Grizzly bear crossing a stream (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)
Unlike more inhabited areas where wildlife corridors have been squeezed tight by housing developments, the creatures of Port Hardy and northern Vancouver Island have plenty of room to roam.
Wildlife near Port Hardy includes black bears, grizzly bears, timber wolves, bald eagles and Orcas. While some visitors may spot a black bear on the drive up to Port Hardy, there is always the option of a bear watching tour. Great Bear Nature Tours offers excursions to the Great Bear Rainforest to looks for grizzly bears and other resident creatures. Whale watching and bird watching are also excellent here.
Don't be surprised upon spotting a black bear rummaging alongside Highway 19 on the trip north to Port Hardy in spring and summer. These surprisingly shy omnivores graze for berries, green vegetation, roots, insects and grubs. They also have a taste for garbage, and this is where the meeting of wild creatures and humanity proves tricky. Rule number one for campers and hikers: store trash in bear-proof containers and hang both it and all food supplies in tree branches well removed from the campsite.
Great Bear Nature Tours
Departing from Port Hardy, Great Bear Nature Tours (rated one of the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" by National Geographic) take small groups by floatplane to its solar-powered lodge on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest. Twice-daily trips by boat allow close encounters with grizzlies in the wild. Other possible sightings out in the wild: black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, timber wolves and, on extremely rare occasion, cougars.
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Great Bear Nature Tours
Port Hardy, British Columbia
Journey to the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest to view & photograph grizzly bears. The floating Great Bear Lodge, with a maximum of 10 guests, is the perfect place to enjoy the wildlife & wilderness of British Columbia. Experienced biologists lead the twice-daily bear-viewing sessions & activities such as interpretive hikes & boat excursions. Tours begin in Port Hardy, on northern Vancouver Island, with a spectacular seaplane flight to the Great Bear Lodge. Voted by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.
Other businesses with Bear Watching
We offer multi-day cruises through Haida Gwaii's (Queen Charlotte Islands') Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Northern Vancouver Island, the Great Bear Rainforest, North Coast/ Khutzeymateen and Southeast Alaska. Our 68' vessels provide the perfect base from which to tour remote coastlines. On these world-class learning journeys we expect to see whales, bears, rich intertidal zones, and a great number of birds. With our First Nations guides we visit ancient villages, see totem poles and hope to catch a glimpse of the Kermode. Our experienced Crew and on-board naturalist will take you places that few have visited on our award-winning expeditions.