The Atnarko River near Bella Coola
(Picture BC photo)

Bella Coola

Bear Watching

Grizzly bear crossing a stream (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)

Grizzly bear crossing a stream (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)

The Bella Coola Valley and adjoining Tweedsmuir Park are home to a large population of grizzly and black bears and bear watching has become a popular activity here.

The animals actively roam over a wide area late in the day and throughout the night and to the casual visitor can occasionally be hard to spot. Some, but not all bears tend to follow the ripening fruit and vegetation up into the surrounding hillsides during spring and summer, and then return to the valley floor in late August to feast on the spawning salmon.

When to Bear Watch in Bella Coola

Although visitors may spot bears while driving, knowing when and where to view bears and safely and more closely can be a challenge. Local Bella Coola Valley guides offer bear-watching trips and tours during the bear "season." These tours are either by boats that "drift" the rivers or take enthusiasts hiking to the best spots. Going with a guide is certainly the recommended approach, and will ensure that both bear and visitor are safe.

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