sea lions on coastal BC

A real west coast

Adventure

humpback whale up close

Intimate experiences with

SMALL GROUP SIZES

Humpback whale

See a huge diversity

OF WILDLIFE

Simply Unforgettable

EXPERIENCES

Beautiful sky over pacific northwest with orcas in the water

Wildlife moments

TO TREASURE

Thank you for your interest in Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge.

Thank you for your interest in Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge.

Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Lodge is a long standing wildlife viewing lodge located in the lower reaches of Knight Inlet.  A family business, originally founded in the 1970's as a fishing lodge, we have been offering  bear and whale watching adventures since the early 2000's.  We are a small, boutique style lodge catering to a maximum of 8 clients. We take pride in offering personal experiences with our small group sizes and 'home style' lodging and dining.  Our packages are multi-day,  all-inclusive with access to the lodge via float plane from Campbell River.

We welcome new relationships with members of the tourism industry and look forward to working with new partners.  We are able to offer some flexibility to make our packages part of a memorable travel experience.  We are also willing to assist with logistics and travel information whenever possible.

We are able to offer same day responses during the week and also monitor email during the weekend and after hours.  My personal cell is offered in case of any last minute issues or travel delays that need to be dealt with.

As a long standing business we have access to both marine and land based viewing locations through Tenures and agreements with local First Nations.  We also carry all necessary  insurance and licensing and have a stellar safety record.  Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Lodge is a proud member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association.

Please feel free to browse our packages and information.  We also have a collection of high quality images available for marketing purposes and are able to create more usable content by request.

Please email us if you would like more information or are interested in working with us.

Thank You
Angus Reid (owner)

Our Seasons

Low Season - July 1 – July 31

Grizzly Bear viewing is done primarily by boat in the estuary and lower river. We enjoy a high success rate finding Grizzly Bears although number of bears tends to be a bit lower as the berries are ripening in the forest and the salmon have not yet arrived. On a 4 night trip we explore another river area by truck and on foot. By the last week of July there are usually salmon arriving in this river and we are sometimes lucky to watch the bears attempting to catch the early salmon. Humpbacks are plentiful and the resident Orca usually show up in early July. Weather is usually good with cloudy mornings and breezy sunny afternoons.

Shoulder Season – June 1 - June 30 / Aug 1 – Aug 24

Grizzly Bear viewing is done by boat in the estuary and lower river. We view the bears feeding on shellfish and sedge grass. In August salmon are usually starting to arrive and we are often lucky to view the bears chasing fish in the lower river, although the timing varies year to year. On a 4 night trip we explore another river by truck and on foot. There are usually lots of salmon in this area at this time and we often are able to view bears feeding on them. Humpback and Orca viewing is usually excellent. Weather is good with foggy mornings and sunny afternoons being the norm.

In June we also view the bears by boat in the estuary and along the coastline. This is an excellent time for bear viewing as the bears are emerging from hibernation and spend a lot of time feeding on grass in the river estuaries. It is also mating season which draws more males down to the estuary as well as the subadults, females and mother's with cubs. Due to the fact that there are very few other food options at this time of year we have high success rates for both Grizzly and Black Bears. It also tends to be a quieter time of year with less tourists. In the strait we routinely view Humpbacks and dolphins. Eagles are also plentiful and Orca sightings are possible, but less likely then later in the season. June days are long with a mix of sun and overcast days.

High Season – Aug 25 – Oct 15

Grizzly viewing is primarily done from viewing platforms. This is the time of year to view the grizzlies feeding heavily on the salmon. Our upriver platforms are located in prime pink salmon spawning areas and bear numbers are usually excellent. On the 4 night trip we explore another river area by truck and foot. Bears are usually spread out, busy feeding on the plentiful salmon. Humpback and Orca viewing is excellent, although the resident Orca generally leave the area by the end of September. Weather in September is great. By October things cool off and the weather becomes less reliable although this varies year to year.

These seasons are meant as a general guide to what you can expect during our different seasons. Of course these are wild animals and conditions (weather, salmon numbers, berries, salmon timing, tides etc.) vary each year. Regardless of the season and conditions at Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge we will strive to find the best viewing possible and leave a lasting positive impression of this wonderfully diverse area.

Daily Schedule

Although we do often change our schedules slightly depending on sightings and weather we tend to follow a schedule that allows for ample viewing time and some relaxing evenings. Our trips start with a light breakfast from 630 – 730. It consists of homemade baked goods, cereals, yoghurts, light eggs, etc, along with lots of tea and coffee. It is an early start, but that often results in the best sightings.

We depart the lodge at 730 and head off on our tours. We take refreshments and a hearty packed lunch. Depending on the tour lunch is usually served in a beautiful location after our morning viewing. On the bear watching trips this is often at the dock in Glendale cove or at the old cabin sight overlooking the river (we do not take food to the viewing platforms or in the small viewing boats). On the whale trip we often have lunch in the boat, drifting with whales in the background. After lunch there is time for more viewing before returning to the lodge. If you are flying out that day we return at 300 in order to catch the 330 plane. On non-plane days we may stay out a bit later.

After arriving back at the lodge there is time to relax before our 630 dinner. There are paddle boards available, ample yard space for a game of 'bocce ball” or plenty of chairs to relax on the deck or in the front yard. Fishing rods are available to fish of the dock and we are working on a few short walking trails. Guides are around to help with photos and to answer any questions.

Dinner is normally served at 630. It is hearty, home-style cooking with fresh soups or salads, meat and vegetable dishes and dessert. Our chef utilizes local ingredients and seafood whenever possible. Our meals often extend well into the evening as all of our guests will take dinner at a large table along with staff members, allowing for some great reflections and conversations. With advanced notice we can take care of any dietary needs.

On your arrival day you are greeted with some fresh snacks, including local seafood and various cheeses and snacks. After a bite to eat and a cup of coffee or tea, we go over the program and take the arriving guests out for a local boat cruise. We are looking for bears at low tide, eagles, seals and any other wildlife we may come across. It is a great chance to get out in the boat and take in the local scenery.

What’s Included

  • Float Plane Transportation to/from Campbell River to Our Lodge
  • Accommodation, including the last night at one of our included hotels in Campbell River, on
    Vancouver Island.
  • Cruiser Suits – to keep you warm and dry.
  • Safari boats with guide, 2 to 5 guests per boat.
  • Delicious gourmet dinners and large picnic lunches
  • Any first nation, government or land access fees

Not Included

  • Taxes
  • Fishing License, if required.
  • Last Day Dinner in Campbell River.
  • Cab fare from sea plane office to hotel, if required.

Hotel in Campbell River

Your hotel will be the Anchor Inn, located by the ocean in South Campbell River.  Alternatively you may source your own lodging on the final night and we can provide a discount.

Grizzly Bear Tours and Lodge Packages

Our 3 Night Trip

  • An evening boat cruise for black bears on the afternoon of your arrival
  • A day viewing grizzly bears in Knight Inlet (Estuary viewing May 24-Aug 24), (River viewing
    stands Aug 25-Oct 15)
  • A day viewing sea mammals (Orca, Humpback Whale, Sea Lions, Dolphins etc)

Our 4 Night Trip

Includes an extra day spent exploring our wild river. Spawning salmon (Aug-Oct), walks through the rainforest and potential sightings of Grizzly and Black Bears. If river conditions are poor due to weather we will spend the day viewing grizzly bears in Knight Inlet instead.

If you’d like to add an optional day or two it often enhances the quality of your viewing and gives you time for a side trip or two. Serious photographers should plan at least one extra day.

  • Add 1 Night: 4 Night Trip includes Wildlife Wild River.
  • Add 2 Nights: 5 Night Trip includes 2 days at our Grizzly Bear river.

Suggested Packing

We understand that given our fly-in only location luggage space is somewhat limited. For that reason we supply all of our guests with warm floatation jackets or full suits. These are insulated and keep the elements out. They also serve as a floatation device. They are particularly valuable on the boats when it is cool in the mornings. We also have waterproof rubber boots. We seldom need these, but they are available if we have wet weather or muddy conditions. For your personal clothing we recommend layers. Long shirts, fleece and light jackets are great. We also recommend sturdy shoes (light hikers or trainers are fine) and at least one pair of long pants (lightweight waterproof or travel pants are great). The sun is deceiving on the water, so a hat or some kind of covering is also wise.

We strongly discourage using single use plastic. For that reason guests are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle with them. Alternatively we have stainless steel bottles that can be borrowed free of charge.

For the photographers wishing to get some great photos a lens in the range of 200-400 will definitely do the job. A wider lens can be great to capture the landscapes, but often less is more as we are often in the boat or on the move, so constantly changing lenses can lead to missed opportunities. Generally speaking a tripod is not necessary, although monopods can be useful at the viewing platforms. Definitely ensure you have extra batteries and/or chargers and lots of memory card space. Please inquire if you have any further questions regarding camera equipment.

Additional Information

At the lodge we are able to cater to various dietary needs. As we need to plan ahead and fly supplies in please mention this before your arrival and we will be happy make arrangements. We have wi-fi available at the lodge as well as limited cell service. The internet is provided by Starlink and tends to be reliable and reasonably fast. Please note that there can be occasional interruptions and service is not available during the overnight hours. We have radio and satellite communication at all times for safety and emergency services only. We have first-aid facilities at the lodge, but are in a remote location with no hospital or formal
health centres in the immediate area. Please let us know ahead of time of any health concerns or allergies. We are able to accommodate certain medical devices such as breathing machines with advanced notice. We carry emergency medical supplies such as epipens and first-aid kits, but please ensure you bring any medication with you.

Please note that although we strive to deliver spectacular wildlife viewing to all of our guests we follow all viewing guidelines and respecting the welfare of the wildlife comes first. If animals are showing signs of stress, we will distance ourselves. In order to ensure quality, low impact viewing we follow all whale watching and bear watching regulations and guidelines.

Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge respectfully operates on the territories of the Mamalilikulla, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis, Namgis, Da'naxda'xw Awaetlala, Tlowitsis and Ma’amtagila First Nations.” The area is rich in first nations culture and although we are not a first nation owned business we respect their territories and strive to educate our guests on some of the amazing cultures and traditions that exist.

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    Bald Eagles

    Bald Eagles are frequently sighted in our area. At times they can be seen in large numbers. This is usually where food supplies are high. For example this could be in areas with high concentrations of baitfish or along the rivers in the fall when the salmon are spawning. They are not migratory, but do move around with the food supply. As mentioned earlier when the salmon are spawning we often see many along the rivers, while there will be fewer along the coastline. With little need for camouflage their white head and tail feathers can be spotted easily. The female is slightly larger and her white head extends down a bit farther onto the body, but it is subtle. It takes these birds 4.5 – 5 years to acquire this unique plumage. As juveniles they are a brown colour. With exceptional eyesight and the ability to view 270 degrees they are understandably often seen in high perches and in trees near points and passageways.

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