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Canada bear viewing holiday in the Cariboo Mountains – Number 4

Posted in: Canada, Posted in: Bear Safari Canada


Canada bear viewing holiday in the Cariboo Mountains – Our number 4 choice for a grizzly bear safari in Canada

A Spring Grizzly Bear viewing holiday is nothing short of wondrous and amazing with new life springing forth and fresh crisp air in the mountains.  In early spring, the bears emerge from their dens hungry and in search of food for themselves and their young offspring.  We find the grizzlies on the mountain slides, in the mountain valleys where it greens up first and on the estuaries of the rivers. The early spring grasses and sedges sprouting in the lowlands and along the river banks and lakeshores draws the bears to the lower elevations where feed is plentiful after the long winter hibernation period.  Watch the entertaining antics of the grizzly cubs with their mothers and the courtship of the mating pairs.   Access is by 4x4, multi-passenger ATV, hiking and jetboat on rivers. 

In July and August as the summer temperatures climb the grizzly bears move to higher elevations into the boreal forest and the high alpine basins and valleys in the Cariboo Mountains.  Bear Viewing, at this time involves amazing hiking through mountain meadows, boreal forest and into the alpine forest. Some bears stay on the rivers as they await the early summer Chinook salmon run.  We explore the river ecosystems by jetboat as we watch the bears, moose, deer, beaver, and other wildlife and birds and perhaps a wolf, or otter.  In the later summer the bears frequent the mountain berry patches where we often share in their feast of blueberries, mountain huckleberries, raspberries, and saskatoons.  Most of these areas we can access and be in the alpine and be walking the peaks in under an hour.  These areas offer excellent viewing and photographic opportunities as you walk along the high alpine peaks and ridges and view the mountain valleys below.  Besides the iconic Grizzly Bears guests may also see moose, mountain caribou, black bear, mountain goats, wolves, mule deer, wolverine, lynx and a variety of mountain song birds, smaller animals and alpine plants and flowers.  We are in interior temperate rainforest with unique ecosystems and ancient forests with huge trees over a thousand years old.  The diversity of the landscape and the wildlife it is home to makes for an unforgettable Canada wildlife holiday

Autumn grizzly bear viewing on the wilderness salmon spawning rivers.  It just doesn’t get any better.  Towards the end of August, the sockeye salmon begin to arrive in the Cariboo Mountains watershed.  They travel up the rivers and tributaries to the spawning redds of their birth, where they lay their eggs to ensure future generations as they complete their cycle of life.  These fish have travelled thousands of miles, often from the Gulf of Alaska all the way down the coast of British Columbia and enter the Fraser River, their highway to the interior spawning rivers, then up the Quesnel River and into the rivers of their birth in the Quesnel Lake watershed.  This is a mighty feat of nature and is an amazing and wondrous sight to behold.  The arrival of the salmon in the rivers quickly draws the grizzlies to the rivers for their fall feast at nature’s buffet in preparation for their winter hibernation and you can observe grizzly bears fishing for salmon.  The Quesnel Lake watershed hosts the one of largest sockeye salmon runs in the world with several million fish returning to the rivers on a major run year (50,000 to 500,000 on minor run years). Fall Grizzly bear viewing in September and October is done primarily during the salmon runs on the rivers by jetboats.  We travel up the bear viewing rivers and then spend the day drifting down watching the bears and other wildlife and birds and enjoying the wilderness river ecosystem.  For some rivers, we access the area by 4x4 vehicles with short hikes into the river viewing areas. 

The bears we view are wild and free in their natural habitat.  They are not habituated bears used to being around people.    We do not use viewing platforms and the bears are not in any game preserve or fenced area.   It’s all natural grizzly bear viewing.  We keep in mind at all times that we are visitors in their wilderness homes.  We do everything possible to avoid stressing and impacting them as they go about the usual business of their daily lives and foraging for food.  They are intelligent, often playful and very entertaining.  Guests regularly comment that seeing the grizzlies in the wild is the highlight of their Canada bear viewing holiday.

On all our wildlife viewing tours safety is first and foremost for both the wildlife and our guests.  We are especially vigilant and safety conscious on our bear viewing excursions.  Our guides are experienced, qualified professionals.  Knowing and recognizing bear body language plays an important role in safe viewing. All the seasons in the Cariboo Mountains are spectacular in their mountain beauty.  The splendour of autumn is particularly magical and enchanting as the withdrawal of summer heralds the coming of autumn with its crisp cool mornings and warm sunlit days.

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