Yukons Bear Cave Mountain Grizzly Bear Viewing Tour
One of the most exciting bear viewing tours offered in North America.
One of the most exciting bear viewing tour programmes offered anywhere in North America, tours depart from Dawson City, Yukon and travel north by helicopter to the Fishing Branch Protected Area. This park is located just south of Old Crow, the Yukon's most northerly community. The native people of the area, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, know this ecologically rich area as Ni'iilii'njik - "where fish spawn". Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii'njik Park has been protected given the cultural and historical importance for the First Nation.
The park protects this remote corner of Yukon wilderness and its unique features created by limestone caves, year-round open water, salmon runs, and grizzly bears. Rugged mountains, gentle slopes, floodplains and many caves are home to one of North America's most unique grizzly bear populations. Warm springs bubbling up from the bed of the Fishing Branch River keep the river ice free late into the fall and early winter, permitting a late season salmon run that attracts dozens of grizzly bears and other wildlife. As the bears gorge on salmon the water on their coats freezes, creating a wonderful tinkling sound - like hundreds of tiny bells - as the bears move around the river's edges! The Vuntut Gwitchin people have referred to them as 'ice bears' in their language for hundreds of years. In fact numerous stories and legends have developed as a result of the bear's activities in the area. Small wonderï¿½the area is a bear nursery! At the end of the each season, as many as 40 resident bears amble up the steep mountain-sides and den in the many caves found on the slopes. The next season, grizzly mothers emerge from their dens with new cubs to begin a new life along the valleys of the Fishing Branch River.
The success of the bear viewing programme is owed solely to the tour director; a renowned bear specialist and wildlife photographer. He has spent the past several years in the area each Fall for weeks at a time, slowly habituating the bears to human activity. He knows most of the bears by name, having observed them for successive generations and he skillfully and safely guides the tour participants to areas around the encampment for optimal bear viewing. On any given day, numerous bears may be seen, often observed for hours at a time in close proximity. Other Yukon wildlife is also often spotted. The area's resident wolf pack often travels to the river's edge to feed on the scraps left behind by the bears. The bears have little to fear from the wolves and the two species can often be found close together. Moose, caribou, foxes, wolverines are also frequently observed.
After a day of exceptional bear viewing, tour participants return to the log cabin camp each evening for a hearty dinner and spend the evenings sharing stories, reviewing their photos and watching the beautiful Northern Lights soaring overhead. The cabins are located only a few meters away from the river's edge, so guests are able to return to the cabins to warm up on colder days.
• 1 nights' accommodation in Dawson City • Return helicopter transportation from Dawson City to and from Bear Cave Mountain • All meals whilst at the lodge • 3 or 5 nights' accommodation in a Log Cabin (depending on which duration of tour you select) • Guiding Bear Viewing • Tours departing from Whitehorse include return flights Whitehorse to Dawson City.
Pricing (per person) $AUD
Booking conditions • The maximum number of participants is 4. (There is no minimum)
• Minimal physical fitness levels are required for this programme, but guests are expected to be able to move over uneven terrain
• Guest must be adequately prepared for Fall/Winter weather conditions. Evenings can be as cold as -20C by late October and significant snowfalls can occur. Conversely, in early September, day time termperatures can rise as high as +10C, while dropping below freezing in the evening. 10 Day tours are available
• The maximum number of participants is 4. (There is no minimum) • Minimal physical fitness levels are required for this programme, but guests are expected to be able to move over uneven terrain • Guest must be adequately prepared for Fall/Winter weather conditions. Evenings can be as cold as -20C by late October and significant snowfalls can occur. Conversely, in early September, day time termperatures can rise as high as +10C, while dropping below freezing in the evening.
10 Day tours are available
Not included • Outdoor clothing/footwear
• Airfares from New Zealand
• Outdoor clothing/footwear • Airfares from New Zealand