Join the greatest British Columbia wilderness exploration
“It is a land of unlimited adventure filled with jagged mountain peaks, roaring rivers, serene lakes, green valleys, rugged coastlines and ancient island archipelagos. The mountain ranges, which dominate the northern landscape, were shaped by volcanic fire. The rugged, heavily forested valleys between them were carved by glaciers. Visit this pristine wilderness areas accessible only by horseback, charter plane or on foot.” ~ British Columbia Tourism
Navigate your way through unblemished wilderness on this private tour in British Columbia. Starting out in Vancouver it is designed by a true explorer, Tom Abraham. He has explored virtually all of the world’s wide-open spaces, from BC to Belize, Baja, Bhutan and beyond. Therefore, on this specific itinerary you can be sure you will faithfully immerse yourself in all BC has to offer! As a result you can imagine tracking a grizzly bear deep into the woods, and observing a pod of orcas at play, all on the same day?
When asking Tom how close encounters are to wildlife? He responds, “Depends, but they are usually close enough to prompt a buzz!” The whale sightings take place in the Broughton Archipelago, on the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, subsisting of dozens of undeveloped islands and islets. Meanwhile the bears are viewed on the eastern edge of the great Bear, in the coastal mountains, along a whitewater river, the Atnarko in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Ultimately this area is a temptation for outdoor enthusiasts.
The bears and whales experience is only available in late August to early October when both whales and bears are in accessible areas at the same time. Even so during the winter months Tweedmuir does offer a winter experience, but it is predominantly based on heliskiing.
Tom says, “The properties that we have selected in British Columbia for this specific trip are Nimmo Bay Lodge and Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. Both are wilderness lodges, fairly small and intimate in size and with high service levels. Each prides itself with their beautiful settings – Nimmo being on a remote BC inlet, and Tweedsmuir is overlooking a snowcapped mountain range.
+ Suggested day by day itinerary
- Day 1
- Welcome to Vancouver! Spend some time settling into your hotel, exploring this vibrant city on your own, having some dinner at any one of the fabulous restaurants in the city and preparing for a big day tomorrow.
- Day 2
- Meet your city guide and circumnavigate Stanley Park. Ride to Granville Island, Vancouver’s favourite local market, before catching your flight to the island town of Port Hardy. Take a float plane into Nimmo Bay and your home for the next three nights.
- Day 3
- Start the morning with a hike in the Great Bear Rainforest before heading out by boat through the Broughton Archipelago to watch the orcas feed and the eagles soar. Visit a magnificent waterfall and marvel as a school of white-sided dolphins play in the bay.
- Day 4
- Swing by Fife Sound and watch the magnificent sea lions bathe in the sun. After lunch, parents enjoy some relaxation at the hotel as the kids explore the Broughton Archipelago, setting crab traps and adventuring with resident naturalist.
- Day 5
- Board a private helicopter and soar over the mountains for the opportunity to see Grizzlies feeding on salmon. Hike among wild orchids and heather before flying to the top of a 10,000-year-old glacier for a scotch with glacier ice.
- Day 6
- Head into the woods to explore the upper valley and Tweedsmuir Park with a professional bear guide. The afternoon includes a number of short hikes to track bears, stopping along the river to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
- Day 7
- Take a motor launch out onto the fjord to the estuaries looking for Grizzlies and black bears. Visit the old salmon canary and raise some prawn and crab pods before stopping to see the area’s totem poles, a magical place sacred to the Nuxalk people.
- Day 8
- Enjoy breakfast and one last hike along the Esker trail, providing opportunities to look for bears and try some fishing, before catching a flight to Bella Coola airport and onward back to Vancouver.
Nimmo Bay Lodge
Nimmo Bay Resort, is a National Geographic unique world lodge. According to National Geographic, “This lodge is the very definition of a secret hideaway! Its landscape is defined by granite mountains that overlook misty fjords, splashing waterfalls, and secluded beaches; blue-toned glaciers; and islands where the wildlife far outnumbers the humans. Incidentally Nimmo Bay Lodge was one of the world’s first ecolodges.”
The lodge has nine spacious-yet-cozy cabins: six intertidal and three streamside, all with breathtaking views of the surrounding bay. Each cabin was carefully constructed with the surrounding environment and the comfort of their guests in mind.
Culinary too is a big part of the adventures that they offer. They have an extensive selection of local foods available for you to experience. They believe your food shouldn’t travel further than you do, so they choose local sustainable providers for their ingredients.
Tweedmuir Park Lodge
Between Mt Stupendous and Mt Mellikan, where the Atnarko, Talchako and Bella Coola Valleys merge, you’ll find Tweedsmuir Park Lodge.
The historic Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is an inviting, family-style wilderness lodge nestled within Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Bella Coola, BC. It is situated on 60 acres of pristine wilderness land with access to a variety of summer recreational opportunities.
There are a total of 9 guest chalets on the property, accommodating between 2-4 people per chalet. All of the chalets have excellent views and lots of privacy, guaranteeing a serene setting for your holiday. In addition to the main lodge and chalets there is also a spa building with a yoga stretching room, weights and exer-cycles, massage rooms, showers and a 12 person covered outdoor hot tub overlooking the lawn and the coast range beyond.
They serve an international style cuisine, with a West Coast twist. All meals incorporate locally grown, fresh organic produce, and herbs from the kitchen garden add fresh daily accents to each plate served. Seafood is also supplied locally and is caught wild in the waters off Bella Coola.
British Columbia adventure
Butterfield & Robinson works with bear guides, who show the guests what to look for, how to behave, and how to spot the bears. Tom says, “Generally they are looking for tracks, and favorite areas for hierarchy establishment. Food sources, disturbed vegetation, sightings and listening for animals. Similar to tracking any other animal really. No guns – only bear spray as a deterrent. It’s fun and interesting.”
The itinerary is set to a degree, but remains fairly fluid to accommodate the weather, wildlife viewing and client interests. Without a doubt you will most likely be overwhelmed by the many highlights along this trip!
For more information or to book this epic wilderness adventure visit Butterfield & Robinson
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Tracy Burrows87 Posts
If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see! My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel platform for both cost effective and luxury travel ideas around the world. From Jan 2014 - Dec 2016 I managed the LatestSightings.com blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona. Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year 'Hospitality Management in Development Program' in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it's been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. Thank you for joining our journey!