardy – Campbell River hrs. 2 hrs. 55 min.

On the last day of your wildlife adventure flights from the lodge arrive in Campbell River at approximately 4:30 PM.  We provide hotel accommodation in Campbell River that night at either the Anchor Inn or Painters Lodge ($40 surcharge per person for Painters Lodge).  For guests travelling to Campbell River the following links may be of help.

Minstrel Island, where our lodge is located, is a small island on the edge of Knight Inlet. Not only does it have a colourful history but it is located perfectly for wildlife viewing – in the middle between the Grizzly river, our wild river and Johnstone Strait where the whales reside.  Our guests access the lodge via float plane from Campbell River.  It is a scenic half hour flight from Campbell River to our lodge on Minstrel Island.  Flights leave from Coril Air in Campbell River (also (see our Arrivals page.).

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Our River, The Kakweikan

Guests who select a 4 Day or more, their trip will have one day exploring this magnificent river. In the later summer and autumn it pairs with spawning salmon which attract the eagles, black and grizzly bears.

A Typical River Day…

Beginning your day with breakfast and coffee at the lodge. You then head on a forty five minute scenic boat ride to the river, keeping your eyes open for black bear and dolphins on the way. Upon arriving at the river we scan the estuary area for any sign of grizzly bear then load into Trapper Rick’s truck. Using old logging roads we access various areas of the river looking for grizzly and black bear and if so inclined some fishing. Picnic lunch is packed for us and we often eat at Rick’s small cabin overlooking the river and the falls. After lunch some more exploring or fishing then back to the lodge for a hearty dinner. River trips involve some light walking over wilderness terrain.

Below is a Google Map of our itinerary and location:

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Herring Balls and Humpback Whales 1 of 2

Herring Ball

On your whale watching day most of the time is spent is the waters off the east shore of Vancouver Island.  This water is rich in wildlife and it is not uncommon to see seagulls congregating in one area, in fact, that is a good thing.  Whether you are sports fishing or looking for humpback whales you want to see flocks of gulls to have a “good” day. The herring in the waters along the shores of Vancouver Island are at the bottom of the food chain (just above plankton and krill).  You know you position in the food chain when your main defense is getting in a tight ball and revolving from inside to outside so you can breath. The many ducks and diving birds in the area force the herring into balls, which try to escape by moving up to the surface. This attracts gulls and attracts whale watchers.

 

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