Historic Wilderness Lodge with Grizzly-Bear Tours
Each autumn in Bella Coola Valley, grizzly bears flock to the Atnarko and Bella Coola Rivers to fill up on spawning salmon before hibernating for the winter. At the nearby Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, you can board a small boat and quietly approach the bears, spending several hours in the serene river watching them nap, eat, and play. The grizzly-bear tour is just one of many adventures offered by the rustic lodge—others include a fishing trip to remote sections of the Atnarko River, and helicopter-skiing excursions. You can use your included C$50 credit toward one of these unique, immersive tours, which have helped Tweedsmuir earn a spot in the Canadian Tourism Commission's Signature Experiences Collection.
The lodge itself is a day's scenic drive from Vancouver’s airport or a 45-minute drive from the quaint town of Bella Coola. Nestled near the base of Mount Stupendenous, the lodge sits atop 60 acres of its own personal wilderness reserve. Nearby, prawns and crabs fill a series of fjords, and evergreens loom above the Atnarko River, where you can fish for trout or five species of Pacific salmon. Though it's not uncommon to see bald eagles, otters, and bear cubs on the property, the animals have never been known to disturb guests, and Tweedsmuir shares bear safety guidelines, such as “Don’t punch bears.”
After days spent reeling in fish, bring your catches to the onsite restaurant, where chefs will prepare, cook, and season them with spices grown in the lodge’s herb garden. The 12-person outdoor hot tub attached to Tweedsmuir’s spa provides a perfect vantage point for the surrounding natural beaty. Inside the private log cabins, natural-wood furnishings evoke the outdoors, and WiFi keeps you connected with those at home.
Bella Coola, British Columbia: Abundant Wildlife and Rustic Scenery
The Bella Coola Valley is home to one of British Columbia’s largest protected provincial parks, surrounded by the Coast Mountains and lush forests. Wildlife flourishes in these woods, and on one of Tweedsmuir’s guided tours, you might see wolves, cougars, blacktail deer, and mountain goats. Thanks to the valley’s scenic backdrop and abundant rivers, fishing, kayaking, and sailing are also popular pursuits.
In quaint downtown Bella Coola, you’ll find Kopas Store, a historical general store dating back to 1937. For more historical context, stop into the Bella Coola Museum, housed in a 19th-century log cabin. Here, the Freedom Road exhibit takes an in-depth look at the construction of the first major road that led out of the valley.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.