Grizzly Bear Tour at Sonora Resort

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

We woke up before the sun this morning to head out on a Grizzly Bear watching tour. From Sonora, we hopped into a zodiac and were whisked away a good 45 minutes North East, over to the mainland.

Heading out on the bear tour

The boat ride over was half of the experience in itself as we slipped between islands, passed over rushing currents and dodged whirlpools. We also learned a bit about the area’s history and got some tips on bear safety from our guide before heading in to Orford Bay to dock.

Heading out on the bear tour

Once on land, we met up with Homalco Wildlife Tours who lead us to two of their five bear observation towers. After a heavy rainfall the night before, the creeks and rivers we crossed along the way were swollen beyond their regular banks. We watched the rushing water cascade over boulders and under bridges as we made our way to the first lookout.

Grizzly Bear (across the river)

At our first stop up on Tower 4, we saw a Grizzly make his way up and down the river as flocks of birds parted to give him some room to wander.

Afterward we made our way to Tower 5, which was on a spit directly where two rivers merge. From this vantage point we saw the most action including one bear catching a salmon while another tried unsuccessfully to swim on over and say hello.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear with fancy footwork Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear - 1, fish - 0

Our morning on the tour was extremely fruitful and I had a hard time selecting which of my 173 photos I would be posting to Flickr. We headed into the lodge to grab some lunch while the clouds built up and let out a healthy hour-long downpour. The rain lasted until we suited up again and headed out for our Eco Tour, which I’ll cover in another post.

Grizzly Bear

Growing up in BC we used to camp every summer and explore every inch of wilderness our Province offered up (from Bella Coola to Cranbrook). From the time I was old enough to zip up my sleeping bag in a tent I’ve been avoiding bears and it wasn’t until today that I’ve had such a close encounter with them in the wild. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity we had to view these creatures (in a safe environment accompanied by professionals) and I’ll never forget this experience.

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8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. DomSaturday, September 19th, 2009 — 7:02pm PDT

    Amazing. Would love to do this tour someday.

  2. vancouver eventsSaturday, September 19th, 2009 — 8:54pm PDT

    this looks like an amazing trip. I had a friend that did a similar tour once and he came back raving about it.

    wonder what the cost is?

  3. Keira-AnneSunday, September 20th, 2009 — 12:39am PDT

    Did you hug the grizzlies for me?

  4. Tyler IngramSunday, September 20th, 2009 — 9:00am PDT

    I’ve always wanted to see grizzles in the wild! That there is a big bear!

    lol looks like you’re having a great time so far! Bring me back a grizzly cub!

  5. Guerrilla GivingSunday, September 20th, 2009 — 12:13pm PDT

    Awesome post and pics. This summer my family and I sailed into a pod of orcas off of Pender Island. We felt so blessed by the experience. One of them dove under the bow of the sailboat. BC is so incredible for the opportunities it provides to experience wildlife up close. Hopefully we will learn to do our part to preserve the environment for all generations to come.

  6. CazmaralineSunday, September 20th, 2009 — 12:15pm PDT

    Did the same tour – was amazing! We sadly had to be part of a search and rescue on the Eco Tour though. Would love to see photos from that.

  7. @WildfirejaneSunday, September 20th, 2009 — 1:13pm PDT

    Thank you for the photos I do not know if I will ever get out for the tour but have always wanted to experience seeing these animals in their natural enviroment. Did you find the tour was respectful of the animals? There is nothing like awareness through tourism when it is done respectfully.

  8. Eco Tour at Sonora Resort » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, September 21st, 2009 — 8:20am PDT

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