VANCOUVER ISLAND, British Columbia -- One might not want to
encounter a grizzly bear face to face, but in a remote area of the
Pacific Northwest here known as Knight Inlet, visitors can view
them from a safe distance on a Knight Inlet Grizzly Bear Adventure
tour at Knight Inlet Lodge.
Knight Inlet, located northwest of Vancouver, is one of the top
grizzly bear viewing spots in the world, according to Dean Wyatt,
owner and operator of the Knight Inlet Lodge. It is not uncommon
for up to 40 bears to be within a few miles of the lodge during the
peak fall season.
The lodge, situated 37 miles from the mouth of the inlet at
Glendale Cove, reflects an assortment of construction styles; its
guest accommodations are described as rustic with modern
According to Wyatt, all of the rooms are cedar paneled and have
private bathrooms, and the guest building features lounges with
The lodge can accommodate 30 guests in twelve rooms, but 20 to
24 persons is the average occupancy, he said.
Wyatt owns and operates the lodge with his wife. They have owned
the lodge since 1996, and the lodge has been in existence since
1979, he said.
According to Wyatt, "All of our bear-viewing tours are led by
experienced professional guides who are knowledgeable about bear
biology and behavior."
To limit the impact on the bears, the tours accommodate only 24
guests at a time and restrict bear viewing at the channels to 10
people per trip (three trips per day).
There are five different viewing platforms, in three different
areas to provide a safe and comfortable viewing base, he said.
He added, "All of our guests must go through a 45-minute
orientation regarding our bear- and wildlife-viewing practices and
The Knight Inlet Lodge offers a variety of packages and
activities for guests.
"Our feature product is the grizzly bears, but our claim to fame is
the variety of wildlife that we can offer people," said Wyatt.
According to Wyatt, "Our target market is anyone interested in
wildlife. Seventeen percent of our guests are from the U.S.
"The U.S. market is very important to us. It has the largest
ecotourism market in the world, and this is the fastest-growing
segment of the tourism market today," he added.
In addition, Wyatt said, "we are a great family destination, and
we anticipate that this year we will have more than 100 children at
Tours at the Knight Inlet Lodge are offered through Oct. 21. The
packages range from two to eight nights.
All of the tour programs begin with a night at a participating
hotel in the town of Campbell River, followed by a short flight to
Stays include deluxe room accommodations, all meals and snacks
at the lodge, all transportation and boats to the bear viewing
Guests staying two or more nights will be offered a choice of
extra tours including bird- viewing excursions.
Guests also can choose from daily grizzly bear-viewing tours,
whale-watching tours, marine wildlife excursions, scenic inlet
cruises, rain forest hiking trips and salmon fishing.
Additional activities offered are hiking tours, tracking tours,
kayaking itineraries and a jet-boat tour to the head of Knight
Prices start at around $500 per person, quad through Aug. 20.
Rates are slightly higher during high season, which runs from Aug.
21 to Oct. 21. Single, double and triple occupancy rates are
The lodge offers agents a 10% commission. "I used to be a travel
agent in another life, and I know how important agents can be to
our success. Worldwide we do 65% of our business with travel
agents," said Wyatt.
For more information or reservations, call (250) 337-1953,
e-mail [email protected] or visit the Web site at www.grizzlytours.com.