The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the most stunning places on Earth, and we have it right here in our own province.
This temperate rainforest spans about 400 kilometres along the central and northern coast of the province, from Knight Inlet to the Alaska Panhandle.
Access into the Great Bear Rainforest is limited. There are very few roads, so must transportation into the area is done by floatplane or boat.
To access the lodges, tours or ferry sailings that bring so many people to the area every year, there are road- and air-accessible towns, such as Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Port McNeill, Telegraph Cove and Campbell River. Bella Coola is known as the “gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest,” and you can get here by car via Highway 20, by plane or by ferry.
Wildlife in the area
The Great Bear Rainforest is the largest temperate rainforest in the world, and this is the only place you’ll be able to see the Kermode or Spirit bear, a sub-species of black bear that is known for its white fur. You’ll also see traditional-coloured black bears and grizzly bears, and a large population of marine life, such as whales, sea otters, dolphins, and sea lions. This area is also known for producing world-class salmon, and the salmon runs draw bears and eagles looking for their next meal.
Why you should go
Simply put, you won’t find an experience like this anywhere else in the world. National Geographic named the Great Bear Rainforest as one of its “Best Trips 2013,” and it’s easy to see why. You can go bear or whale watching, boating or sailing, kayaking, hiking (or even heli-hiking!), fishing and there are endless ways to explore Aboriginal culture within the Great Bear Rainforest. Here, you’ll find rich history, unparalleled beauty and an experience you’ll never forget.
With limited travel options, often an all-inclusive package with one of the lodges is a good way to go. Some of the lodges include Tweedsmuir Lodge, King Pacific Lodge and Spirit Bear Lodge.
In 2016, their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Great Bear Rainforest and officially endorsed it under The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative. In early 2016, the government of BC, First Nations, environmental groups and forest industry representatives announced their agreement on how the rainforest would be managed, and the agreement will conserve 85 per cent of the forest and 70 per cent of the old growth.