‘We strive to provide food that is healthy, delicious and served with a touch of style.’ — Marg Leehane, Great Bear Lodge
scent and hide movement, overlook the
river where the bears come for the salmon
in late summer and fall, and each guest in
the blind has room to set up a tripod for
The small, motor-equipped boats, which
are used to track the grizzlies in spring and
summer, are more often than not rowed by
the naturalists/guides, who sometimes hop
overboard to drag the boats through shallow waters when powering them up or even
rowing them would disturb the bears and
Luxury in the wild
A typical day at Great Bear starts early,
around dawn, when guests assemble in
the lodge’s dining alcove for breakfast. The
meal typically consists of fresh-squeezed
juice, home-baked scones or muffins, hot
and cold cereal, hard-boiled eggs and coffee and tea.
Next, the guests head out in the flat-bottom boats for three hours of viewing and
photographing grizzlies or, depending on
the season and bear activity, are driven in
a converted school bus to the blinds. These
activities are repeated after dinner.
Lunch, which is served at the lodge in
late morning, is followed by activities such
as an interpretive rain forest walk, a guided
sea-kayaking tour of the estuary or a boat
cruise to explore the glacier-carved inlet.
Of course, guests can opt to stay put
at the lodge and enjoy a glass of wine on
the deck while keeping an eye out for gray
wolves, black bears, river otters, minks, bald
eagles, pine martens and a dizzying array of
other birds in what amounts to a natural
aviary. Orca whales, on the prowl for har-
When not bear-watching, guests of
the Great Bear Lodge can keep an
eye out for birds and other wildlife
while relaxing on the deck.
gourmet dining to the rare opportunity to
be at one with nature while under the guidance of experts, does not come cheap.
Prices for a three-night stay at the lodge,
which operates May through mid-October,
can range from $1,935 per person, double,
May 7 to June 30, to $2,690 from Aug. 20
to Oct. 31, when the grizzlies head for the
river to feast on the salmon run. The rates,
which are commissionable to agents at
10%, include seaplane flights to and from
Port Hardy, interactive programs, meals
and evening educational programs.
“Our aim is simple,” said Leehane. “We
want to exceed our guests’ expectations.
They arrive with notions about the bears
they will see and the beauty of the location,
but they are often surprised by the quality
of the lodging and the cuisine. They rave
about the staff, about their friendly and
professional approach to ensuring the best
possible tour for each guest.”
For more on Great Bear Lodge, go to
www. greatbeartours.com or call (888)
PHO TO B Y JOE ROSEN
bor seals, have been known to breach just
off the lodge’s deck.
Dinner at Great Bear is a memorable occasion. “We strive to provide ‘wilderness
gourmet’ food: that is, food that is healthy,
delicious and served with a touch of style,”
said Leehane. “We purchase organic ingredients whenever possible and highlight
the specialties of the valley: fresh-caught
salmon served on a cedar plank, Dungeness
crab, ocean halibut and wild berries.”
While luxury is not all high-end amenities, well-connected concierges and flat-screen TVs, none of which you will find
— or find the need of — at Great Bear, the
totality of a guest’s experience, from the
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