Located 80 kilometres, or 50 air miles, north of Campbell River, British Columbia, is a wild and remote area of the Pacific Northwest known as Knight Inlet. As the longest fjord on the B.C. coast, Knight Inlet offers visitors spectacular scenery set against a backdrop of dramatic mountain peaks plunging into the Pacific Ocean.
Variegated hues of blues and greens seamlessly blend forest, ocean and sky. It can be a place of immense silence in the calm of the temperate rainforest and of immense power in the face of the many thundering glacier-fed waterfalls.
Situated 60 kilometres from the mouth of the inlet is Knight Inlet Lodge. Our floating lodge is tucked into Glendale Cove, which offers one of the few protected anchorages in the inlet, and it is here that you will begin each day's adventure.
As you may or may not be aware our lodge was destroyed by fire on the morning of September 25, 2012. We are happy to report that all guests and staff were safely evacuated without injury. We are confident that we will be up and running for the start of our season on May 24, 2013 as plans for a replacement lodge are already well underway. We will be updating our website with progress reports as time goes along but for the most up to date news on our lodge please check out our Facebook page.
Grizzly Bear Viewing Spring, Summer & Fall in British Columbia
Glendale Cove is home to one of the largest concentrations of grizzly (brown) bears in British Columbia. It is not uncommon for there to be up to 50 bears within 10 kilometres of the lodge in the peak fall season, when the salmon are returning to the river.
Although they are abundant in the fall, it is not the only season that grizzly bears can be found in Glendale Cove. Starting in late April the bears return to the estuary from winter dens and start the year feeding on the sedges, succulents, grasses and barnacles that abound in our estuary.
This luxuriant spring growth provides the basic nutritional needs for the bears which draws them from the mountains down to the estuary. This is the time to see, at close proximity, the tiny cubs emerge with their ever-cautious mothers.
In the summer the berry crop is very heavy and this helps keeps the bears in the general area. We do not get the high numbers of the spring and late summer/fall season viewing, but we usually see some bears every day. We view the bears differently in the different seasons.
In the spring, we set out in boats so that we can get close to the shore (50 metres) and give our guests a good view of the bears feeding. We still remain far enough away as to not disturb them.
Our early summer program continues on the water as well, but if the opportunity arises there may be a chance to use our tree stands. By late August we move to our platforms at the spawning channel although we continue to use the tree and river stands.
In all of our viewing programs our guest safety is of utmost importance. We strive to see the bears in their natural environment without having a negative impact on them.
Whale Watching, Estuary Ecotours, Jetboat Tours, Hiking & Sea Kayaking
As well as bear viewing, we also offer a number of other tours. Our marine wildlife tour is offered in all of the seasons that we operate but it changes greatly as the seasons change. In the spring, we travel throughout the inlet viewing the seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and the occasional minke whale that may travel though our waters.
From July onwards, our tours have the added attraction of the Orca (killer) whale and when we journey to the world famous Johnstone Strait, we are almost assured of spending some great viewing time with these magnificent marine mammals. Not only do we view the whales, but our tour includes all of the spring marine viewing as well, so the program lasts for up to 10 hours.
In September, we add the humpback whale to our list of marine mammals as they start to arrive from Alaska on their way to Hawaii. The viewing of these gentle giants is infrequent, but when it does happen, it is spectacular.
In addition, we offer estuary tours, Knight Inlet boat tours, Jetboat toursup the Klinaklini River, excursions to the upper reaches of Knight Inlet, and day trips to the Thompson and Bond Sounds. We offer great photographic opportunities on all of our tours, whether the viewing is of birds, bears, other wildlife or scenics.
As well, we have day-hiking tours and our guided kayaking tours in the estuary. These tours are great for the novice as we have doubles and singles and excellent guides to take you through the brief lesson and then get you on the water. In past years this has been one of our most popular ways to view wildlife.