Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest is the perfect destination for adventure travel.
Located on the mainland of British Columbia, the rainforest is part of the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest on Earth and is currently home to some of the planet’s rarest wildlife.
What wildlife to expect
When it comes to land animals, travellers exploring the vast rainforest can expect to find a variety of cougars, deer, elk, mountain goats and wolves roaming the land. Rarities such as bald eagles soar overhead, while the coasts and inlets are swimming with sea lions, orcas, humpback whales and sea otters. Meanwhile, clear, glacier-fed streams also hold some of the world’s rarest salmon.
The Great Bear Rainforest is also known for accommodating one of the rarest species of the wilderness, the Kermode bear. With only about 400 left in the world, visitors can stop and admire the unique, creamy white-furred bears that often stand up to six feet tall.
The Kermode bears roam the land along with other species such as the grizzly bear, exploring the massive forest stretching all the way from Alaska along the coast of British Columbia to near the Campbell River on Vancouver Island.
Activities and surrounding sights
Lonely Planet recommends stopping by the Bella Coola Valley located in the heart of the rainforest. The valley is lined with breathtaking, crystal-clear glaciers stretching 53 kilometres from the green landscape of British Columbia’s Chilcotin region to the North Bentinck Arm, a fjord surrounded by glaciers that runs inland from the Pacific Ocean.
Adventure travellers will also enjoy a trip along the road that leads into the valley, dipping through steep rocky hills down long switchback gravel roads.
For all those who would rather embark on a relaxing trip into Bella Coola, plan ahead and take a ferry from the south, as they tend to run rather infrequently.
Guests can also take one of the many tours offered for a prime viewing experience. These unique experiences allow you to get up close and personal to grizzly bears with tours designed specifically to bring guests to the best locations for viewing the forest’s wildlife.
There are also wilderness hikes and floating tours, many of which bring travellers down rivers filled with grizzly bears hunting for salmon. Some tours even immerse guests into the cultural aspects of the land, wildlife and people, such as the native peoples of the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation.