Seeing grizzlies in the wild was one thing I absolutely had to do before leaving Canada, and choosing Sailcone Lodge out of all of the options online was the best thing I could have done! The first thing is that the service is very personalised as they only take small groups. There were only three of us on the tour I went on.
There are so many aspects to the place, but I have to start with the actual tour experiences, which I believe can vary depending on how long you stay. I stayed three nights on the island, and the first day we went up Knight Inlet to view grizzlies from the boat. It was absolutely amazing! We watched a Momma bear and two cubs for hours, even while having lunch! The next day we got to go up Thompson Sound and tried to see bears on the ground. Unfortunately there was no luck, but we did see black bears, and got to walk around the rainforest a bit which was a great experience. We also saw old beaver dams, as well as eagles. The third day was our whale watching day, and this was the day we realised the extent Angus will go to to make sure his guests get the experience they are there for. We travelled a bit further away than usual to where he had heard about a pod of Orcas, and there was no disappointment! We were also lucky enough to see a humpback on the way there and back! Overall, a tiring but exhilerating experience.
So the lodge itself is on on Minstrel Island, and so remote, you have to get there by boat or floatplane, and there is nothing but nature to bother you. Even though it was raining when I arrived, it was just stunning. The lodge is cozy with only 4 rooms, and each room gets it's own bathroom. There is a huge kitchen and lovely dining and sitting areas. There is also a cabin which can be booked, with it's own bathroom, but you need to walk up to the main lodge for meals. As remote as the place is, it is fully equipped with all your usual hotel luxuries - fluffy towels, hairdryer etc - with the addition of a view!
Also despite the remoteness, the food is definitely five star! Breakfast is a do-it-yourself affair with cereals, breads, fruit, yogurt, coffee, tea etc all laid out on the table and you eat what you like. Lunches are all packed in a cooler and vary each day - soups, salads, wraps or the like with additional veggie sticks, cheeses, drinks and always sweets such as homemade cookies or brownies. Dinners are in the lodge dining room, served with wine, and are three courses - salad or soup, followed by anything from roast beef to pasta, followed by coffee or tea and either cake or some other dessert. Absolutely heavenly!
I'd also like to add that this is a family owned and run operation, and meeting John and Kathy who owned it until recently was fantastic. They are all very experienced and hospitable people, and have obviously handed more than just a business down to their son. Angus and his wife Krystal, along with their little girl were always engaging, and really do love what they do and where they live.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Tours, Lodge and Safari offers grizzly tours and grizzly bear watching from viewing stands and wildlife tours for black bears, killer whales (orca) humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, black bears and eagles. Our grizzly bear tours are conducted on Canada's famous natural fjord known as 'Knight Inlet BC' and on the salmon rivers that flow into Knight Inlet. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari Canada/British Columbia