Greetings from Knight Inlet BC Whale and Grizzly Bear Watching country!
Well, the lodge is all put away for the winter and the wet weather has arrived. We would like to thank all of our wonderful guests and staff that visited us in 2023. Its been so nice to get back to some sort of normal after covid.
We had an awesome season with some great sightings. The weather was overall quite good. We had a very dry start, but were lucky to get some rain in August and more near the end of our season, which is what the spawning salmon need.
Our early season Grizzly Bear viewing was amazing with great sightings in the estuaries and beaches. Last year we had a strong run of salmon and it showed this spring with many new cubs out. The viewing stayed strong throughout the summer and we were happy to see good numbers of pink and coho salmon on the river trip. This made for some amazing viewing. The salmon run in Glendale Cove was slower then we had hoped, but still managed some sightings on the river and lots of good viewing in the estuary. We are hopeful for the fish next year, as the fry (young salmon) counts this spring were spectacular. The pink salmon are on a two year cycle so we are excited to see what next fall brings.
Whale watching was excellent with some of the best Humpback viewing I have ever seen this fall. The whales were around in good numbers and we witnessed some amazing behaviour. The Northern Resident Orca were late arriving, but we were fortunate to have many Biggs (mammal feeding Orca) sightings throughout the season.
The caretaker is back at the lodge and everything is just about put away. Likely be another couple trips back for me before everything is in its place. I look forward to getting up a few times over the winter and then Ill be back up full time in the Spring. We still have some great dates available for next year so please don’t delay. Looking forward to seeing some of you in 2024
Please click the markers on the map to learn more about each destination on our wildlife adventure tours.
To view the location of the Fall “Viewing Platforms”:
To the left of the title “World of Grizzly Bear Lodge and Safari” click on the little “arrow” and then scroll down to the bottom and to the left of “Made with Google My Maps” click on the “Green Box”. This changes the map to the Google Earth / satellite View. Place your cursor over the “Blue Teardrop” to the right, the one near “Glendale Cove”. Zoom in using your cursor or the “+” and keep the right end of “Tom Brown Lake” in the center of the page. Focus on the zig-zag man made spawning channel. As you get closer you will see a small weir / dam which regulates the salmon into the spawning channel. The stretch of water below the dam is the holding pool for the salmon. The roof of each viewing platforms is visible. One is near the weir and one at the other end of the holding pool.
Leave Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, late afternoon in your float plane. Enjoy the view of the Coast Mountains, channels and fjords as they pass below. Land at Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge on Minstrel Island, the center of the Knight Inlet wilderness area. Get settled in, relax, tide permitting – set out on a short local trip to view Black Bear feeding on the beach.
Return to the lodge and enjoy a delicious dinner and learn some background on the wildlife of the area. Off to bed.
Rise early. Coffee and breakfast and into your boat. You are off to Johnstone Strait, the summering grounds of the Orca [Killer Whale]. Cruise the area observing pods of these magnificent mammals. In our area we are lucky to have both the transient (mammal feeding) and resident (fish eating) Orca. Humpback whales are abundant and with a little luck they have been known to put on some spectacular shows for our lucky guests. Besides the whales the strait is alive with Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, White Sided Dolphins, Dalls Porpoise and an abundance of bird life including countless bald eagles. On the trip to and from the whale watching area Black Bears can often bee seen feeding on the beach. Our whale watching trips take place on inside waters, away from the open ocean swells. In the summer it is often flat calm for much of the day. After a beach lunch or boat picnic there is more exploring and wildlife viewing and then back to the lodge for a hearty dinner.
Rise early. After coffee and breakfast you are off to your boat with your guide. Travel the shores of Knight Inlet, a spectacular scenic fjord, to Glendale Cove where you ride our Grizzly Bus [Aug 25-Oct15] up to the salmon spawning channel. Here you can photo huge Grizzly Bears as they feed on these fish using dives, scoops and plunges to trap their prey. Observe two hours from our viewing stand and then back to the boat for lunch and more Grizzly Bear viewing at the Glendale River estuary. Trips before August 25 view the grizzly bears interacting and feeding in the estuary and on the beaches near the river. We view the bears from a flat bottom viewing boat which allows us to enter the shallow waters of the estuary and lower river. (Day 3 Itinerary continued below).
Cruise Knight Inlet home to Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge to meet your late afternoon plane back to Campbell River where you will stay at your pre-chosen hotel.
Sometimes we change the order of the viewing days to accommodate better Grizzly Bear or Whale viewing. Finally, weather can effect the quality of viewing.
Dear Angus and Team,
Thank you for your hospitality. It has been a great stay with great food, wonderful nature and spectacular animals and sceneries. We will recommend your lodge to everyone we meet and will try to come back.
Kim & Kirsten, Connie & Thyge
This trip has been totally AWESOME and it should be on everyone’s bucket list. Great group and simply fantastic hosts. Plus food was sublime!
Jane & Linda
Two of the best days Steve and I have had. Great food, great place, great staff. Thanks to all!
Jen & Steve
Thank you so much for the great trip. We loved the Lodge, the people and the bears and whales. It was a wonderful experience.
Nancy & Dennis
My third visit and the best yet. Fantastic bear close-ups and the humpbacks feeding on the herring balls was a first for me.- nowhere else to compete with the time here.
Harold & Jessica
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.