About the Great Bears of Bute Grizzly Bear Tour

χawgəs, the Grizzly Bear, knows that around mid-August the annual salmon run begins in Orford Bay on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest. Bears journey long distances to Algard Creek and the Orford River to feast on the spawning salmon and their eggs. It’s part of a quest to fatten up before their long winter hibernation. In doing so, they continue a cycle that has taken place for millennia on the traditional territory of the Homalco First Nation people. Be our guests as we enter their world. 

Your full-day grizzly bear tour begins in Campbell River journeys up through the Salish Sea. Your guide will teach you about the lands of the First Peoples as you enter one of British Columbia’s greatest Fjords; Bute Inlet. As an abundantly rich area for wildlife, there are many opportunities to view marine animals while discovering the breathtaking scenery of Homalco territory.  

Your arrival in Orford Bay begins a 3-hour stunning land-based grizzly bear experience. Guides will transport you by bus to a variety of raised grizzly bear viewing platforms and prime ground-viewing locations to look for the magnificent χawgəs (grizzly bear). Along the way, guides will share knowledge about the bears, salmon, Homalco people and their ties to the land.

Lunch will be served on picnic tables on the dock in Orford Bay with an unobstructed view of the estuary and its spectacular mountain surroundings. Perhaps χawgəs will make one last appearance before your return journey back to Campbell River. 

WHY CHOOSE US? 

Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours is 100% owned by the Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) First Nation and the land you will visit is the traditional territory of Xwémalhkwu First Peoples. We have been providing visitors with world-class grizzly bear viewing experiences for over 20 years. The Great Bears of Bute experience includes both a skipper and an Indigenous guide to provide a full First Nation experience right from Campbell River. 

PLUS, our new custom tour boats are unique on the coast, built for comfort and safety, and allow us to access shore locations (specific tours only) without a dock.

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Book an Indigenous
Eco-Adventure

Tour Details

  • All participants must be physically capable to walk off vessels onto land, and up/down stairs. Please contact us if you have any mobility concerns
  • 8 hour tour
  • Lunch, snacks, and beverages are included
  • Heated and covered boat with onboard toilet
  • Minimum age is 10 years old (all passengers aged 10 to 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult 19+)
  • Check in: Early departures are from 7:00am to 8:00am depending on seasonal time change. Later departures (limited dates) are at 10:30am.
  • Disclaimer: Time and tour components subject to change based on safety considerations
  • We require all guests and staff to wear face masks while inside closed spaces (boat cabin and tour bus) and in viewing towers. This is for guest, staff and Homalco community safety

What to Bring

  • Durable shoes
  • Warm layered clothing and rain gear
  • Hat (toque, beanie, sunhat)
  • Water bottle to help us in our efforts to reduce single use plastics
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera - tripods restricted. Monopods considered
  • Binoculars
  • Curiosity and a smile :-)

One of the best days of my life!

This experience made my dreams of 20 something years come true. Our hearts are full. We won’t ever forget watching those big beautiful animals catch and eat salmon, and learning about the Homalco territory. A sensory overload which brought me to tears.

Scuba Sharks TripAdvisor.com

What People Are Saying On TripAdvisor

One of the best days of my life!

This experience made my dreams of 20 something years come true. Our hearts are full. We won’t ever forget watching those big beautiful animals catch and eat salmon, and learning about the Homalco territory. A sensory overload which brought me to tears.

Scuba Sharks TripAdvisor.com

Unique way to see big beautiful bears.

It was a great experience seeing such beautiful ocean, rainforest, and of course Grizzly Bears. The tour guides were great and proudly share their heritage with guests. You can also see how proud the younger staff are to learn more about their own culture through the job and knowledge keepers in the Homalco Band. Great experience all around!

Brad M TripAdvisor.com

Amazing bear viewing experience

Had an amazing experience on this tour. All our guides were polite, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Bear viewing was spectacular and felt respectable. Guides were very professional about safety and being respectful of the animals' space and comfort. The bears of Bute Inlet are well worth visiting.

Alex C TripAdvisor.com

Deposits & Conservation Fee

STRESS-FREE RESERVATIONS!

  • 2022 tours – Full amount is due upon booking; cancel with full refund up to 48 hours before tour start
  • 2023 tours – A small $50/person deposit is taken with full payment due in 2023; cancel with full refund up to 48 hours prior to tour start

Be sure to check your junk folder for tour confirmation just in case! 

CANCELLATION POLICY:
You can cancel at any time up to 48 hours before your scheduled tour for a FULL refund. Less than 48 hours’ notice is non-refundable. Please see our Covid-19 Updates for questions about Covid-19.

SALMON RESTORATION & BEAR CONSERVATION:
Contributions will be applied for each guest during the booking process. Salmon conservation supports the Homalco Salmon Hatchery in Orford Bay in rebuilding native wild salmon populations to enhance healthy grizzly bear habitat, while also protecting the Indigenous roots, culture and food source of the Homalco First Nation. Bear conservation supports the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC (CBVA), developed to promote sustainable bear viewing in British Columbia and aid in the protection of wild bears and their ecosystems.