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Orca swimming near the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve 

(Destination BC photo)

Trip Ideas

Nature and Wildlife Viewing in BC

Bald eagles, bears, moose, Orcas and more make their home in British Columbia’s wilderness. Take a wildlife-watching journey to see these animals in their natural habitats – mountains, rivers, beaches and deserts – without having to venture too far from civilization.

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(Tourism Kamloops photo)

Adams River Salmon Run

View one of nature’s grandest spectacles as millions of sockeye salmon return to the place of their birth to spawn and die. One of the richest salmon runs in the worlds takes place on the Adams River in the Thompson Okanagan region. Each September and October, millions of salmon make their way back to the 11-km (6.8-mi) stretch of river running through Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, 65 km (39 mi) east of Kamloops. The run reaches its peak in early October. 2014 is a dominant-year run, when, every four years, millions of fish return to the river.
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(Destination British Columbia photo)

Bald Eagles at Kilby Provincial Park

Each Fall, bald eagles migrate to Kilby Provincial Park to feast on salmon spawning in the Harrison River.Join Fraser River Safaris for a jet boat tour of the river, or stop at Weaver Creek fish hatchery to see salmon swimming upstream to spawn. A great time to visit is during the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival each November, when expert talks, salmon feasts and a host of viewing sites draw eagle watchers to the area. Next to the park is the charming Kilby Historic Site, where a 1906 general store, post office and hotel recall life in the valley a century ago.
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Desert Wildlife in Osoyoos

Come eye-to-eye with a western rattlesnake or a Great Basin gopher snake at the Nk’Mip... Read more Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. Across the narrow valley lies the companion Osoyoos Desert Centre, where a 1.5-km/0.9-mi self-guided boardwalk tour winds through arid shrub lands and grasses. Interpreters are on hand to answer questions and provide intriguing facts about such local wildlife as spadefoot toads and burrowing owls, and about the desert’s crust – a living organism in this sagebrush kingdom. The area, known as “Canada’s pocket desert”, is in BC’s Thompson Okanagan region, two hours south of Kelowna on the BC-Washington State border.

Fraser River Safaris

Join the adventure and discover the 'wild side' of BC with Fraser River Safari. View amazing scenery & diverse wildlife. Guests travel in comfort & style on board a heated, fully enclosed 'Safari Craft,' which is equipped for exploring the shallow...
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(Destination British Columbia photo)

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

More than 280 bird species live in or visit the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, one of Canada’s top birdwatching sites, about an hour south of Vancouver. The best bird viewing takes place during the spring migration in March and April, and the fall migration in October and November. November is, however, the popular favourite, when between 30,000 and 70,000 lesser snow geese stop in en route from Siberia.
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Tidal Pools at Botanical Beach

Marine life along BC’s coast comes in rainbow shades and Botanical Beach offers one of the... Read more best opportunities to view intertidal marine creatures and plants on Vancouver Island. Visit at low tide when the retreating ocean exposes tidal pools resembling jewelled boxes with colourful sea stars, chitons and anemones clinging to the walls. Venture out onto the flat, kelp-covered rock shelves to peer into deep, crystal-clear pools. Botanical Beach is near Port Renfrew, two hours west of Victoria. Be sure to visit Parks Canada's office in Port Renfrew or the Sooke Museum and Visitor Information Centre for details on tide times.

Great Bear Nature Tours photo

Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

One of the best places in the world to see grizzly bears in their natural habitat is this seaside sanctuary northeast of Prince Rupert. The first area in Canada to be protected specifically for grizzly bears, Khutzeymateen is accessible only by boat (or boat and floatplane). Home to about 50 bears, it is best visited between May and July (especially in May) when the bears can be seen roaming the shore. There is no land access in the Sanctuary, and the river estuary is only accessible with a licensed tour operator.

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Orcas at Telegraph Cove

See the ocean’s biggest attraction at Telegraph Cove, where approximately 265 Orcas... Read more populate nearby Johnstone Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland. In summer, Orcas (killer whales) congregate to feed on returning salmon. Whale-watching boats and kayak tours can take you from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeil and Alert Bay to see these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat. Take to the water with Stubbs Island Whale Watching or go for a paddle with North Island Kayak – they offer a variety of day trips. And don’t miss Telegraph Cove's Whale Interpretive Centre, set in one of the village’s historic boardwalk buildings.

Osoyoos Desert Centre

The Osoyoos Desert Centre, located 3 km north of Osoyoos off Hwy 97, is a nature interpretive centre where visitors can learn about local wildlife, desert ecology and conservation of endangered ecosystems in the South Okanagan. The Centre offers v...
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