Grizzly Bears in Bella Coola, BC

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge – Bella Coola Grizzly Tours

Grizzly Bears in Bella Coola, BC

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As far as British Columbia grizzly bear watching tour experiences go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer place to observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat than Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. This luxury B.C. wilderness resort is located within the Great Bear Rainforest, perched along the Atnarko River, just north of Bella Coola. It is perfectly situated for bear watching during the late summer and early fall, when bears descend from the alpine to gorge on the spawning salmon before heading into winter hibernation.

Tweedsmuir Lodge

Affiliate Disclosure: This Bella Coola grizzly tours post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are entirely my own.

While both black and brown (grizzly) bears can be observed, guests on bear watching tours at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge are more likely to see grizzlies in the fall as black bears tend to make themselves a little scarce when grizzlies are around.

The Bella Coola Valley is also famous for having one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears in the world making this region one of the best places for bear watching holidays in Canada.

From the start of September to mid-October, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge offers all-inclusive 3-5 night Grizzly Bear Safari packages. These consist of optimal viewing opportunities through guided grizzly bear tours into the Great Bear Rainforest, access to a private bear viewing platform and boat drifts down the Atnarko River.

British Columbia Bear Watching
The Bear Watching Platform
Grizzly Bear Tours B.C.
River Drift on the Atnarko River.

Please use the following menu to find what you need quickly or start with this 2 minute video of our bear watching BC adventure.



Guests at Tweedsmuir Lodge stay in rustic luxury in the timber-framed chalets dotted around the property (great for distancing and privacy). Each chalet is outfitted with modern amenities including air conditioning, a gas fireplace, satellite wireless internet, an iPod docking station, and a spa-worthy shower (with cozy bathrobes and slippers).

As stays at this luxury lodge are “per person”, our teens actually had their own half duplex cabin adjoining ours (The Pika Duplex). Families staying together in the same cabin receive a small discount on child package rates.

Bear Watching Holiday in Canada


Guests dine in the main lodge, enjoying an à la carte menu for breakfast and lunch and a set dinner menu. A kids’ menu is available as well as options for those with dietary restrictions. A lovely picnic lunch is provided when guests are on full day excursions. (Note: Alcohol is excluded from all-inclusive packages.)

Wilderness Lodge B.C.


Once you arrive at the Tweedsmuir Park luxury wilderness lodge, the team doesn’t waste any time in getting you out bear watching. We were out on a river drift on our first afternoon. As we had booked right at the beginning of the season, the bears were a little scarce, but we did manage to catch a mom and 3 cubs right at the end of our drift.

On our second day, we did a guided hike into old growth forests, had a picnic lunch along the river, and made some special stops at popular bear viewing areas. Once again, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the mama grizzly and her cubs.

Best Bear Watching British Columbia
Wilderness Resort British Columbia

Our third day involved a morning river drift and an afternoon hike to a different area of the valley. While we didn’t see any bears, we still really enjoyed everything we learned from our knowledgable guides and had some other nice wildlife sightings (eagles, a cute little pika).

Outside of our guided tours, we enjoyed taking in the view from our deck, visiting the wildlife viewing platform by the river, playing various games in the lounge (pool, darts, backgammon), soaking in the hot tub and cozying up around the fire pit after dinner.

Luxury Wilderness Resorts B.C.


  • Take time to read the proposed Bear Safari itinerary carefully. You can make changes to the schedule such as going biking instead of hiking or booking a very special alpine heli-hike (extra cost), but it’s best to organize these activities in advance to give the lodge time to make the arrangements.

  • Leave the fancy clothes at home (unless you simply love to dress up for dinner). Follow the lodge packing list and you will be fine.

  • The Bear Safari is a full program of bear watching activities making it perfect for people who enjoy hiking, the great outdoors and nature in general. This itinerary would be less ideal for people who prefer a self-directed vacation or a spa retreat (although the chalets are lovely).

  • The Bear Safari itinerary has a minimum age of 12 years (our kids were 13 and 16 for our visit). The programming simply wouldn’t be very appropriate for younger kids as the excursions can be long and in bear country, safety (and the ability to follow instructions precisely) is paramount.

  • You will not see hundreds of bears (one guide joked that sometimes the international guests have this expectation). Nature can be elusive. We saw a family of 4 bears on 2 occasions over 3 days. Other guests visiting the lodge at the same time as us saw many more. I felt a little jealous to be honest…but life is timing.


If you have grown up in British Columbia, some of what you will experience at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge will already be familiar to you. Because of that, you may put a different value on it. This is not meant to take away from the amazing experience that they offer to guests. I can’t think of a nicer way to go bear watching in B.C. (with such a high probability of actually seeing them).

For international travelers looking for unique British Columbia bear watching holidays or luxury Bella Coola grizzly tours, I think Tweedsmuir Park Lodge would be perfect. This unique property specializes in more than just bear watching too! It is one of the top luxury lodges in B.C. for heli-skiing, hiking, birding and fishing adventures (with packages offered year-round).

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge doesn’t offer many specials, but I did notice that there are sometimes discounts of up to 20% for the last two weeks of Bella Coola bear watching season (beginning to mid-October.

For more information, please see the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge website or read recent reviews on Tripadvisor.

Should you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to me via direct message on Instagram, by email, or by leaving a comment below. I love hearing from readers.Alternatively, feel free to reach out to me at


Grizzly Bear in River at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, BC

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