- Photo credit(jamies.com/matthewmaran.com)
- Photo creditMarnie Recker Photography
Tofino BC Bear Watching
Grin and Bear It!
For nature lovers and photographers that prefer a calm ocean tour, Clayoquot Sound is home to a large number of resident black bears, making it prime for bear watching especially late spring through early October.*
Most whale watching operators have ocean-going tours that specialise in expeditions to experience bears in their own environment, including ambling along the beaches as they forage for food, while you remain at a safe distance in the boat.
The tours generally head to protected water around Meares Island where the ocean swell is minimal. On a calm day, the ocean can be as smooth as glass, providing exceptional opportunities for nature photography as well as close encounters with bears.
Bear watching tours are around 2-3 hours with rates similar to whale watching. You can also expect to see eagles, seals, sea lions and other wildlife as you cruise along the shoreline.
Note that if you’re driving to/from Tofino, you may see some black bears along Pacific Rim Highway 4. It can be tempting to get a closer look, however, please pull over to allow other vehicles to continue their drive, stay in your car – and of course – do NOT feed the bears. They are wild creatures that forage their own food, thank you.
Wondering about Grizzly bears?
With the exception of Knight Inlet, accessed from Vancouver Island’s northeast coast, there is no established Grizzly population on Vancouver Island.
* It is possible to see bears at other times of the year on a charter, but to avoid disappointment, always ask the tour operator ahead of time about the likelihood of bear sightings.