Outdoor enthusiasts who decide to travel to bear country must be cautious of surroundings and carry appropriate protective gear. These six locations are the best places to spot various species of bears.
Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada
Bella Coola, located on the central coast of British Columbia, is a gem of outdoor beauty and home of the grizzly bear. This small-populated town attracts more bears than people during the salmon run, which occurs between August and September. Bear seekers can choose from various grizzly and wildlife tour operators located in town. One company, Bella Coola Grizzly Tours Inc., offers scenic land and water tours, and contains on-site lodging. The water tours include “Seafood Catch of the Day”, where guests take part in fishing for crab and prawns. http://www.bcgrizzlytours.com
North Coast, British Columbia
The North Coast is a high-populated forest and mountain region that is home to the spirit bear. Located in the North Coast region includes Prince Rupert and Princess Royal Island, which are populated with the Kermode “Spirit” Bear. Princess Royal Island is located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest and is only accessible via boat or plane. Tour Vacations To Go offers a nine-day, Spirit Bear and Humpback Whale trip that travels to the best of Northern British Columbia. http://www.tourvacationstogo.com/natural_habitat_adventures.cfm?npid=38246&nhr=1
Yellowstone National Park
Two species of bears, the black and grizzly bear, are found in Yellowstone National Park. Bears are commonly spotted throughout the spring, summer and fall months grazing amongst different plant and animal life. “Bearman’s” Yellowstone Guided Tours features educational, photographic and backcountry hiking trips throughout Yellowstone. Nationally known naturalist, Kevin Sanders, who also owns Yellowstone Outdoor Adventures, leads tours. http://www.yellowstone-bearman.com
Admiralty Island, Alaska
Located in southeast Alaska, Admiralty Island is one of the “ABC” islands. On this island is the Admiralty Island National Monument, which is a federally protected wilderness area. This area is contains the highest density of grizzly bears in North America. To say the least, there are more bears than people who live on this island. Tourist season runs from June through early September, and a visitor’s permit is required. Travelers can purchase passes at the Juneau Ranger District in the Tongass National Forest. Alaskatours.com features a three-hour bear trip that leaves from Juneau and travels to Admiralty.
Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Churchill is a seaport town located on the Hudson Bay. Nicknamed, “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, these white bears are most populated during the October – November months. Travelers safely view the bears through special buses known as “tundra buggies.” Frontiers North Adventures offers one to three day tundra buggy trips to view and photograph these magnificent bears. www.tundrabuggy.com
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Whistler and the Blackcomb Mountains are home to the black bear. It may be common to find bear scat throughout Whistler Village and the exit way off the Gondola. In essence, keep trash and food scraps in the garbage bins to avoid any unexpected surprises. Travelers have several bear tour companies to choose from, and tours run May through October. Canadian Outback Adventures & Events features day tours throughout the bear-viewing season, which passengers ride in a 4×4 vehicle throughout various terrains. www.canadianoutback.com