Join John for a Grizzly Bear Photo Tour in the Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia
Trip Departure Point: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Trip #1: September 29th-October 6th, 2024
Trip Cost: $8995 + $77 hotel tax + gst, all-inclusive from Vancouver (SOLD OUT)
Trip Leader: John E. Marriott
Put simply, this is one of the premier grizzly bear photography tours in the world, featuring a unique opportunity to photograph mountain grizzlies (not coastal bears) on one of British Columbia’s largest sockeye salmon runs in the remote fly-in Chilcotin wilderness. You’ll get to photograph grizzly bears, bald eagles, and a host of other wildlife as they feast on the brilliant red sockeye salmon. I visited this isolated region in 2008 and 2009 and was struck by the incredible potential it had for wildlife photography given its remote, difficult-to-get-to location in a stunning mountain setting full of bears; some wild, some accommodating. In just two days in 2008, I saw 16 grizzlies, and in just two hours in 2009 I saw another 5 grizzly bears. In 2010 I led my first two tours to this incredible location and we were not disappointed. Check out my Facebook page or Instagram feed or this mountain grizzlies episode of EXPOSED with John E. Marriott for photos from the twenty-one successful sold-out trips I’ve led there since. This is, without a doubt, one of the premier grizzly bear photography locations in the world. It’s not uncommon for us to see 15-25 different grizzlies in a day.
Participants will be staying at Tsylos Park Lodge in the middle of the Chilcotin Mountains, accessible via a private airstrip near the lodge (participants will fly in on a one-hour charter plane flight from Vancouver, British Columbia over the spectacular Coast Mountain Range). This lodge has several different boats that we will be using on the lake and river to access areas that the grizzlies frequent. We will be floating the river and lakeshore to find the best spots and the best bears.
Expect all of the photography to be done from boats and to be of varying degrees of difficulty, as we will be on a moving river. This is not going to be your typical ‘set up and shoot’ type of tour, rather, it is a unique and exciting photo tour that will challenge every skill you have as a wildlife photographer. You can expect to be shooting hand-held, and with a monopod, beanbag, or tripod off of a flat-bottomed fly-fishing boat. Expect to be shooting in a variety of weather conditions; while normal temperatures are in the low to mid-teens (approx 50-60 F) at that time of year, there is the potential for heavy winds, rain, or even snow. Morning temperatures can often be at or below freezing.
Each trip is a full six-and-a-half days photographing grizzlies, eagles, and everything else we can find (it’s not uncommon to photograph black bears, common mergansers, ospreys, belted kingfishers, harlequin ducks, and barrow’s goldeneyes). Fall colours usually begin peaking on the first trip and conclude on the second/third.
I’m excited to have been the first professional wildlife photographer to lead tours here and I’m looking forward to providing you with some amazing opportunities to photograph mountain grizzlies, black bears, salmon, bald eagles, and more.
This trip requires a moderate level of fitness. Note that participants on this trip must weigh 250 pounds (114 kgs) or less in order to provide us with maximum stability on the boats as we move up and down the river. The majority of the photography will be done from boats, with or without tripods/monopods. Expect the photography to be very challenging, but rewarding! Maximum five participants per tour (plus your tour leader).
All Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours are non-smoking tours.