To say Bear Camp is a unique accommodation experience is an understatement. Bear Camp is place where people and bears can interact and live harmoniously. With 20-25 resident grizzly bears during summer and another 80-100 grizzlies coming to visit in autumn to feed on spawning salmon, we built the camp on stilts. Your waterfront tents are elevated, spacious, comfortable and serve as wildlife viewing platforms. Some call it “glamping” but we say it’s like an African safari experience with a Canadian twist!
While you are here, you can pick and choose your activities on a day-by-day basis. Adventure by day, comfort by night – in a cozy bed, hot showers and chef-prepared meals – makes reaching this wild west frontier even more desirable. Our all-inclusive packages are 4, 5 or 8 days, but you will be challenged to do it all in a week as we kayak on a 55-mile long lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks, ride into the alpine on rugged mountain horses (or by foot) with trusted guide, canoe or SUP on a crystal clear river, cast a line for record trout, photograph a grizzly feeding on salmon, take a scenic raft or drift boat ride, challenge some fun whitewater in an inflatable kayak or explore the region by mountain bike (undulating terrain or screaming single track) – the choice is yours. Some might say “the sky is the limit” but there’s even optional heli hiking to places unimaginable!
Itinerary at a Glance
- Check into the waterfront Bear-Camp and get settled in our deluxe safari tents
- Be amazed by the abundance of grizzlies, black bears and eagles
- Explore the Coast Mountains, Chilko and Tatlayoko lakes by canoe, kayak, boat, horse and foot
- Paddle and fish the breath-taking azure waters of Chilko River
- Horseback ride in spectacular mountains
- Hike or bike on paths enveloped by awe-inspiring mountains
- Enjoy home-cooked meals and evening “feasts” paired with eclectic wines and craft beer
- Unwind with a book, or do nothing but drink in the spectacular scenery
- R/T air package from Vancouver to Bear Camp
- Experienced professional guides
- Accommodations at Bear Camp
- All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 6
- All activities described in the itinerary
- Park fees and necessary permits
What to Expect at Bear Camp
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, trip length and time of year. The following is a sample of what you might expect.
Day One – Meet in Vancouver for flights northbound.
For those arriving at Vancouver International Airport on Day One – it is essential to arrive a minimum of two hours before our meeting time. Please to allow enough time for possible flight delays, clearing customs and transferring from the International Airport terminal to the South Terminal area. As soon as everyone’s gear is stowed, we will board our plane for the incredible flight over the mountains and glaciers. Upon arrival in Williams Lake, a Bear Camp representative will shuttle you across the Chilcotin Plateau to Camp w ith lunch along the way. Upon arrival to Chilko Lake, your guides will give you an orientation to camp and the events ahead but there should be time for a hike or paddle before the first of many delicious meals in our wilderness setting.
Activities to choose:
Hiking: there are an endless number of great trails accessible right from Bear Camp. Green Lake offers pretty mellow terrain for stretching one’s legs, while Mt Tullin is a challenging hike with 360 degree views. Heli hiking can also be arranged at additional expense (but is worth every penny) and visits a number of valleys and nearby glaciers.
Kayaking: Chilko Lake is one of the world’s premiere alpine lake destinations where you can explore by boat in total tranquility. Surrounded by massive glacier-capped peaks and a road-less wilderness, you will spend the days paddling the lake and picnicking on sandy beaches. Days are long but the alpenglow sunsets are worth the wait! During bear viewing season, most of the bruins congregate right at our doorstep so we do not have to paddle far to watch bears feeding on Mother Nature’s bounty.
Horseback: Friendly horses and astute wranglers can tailor rides for all abilities on mountain trails, through fields of wildflowers, or riverside to beautiful waterfalls. You’ll soon know what we mean by “happy trails”. We utilize incredibly fit and well cared for mountain horses that will get you to places unimaginable.
Fishing: A veritable bouillabaisse of fish, the Chilko is utopia for anglers of all abilities. The river is a giant bevy of hot spots, with clear shallows and deep pools. Draining the main lake, the waters never cloud and fishing is superb throughout the season. The river is “fly fish only, catch and release” and we have jon and drift boats and all the necessary gear to wade and fish this pristine waterway. We can teach beginners to fly fish or you can take a spin rod on the lake, the choice is yours.
Mountain Biking: Flowing single track, winding dirt roads, coasting along the rivers edge or gliding through pine-scented forests, we’ve got it all. Our fleet of Kona mountain bikes comes with vehicle support and a knowledgeable guide. What more could you want? Eliminate the hills? We can do that too!
River Float or Paddle: floating right from Bear Camp, we can travel a half-day (10 miles) or an entire day (21 miles with a picnic lunch) by raft or inflatable kayak (aka “ducky”) and navigate some fun and scenic water that is still appropriate for little ones.
Drift Boat: for the ultimate in scenic rides – and ideal for photographers – try a dory ride on this breathtaking stretch. In a drift boat you get a fun ride but soak up the scenery instead of waves. Our drift boat is also ideal for fly fishing outings and during salmon season, the dories provide an unobtrusive way to float among the bears.
Bushcraft: there are many options for paddling, fishing, hiking or biking but one of the big highlights of this trip is the option for “bushcraft”. This involves a hike or drive up to Scotty Meadow to meet, 75 year old survivalist expert, Mike Yates, a.k.a. “Grizz”. Mike ran a survival school for decades and was better known as the Marlboro Man for the cigarette manufacturer’s advertising series in Europe and abroad. Participants will see how to live off-the-grid, learn about plants and wildflowers as well as learn about constructing traditional log homes. By the day’s end you will be ready to face even the worst zombie apocalypse…or at least light a fire and build shelter!
After another morning paddle and amazing breakfast, we will leave Bear Camp and get ready for flights home. You should arrive mid-afternoon but we always recommend overnighting in Vancouver at the end of the trip in case of weather issues with smaller aircraft. ROAM would be pleased to make Vancouver accommodation arrangements on your behalf as we often get preferred rates.
Whitewater Rafting: Add a 1 or 2 night Chilko River adventure down Lava Canyon to finish your vacation on rush! The Lava Canyon section of the Chilko River offers the longest stretch of commercially navigable whitewater in North America. Unmatched in its diversity and enormous stretches of continuous Class IV whitewater, you will be treated to rollicking hydraulics and towering standing waves that cascade for miles through deep and narrow lava gorges.