Orford River Grizzly Expedition
Towering peaks, beach camping, and a chance to view grizzly bears in their natural habitat combine for a truly unique adventure.
Still working to see if 2023 dates are possible
$2395 cdn (+ 5% tax)
Why We Love This Trip
As if a kayak trip into the ruggedly beautiful realm of Bute Inlet isn’t exciting enough, we add a chance to see Grizzlies in their natural environment. We offer only one trip per year, and our guides fight over it. ‘Nuff said.
About the Area
Bute Inlet is an immense and dramatically magnificent geological feature of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. Three thousand metre peaks rise from the glacial turquoise water of the inlet, Bute Inlet also boasts some of the nicest beaches around! The Inlet is home to abundant wildlife, including seals, porpoises, and dolphins. At certain points during the trip we will also keep a sharp eye out for humpback whales. We will paddle into the traditional territory of the Xwemahlkwe (“Homalco”) First Nations peoples. For centuries, the Xwemahlkwe have lived in harmony with the grizzlies that congregate to feed on spawning salmon in the Orford River each fall. This trip links up an already amazing kayak expedition with a First Nations led grizzly watching experience.
The Orford River Grizzly Expedition begins with a boat ride to Coast Mountain Lodge on Read Island. After settling into sleeping cabins, we’ll get started with a comprehensive kayak skills lesson and pre-trip briefing. We’ll follow up the exercise with a soak in our wood-fired hot tub or creekside sauna, and a gourmet dinner featuring locally-sourced foods.
Next day, we’ll depart on our expedition! For five days and four night we’ll travel self-supported in our kayaks, and visit a wide variety of naturally beautiful camping spots. We’ll cover distance, but a base camp on our final two nights allows time to explore and soak up the spectacular scenery of the inlet. Throughout the trip, we’ll be well fed with healthy and delicious lodge-packed food and Lannie’s famous cookies. We’ll also have the opportunity to feed ourselves with fish and forage local shellfish.
Our final day in the inlet combines our boat pickup with a trip to the Orford River where we’ll join a First Nations led grizzly watching tour for the unique opportunity to see grizzly bears feed on salmon, play, and interact in their natural environment. That afternoon, we’ll be transported by boat back to Coast Mountain Lodge for a relaxing final evening. Day seven we’ll enjoy one last morning together at the lodge before a relaxing boat trip back to Quadra Island.
• Trip begins 1:00pm first day, drop-off noon last day.
• Maximum 10 participants with 2 kayak guides.
• Single and double kayaks.
• Moderate to Strenuous: for healthy energetic people with a good sense of adventure!
• Paddling: 4 to 6 hours of kayaking per day (9-18 km (6-12 mi)).
• Sea conditions: mostly sheltered but the inlet is subject to inflow (anabatic) winds.
• Beaches: low sloping sandy gravel or medium boulders; may be slippery when wet.
• All kayaking equipment
• Group camping gear and shelter
• Tent (you choose single or double)
• Therm-a-Rest inflatable sleeping pad
• Dry bags for personal gear
• All meals & snacks
• Professional skills training & guiding
• Boat transportation to & from CME Lodge
• Boat pickup from Bute Inlet
• Boat transportation to & from the Orford River
• 3 hour First Nations led grizzly bear tour
• Personal clothing and accessories (see our packing list)
• Sleeping bag (available to rent)
• Sense of adventure!