You can find different species of bears across Canada, from the forests of Quebec and New Brunswick in the east to southern Manitoba and Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. But British Columbia in the far west is by far the best place to see them. Note that guided bear-watching trips are the best way to make sure that you have a safe and informative experience observing these mighty mammals in their natural habitats. Here are some of the best locations to go bear watching in Canada.
Great Bear Rainforest
There are an estimated 15,000 grizzlies in the province of British Columbia, and many of them can be spotted during a visit to the Great Bear Rainforest. You can plan a day trip or guided tour, or you can stay at a bear lodge located deep within the woods. This option allows you to head out every day to catch sight of grizzly, black, or even mysterious Kermode (Spirit) bears up-close in their natural environment.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
Bear watching in the diverse landscapes of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast can range from horseback excursions to searching for white Kermode (Spirit) bears in misty fjords via coastal boat-based tours. Giant grizzlies can be glimpsed fishing for salmon in rivers near Bella Coola or Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. You can also head into the Cariboo or Chilcotin mountains to look for grizzlies and even explore their dens.
Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park, Cariboo J, BC, Canada, +1 250 982 2701
Northern British Columbia
Northern BC is characterized by some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes in the province. Grizzly, black, and Spirit bears live and thrive in the rich old-growth forests, misty fjords, and rocky coastlines. You might even spot a bear from the highway, though it’s best to access many of the remote areas in Northern BC via a guided bear-watching trip. Also visit Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, which is the first place in Canada created specifically to protect these giant bears.
The extensive mountain ranges and valleys in the Kootenay Rockies are home to black and grizzly bears. If you take a drive through the backroads, you could catch sight of bears grazing through roadside foliage. You can also partake in a bear-watching tour at Grizzly Bear Ranch or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort near Golden, BC. You can also check in with local Visitor Centres for more information about guided bear-watching tours available through the area.
Black bears and grizzly bears reside in the Thompson Okanagan region. You can head to the wilderness of the Wells Gray Provincial Park and the North Thompson River in the Monashee Mountains; they are optimal spots to experience bear habitats. Depending on the time of year and your location, you could spot bears with cubs, bears fishing for salmon, or bears grazing through grasses and foliage.
Wells Gray Provincial Park, 416 Eden Rd, Clearwater, BC, Canada, +1 250 674 3334
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.