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Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range on the west coast of British Columbia. The ancient Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world (2 million hectares), and is home to thousands of species of plants, birds and animals. In this lush rainforest stand 1,000-year-old cedar trees and 90-metre tall Sitka spruce trees. Rich salmon streams weave through valley bottoms that provide food for magnificent creatures such as orcas (killer whales), eagles, wolves, black bears, grizzlies, and the rare and mysterious white Kermode (Spirit) bear.

Coastal temperate rainforests constitute one of the most endangered forest types on the planet. Rare to begin with, they originally covered less than 1/5 of 1 percent of the earth's land surface. Coastal temperate rainforests have three main distinguishing features: proximity to oceans, the presence of mountains, and high rainfall. Their ecology is marked by the dynamic and complex interactions between terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine systems. Coastal temperate rainforests are primarily found in the coastal regions of North America, New Zealand, Tasmania, Chile and Argentina. In addition, they are found in extremely limited areas of Japan, northwest Europe, and the Black Sea coast of Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.

Close to sixty percent of the world's original coastal temperate rainforests have been destroyed as a result of logging and development. North America's ancient temperate rainforest once stretched the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to northern California. Today, more than half of this rainforest is gone and not a single undeveloped, unlogged coastal watershed 5,000 hectares or larger remains south of the Canadian border. One of the largest contiguous tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world is on British Columbia's mainland coast in the Great Bear Rainforest.

BC's coastal temperate rainforests are characterized by some of the oldest and largest trees on Earth, the most common of which are Sitka spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, amabilis and Douglas fir. Trees can tower up to 300feet and grow for more than 1,500 years. The biological abundance of BC's coastal rainforests is the result of over 10,000 years of evolution which began when the glaciers of the Pleistocene Epoch melted. These coastal forests have evolved to their biological splendour because natural disturbances, such as fires, happen infrequently and are usually small in scale.

Terrestrial and marine systems in BC's coastal rainforest zone are inextricably linked. The dynamic interaction between terrestrial and marine systems is described in the Conservation International/Ecotrust paper Coastal Temperate Rainforests: Ecological Characteristics, Status and Distribution Worldwide: " The forest reaches out to the sea, which in turn furnishes the wind and rain necessary for maintenance of the forest character. This exchange of nutrients and energy creates the base for a complex food chain, rich enough to support numerous migratory as well as resident species."

" In North America approximately 350 bird and animal species, including 48 species of amphibians and reptiles, 25 tree species, hundreds of species of fungi and lichens, and thousands of insects, mites, spiders and other soil organisms are found in coastal temperate rain forests. Although much remains to be learned about both systems, biological diversity indices for some taxa in coastal temperate rainforests (notably invertebrates, fungi and soil organisms) may compare to those of tropical rainforests. Researchers are just now discovering the number of organisms, particularly insects, living in the canopy of North American coastal temperate rainforests. These woodlands may support the highest fungal and lichen diversity of any forest system."

Wild salmon are the most important keystone species for coastal rainforest ecosystems and grizzly bears depend on healthy salmon runs for their survival. Wild salmon are an important food source for a wide array of wildlife as well. Recent research is suggesting that even the ancient temperate rainforests on the coast utilize salmon. Bears drag the carcasses of spawned out salmon into the forest, facilitating a major upslope nitrogen transfer into the forest soil.

Years of industrial logging have left vast holes in this precious forest. Clearcut logging is ongoing, logging roads cut deep swathes across watersheds, and wildlife habitats are permanently destroyed. The provincial government of British Columbia has pledged to protect the area, but it must follow through on its commitments if the Great Bear Rainforest is to be protected.

More Information on the Great Bear Rainforest:
Raincoast Conservation Society
Victoria, BC, Canada
Website: www.raincoast.org


Location: The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the west coast of the British Columbia mainland, stretching from just north of Knight Inlet (off north central Vancouver Island) to Princess Royal Island and all the way north to the Alaskan border.

  • Sea kayaking and Wildlife Viewing in regions of the Great Bear Rainforest provides an unforgettable adventure. Exploring from the safety and comfort of a mothership, paddlers depart from numerous coastal locations, including Bella Bella, to spend a week or so discovering the wild beauty of British Columbia's Central coast. Taking advantage of the kayak's silent travel and shallow draft, adventurers will explore tiny coves and narrow passageways, and watch the abundant wildlife found in this remote region. See below for links to trip operators.
  • Knight Inlet cuts eighty miles through the remote Coast Range of Mountains to the head of Knight Inlet, and Mt. Waddington, the highest mountain located totally within British Columbia. The area is a true west coast adventure, with great towering mountains rising straight out of the sea, cascading waterfalls and waterslides, and a history rich in native culture. Knight Inlet is prime black bear and grizzly bear habitat, bald eagles, orcas and other wildlife are abundant, fishing is superb, and the river system supports a phenomenal fall salmon run. Needless to say, the opportunities for nature photography in Knight Inlet are superb.
  • Princess Royal Island is located amongst the isolated inlets and islands of Canada’s forgotten coast, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. This is an extremely remote area of British Columbia, accessible only by boat or air. Aside from the Tsimshiam, who once inhabited a coastal village on the island but now no longer live here, almost no people have entered the inland rainforest of Princess Royal Island. Princess Royal Island is best known as being home to the legendary white Kermode Bear, Spirit Bear of the North Coast of British Columbia. These magnificent bears are a sub-species of the black bear, and are not found anywhere else in the world.
  • Rivers Inlet is carved deep into the rugged Coast Mountains,and is known internationally for the majesty of its scenery and its unspoiled wilderness. Rivers Inlet is also one of the most famous sport fishing destinations in BC, with an impressive history of producing some of the largest Chinook Salmon in the world. The legendary trophy-sized chinook draws anglers from around the world.
  • The Discovery Coast is the southern section of the Inside Passage that stretches from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, through the protected waters of British Columbia's central and northern coastline. The Discovery Coast extends from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on the Central Coast, and includes the communities of Namu, McLoughlin Bay, Bella Bella, Denny Island (Shearwater), Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and the Hakai Pass area.


Search Premier Listings
  Tide Rip Grizzly Tours, North Island Listing Details 
Enjoy the majesty of the coastal mountains as we explore spectacular Knight Inlet. Experience the thrill of a lifetime watching grizzly bears catch salmon. We view the grizzly bears from the safety and comfort of our big flat-bottom viewing boats. Their shallow draught gets us in close to the action. Tide Rip Grizzly Tours offers the only day trips by water taxi from Telegraph Cove to see the grizzlies in the land of the Da'Naxda'xw First Nations. Bring your camera, as black bears, bald eagles, and porpoises are everywhere!
 
  Bluewater Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70' yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You'll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.
 
  Classic Yacht Charters, Nanaimo Listing Details 
Craving a change from the 'everyday'? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical 'Mission Ship'. Design your private voyage into BC's coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching... Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.
 
  Ecosummer Expeditions, Clearwater Listing Details 
Ecosummer Expeditions is a world-class leader in Adventure Travel Tours and BC's original sea kayaking outfit since 1976. We specialize in sea kayaking wilderness expeditions, outdoor hiking and backpacking trips, coastal cruises, canoeing, and first nations native culture. We offer guided adventure travel tours and expeditions to Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, Gulf Islands, the Interior BC, and the Great Bear Rainforest, including the Khutzeymateen Valley and Princess Royal Island. Wildlife viewing includes grey whales, orcas, grizzly bears, kermode spirit bears, marine mammals, and rainforest ecology.
 
  Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari, Knight Inlet Listing Details 
Fly-in for spectacular raincoast wildlife viewing in remote Knight Inlet in the spectacular Coast Mountains - Grizzly Bears and Black Bears, killer whales (Orcas), humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, eagles and more. Knight Inlet is a famous natural fjord world renowned for its Grizzly Bear viewing. We offer 3-day trips out of Campbell River on Vancouver Island to the world capital for grizzly bear safaris.
 
  Inside Passage Cottages, Denny Island Listing Details 
Inside Passage Cottages are located on pristine Denny Island on the beautiful Discovery Coast. We provide an eco-friendly, clean, quiet and safe base from which to experience the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the last unspoiled rainforests on the planet. Built in spring 2012, the self-contained cottage has a fantastic view of Whiskey Slough. The comfortable cottage features a fully-equipped kitchen, Bathroom with shower, queen-size bed, TV, and Wireless Internet. Enjoy the serenity of the Discovery Coast area and the spectacular scenery it boasts. Leave the stresses of the modern world behind you and find inner peace in this unspoiled, coastal paradise. Enjoy long, relaxing walks and explore the tide pools that team with colour and life. Adventures in the magnificent Great Bear Rain Forest area include salmon and sport fishing, kayaking and boating, eco-tours, diving, and hiking. Phone: 250-957-2298 (Denny Island) or 403-232-0228 (Calgary).
 
  Legacy Lodge, Rivers Inlet Listing Details 
Legacy Lodge offers a premier sportfishing experience found nowhere else, in harmony with the natural environment and in a world all its own. Here on the protected waters of Rivers Inlet, all the elements converge for epic fishing adventures with 50 pound Chinook, 20 pound Cohos and Halibut that await your challenge. Come experience the ultimate in fishing adventures, and renew your passion for the great outdoors.
 
  Mothership Adventures, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Explore our remote coastal wilderness aboard the heritage vessel Columbia III! Join us for exhilarating and unforgettable BC adventure tours that include sea kayaking, eco adventure, natural history, First Nations culture, extraordinary wildlife viewing, photography and painting. Experience sand beaches, stunning fjords, lush estuaries, and exceptional wildlife viewing of whales and bears. Travel in luxury with a certified hospitable crew, qualified guides, gourmet food and comfortable accommodation aboard the luxury Mothership.
 
  Ocean Light II Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
Ocean Light II is a beautiful and spacious 71ft sailboat offering comfort, a classic natural wood interior, 5 guest cabins, fishing gear, 7 seakayaks, and a 19ft hard-bottom inflatable. Her crew has 34 years of experience offering natural history and photography tours on the BC Coast, including Haida Gwaii, and specializing in grizzly viewing tours in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and spirit bear and grizzly tours in the Great Bear Rainforest. We also offer whale watching and eco tours, from totems to intertidal treasures, rocky shores to sandy beaches, and spawning salmon to towering trees. We offer five spectacular adventure trips between May and October, each to a different region and each highlighting the awe-inspiring beauty of the beautiful BC coast.
 
  Ole’s Hakai Pass Fishing Lodge, Hakai Pass Listing Details 
Experience exceptional fishing for Salmon, Halibut, Red Snapper and Ling Cod in our protected, un-crowded waters in Hakai Pass on the West Coast of BC. Fishing within 5 minutes of our comfortable, clean full-service floating Lodge, everything is taken care off by our experienced, enthusiastic young staff. Fabulous Food, private accommodation, world-class fishing and genuine hospitality are what you can expect from this family-run Fishing Lodge.
 
  Spirit of the West Kayaking, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Join our sea kayaking adventures around Vancouver Island, Canada's coastal kayaking paradise. Kayak with Killer Whales, paddle Desolation Sound, experience the remote north Nootka Sound, or kayak from the comfort of our 95 ft Mothership, the Songhee. Our sea kayaking trips depart from our base on Quadra Island in the BC Discovery Islands. No experience is required for our kayak tours! Our adventures are for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. Our groups are small, ranging from 8-13 people depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. we provide everything you need to have a great kayaking adventure.
 
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