There are few places in the world where so much magnificent wildlife, scenery and native culture can be experienced from one location. Knight Inlet is such a place; in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet Lodge offers guests spectacular scenery and wildlife amidst tree-lined shores and snow-capped mountains.
The floating lodge is tucked into Glendale Cove, home to one of the largest concentrations of Grizzly bears in British Columbia. There are often up to 50 bears within 10 kilometres of the lodge in the autumn, when the salmon are returning to the river. Although they are abundant in the fall, it is not the only season that grizzly bears can be found in Glendale Cove.
Located 80 kilometres by air north of Campbell River, British Columbia, is a wild and remote area of the Pacific Northwest known as Knight Inlet. As the longest fjord on the B.C. coast, Knight Inlet offers visitors spectacular scenery set against a backdrop of dramatic mountain peaks plunging into the Pacific Ocean. Situated 60 kilometres from the mouth of the inlet is Knight Inlet Lodge. The floating lodge, tucked into Glendale Cove, offers one of the few protected anchorages in the inlet, and it is here that you will begin each day’s adventure.
View the Bears Safely
How you view the bears differs from season to season. In the spring you set out in boats to get close (50 metres) to the shore to have a good view of the bears feeding, but remaining far enough away as to not disturb them. The early summer program continues on the water, but if the opportunity arises there may be a chance of using purpose-built tree stands. By mid-August viewing moves to platforms at the spawning channel, as well as continuing to use the tree and river stands. Guest safety is of utmost importance with all bear viewing programmes, as is protecting the bear’s natural environment to avoid any negative impact on them.
The newly refurbished lodge floats on the ocean, nestled in the only protected cove on the 100 mile long inlet. The only neighbours are the bears, mountain goats, otters, seals and eagles that all make the inlet their home. The lodge is a modern one storey facility consisting of 5 cement floats, like a floating village. The lodge is finished with western cedar board to give it a real west coast British Columbia look and feel. There are 2 outside deck areas, one complete with gas fireplace, for relaxing on those warm summer evenings.
More than just Bears
As well as bear viewing, there are a number of other tours available from the lodge. A marine wildlife tour is offered in all seasons but it changes greatly as the seasons change. In the spring, travel throughout the inlet viewing the seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and the occasional Minke whale that may travel though these waters. From July onwards, tours have the added attraction of the orca (killer) whale and you may journey to the world famous Johnstone Strait, you are almost assured of spending some great viewing time with these magnificent marine mammals. Not only do you view the whales, but also the tour includes all of the spring marine viewing as well, so the program lasts for up to 10 hours. In September, add the humpback whale to the list of marine mammals as they start to arrive from Alaska on their way to Hawaii. The viewing of these gentle giants is infrequent, but when it does happen, it is spectacular.
Knight Inlet & Bear Conservation
Knight Inlet Lodge is a founding member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia, an organisation that is committed to ensuring a sustainable grizzly bear viewing industry that respects the bears and their ecosystems. In 2005, Knight Inlet Lodge, in partnership with Dr. Owen Nevin and the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, began a long term population study of the grizzly bears of Knight Inlet. They successfully satellite collared a number of bears, giving them the ability to track denning and range characteristics on the local bear population.
The conservation of the bear population and their natural habitat is key to everything that the Knight Inlet team does; after all, without the bears and other wildlife, there would be no Knight Inlet Lodge. That’s why they are working unequivocally to ban the currently legal trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. In the meantime, they have adopted innovative strategies of working with the hunting community to restrict trophy hunting in critical grizzly bear viewing habitat in coastal BC and financially support key conservation groups both in the United States and Canada that work on behalf of the bears and their environment. If you’d like to learn more about how you can personally help in our campaign to stop the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in BC visit the Knight Inlet website.
Interested to stay at Knight Inlet Lodge? Join Monty Halls on his incredible adventure!