Go to the Great Bear Chalet for a full bear experience. If you just want a nice hotel, or you just want a photo of a bear, go somewhere else. But if you want to share the life of a kind and caring man who knows and respects bears go to the Great Bear Chalet. It is more than a holiday tour. Jeff is generous with his time, his knowledge, and his warm personality. The last is particularly welcome because his house can get darn cold. Our fault because we opted not to light a fire that would scare off the bears. We did see a lot of bears with Jeff in just two days.
We had a lovely time trekking through the coastal rainforest with Jeff, getting educated about the local wildlife and flora. We were hoping to encounter some bears but we knew we were visiting at the wrong time and even though Jeff took us to areas that are frequented by bears we unfortunately did not see any. We are looking forward to a return visit at a more auspicious time.
While staying at the Great Bear Chalet, the owner provided us with an unforgettable bear viewing river drift down the Atnarko River in the Bella Coola Valley. He was very knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Our drift boat slowly passed several grizzly bears as they fished for salmon in the river. It was truly an amazing experience. The owner, Jefferson, provided local lore, snacks and lifejackets. The lodge itself had everything we'd hope for. Comfortable, clean & well worth it. We were very fortunate one evening to view a mother grizzly with cubs while enjoying dinner. I hope to stay there again next time we're in the area.