We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Totally unbelievable!”

Browning Pass Charters
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 21, 2012

My wife and I visited Tofino and went on the Browning Pass Charter bear watching cruise this morning. Totally unbelievable!!!!! From the time we left the dock to the time we got back it was filled with natural beauty of landscaped filled with bears, seals, and eagles . We took over 250 pictures!!!! Captain Mike and first mate Bertie did an outstanding job of taking us on a true memorable cruise.
This is a must do on the bucket list while in Tofino!!!!!

Thank Nancy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (89)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

77 - 81 of 89 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2012

Mike White knows where the bears are and you get to reap the rewards of his efforts. You board his boat and he takes you out there. We were privileged enough to see a mother and her two cubs. When another bear came along, the mother shooed the cubs up a tree and followed them. When the other bear left, the mother came down and teasted on crabs which stick to the rocks. The babies wailed a bit and soon followed. Mike is experienced and knows when to come and go. Recommended highly - do not miss!

Thank Catapano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

We reviewed pretty much all the bear watching trips in Tofino before settling on this one due to the length of the trip, but were slightly worried that there didn't seem to be many reviews available. We needn't have worried - the trip out on the boat with Mike was a totally awesome experience and I can really recommend this company with maximum stars without any hesitation.

Mike is a local guy and knew the area well, the trip lasted 4 hours which is longer than any of the other companies. The boat is an open top one and you can walk around the outside, sit on the top, down below if you get cold ( he brought out some chips and fresh coffee throughout the voyage ) and you can also go sit at the front of the boat to get really close to the bears, or just catch the sea breeze. This is in marked contrast to many of the the trips we saw out on the water - some boats were totally enclosed which would have been terrible for pictures, and other boats were the Zodiac type with the passenger trussed up in life jackets, unable to move without upsetting the balance of the boat.

Mike took his time on the way out to the bears, and he was an expert in pointing out the sights along the way - I got some great shots of Bald Eagles sitting on the mudflats catching and eating fish and I felt sorry for the other trips as they sped past us in their boats and totally missed some great photo ops. He has also seen wolves on the way up but we didn't on that particular trip, but that's the way it goes in the wilderness. And what wilderness - absolutely incredible landscapes, forests and open, blue water.

We toured around the islands and were worried we might not see any bears, but he times his trips to coincide with the tides, so that the bears are more likely to come down the beach at low tide to catch crabs and fish. We saw 4 bears in total, 2 being mothers with cubs and Mike put the boat about as close to the beach as possible to get some great photo ops. He even scraped the bottom of the boat on the sand a few times to get super close, but said that didn't matter so much since the tide would take us out again without issues afterwards.

He is very respectful of the bears and cuts the motor in advance to drift into the cove, the bears are aware of the boats but just don't seem to care and get on with their crabbing and turning over rocks. My main reason for being there was for the photo ops and - right at the front of the boat, you get very close. I had a 250mm zoom and was concerned I might not get the shots I wanted, and I just about got away with some great close ups.


Final thoughts, there is a small bathroom on the boat. I would suggest to take along sun lotion and a waterproof since the weather can be quite changeable and windy. When you take the trip, the office is located on the street but you will need to walk behind it, down to the water, and then down onto the jetty itself to find Mike - we got bit confused trying to find him initially. This was my first trip to BC and Tofino and I would definitely book this trip again. Go Mike!

1  Thank Matthew F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012

This is a must - the tour was scheduled for 2 to 2.5 hours but lasted 4 hours until we saw bears. I think we would still be looking if we had not. We saw two sets of mum and two cubs. There are a number of tours and the good thing is that the guys talk to each other about where they are seeing the bears. Mike White was a brilliant guide and the day was tremendous

Thank angusscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2012

With Mike as our guide, we took the bear watching tour on a misty, almost gloomy day. Believe me, the gloomy part of the day ended when Mike stopped at our first bear sighting. We eased closer and closer to shore and the bear just played around - finding food under the rocks and shells, and "doing her own thing" without paying us any attention. I think I got a photo shot of this bear from all positions - and love looking at them. Then we went to another area and saw three bears - again we got fairly close and watched them walking/eating along the shore.
Mike then took us to another area to look for whales - in route he pointed out an eagle flying. The eagle lit on one of the tree branches and perched there majestically while we took photos.
The whale sightings were spectacular - there were numerous Orca whales who "performed" for us. They were such fun to watch - we even saw a cow and her calf. Despite the misty rain, cameras were flashing and some pictures were clear enough to enjoy for years.
We then went to another area and saw a couple more bears. They were such fun to watch and we were extremely pleased to see so many and to get so close. Some of the photos appeared "close enough to touch" - my grandson wanted to know why we didn't get a picture of us standing beside one of the bears. He didn't quite understand the bears were wild.
I cannot rate this trip high enough. MIke was a WONDERFUL guide and knew so much about the area, knowing where to find the whales, the bears, and watched the sky closely to point out the eagle and other birds. This was an absolutely amazing trip!

Thank Jern1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Browning Pass Charters also viewed

 
Tofino, Clayoquot Sound
 

Been to Browning Pass Charters? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing