Wildlife Group Tour

Canada Group Tour - The Ice Bears of Yukon

A unique and rare opportunity to view ice bears amidst pristine wilderness

14 days

from £8,995pp
  • Opportunity to join one of the most unique grizzly bear viewing trips in the world
  • Guided by professional filmmaker and bear expert Phil Timpany
  • Exclusive group of just four travellers
  • Incredible photographic and filming opportunities
  • Discover raw Canadian wilderness

This group tour provides a truly once in a life time opportunity to experience the world's only ice bear viewing.  Deep in the Yukon Territory, two hours by helicopter, is the Fishing Branch River. This river has a constant upwelling of cold water allowing the river to flow year round, which in turn provides a late salmon run and keeps the bears feeding later in preparation for hibernation. Due to the extreme sub-zero temperatures, the water on their coats freezes while they fish, creating their frosted appearance. 

Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp provides an unrivalled grizzly bear viewing experience.  More than just sightings and observations guests can experience genuine wildlife encounters, fully immersed in a world dominated by grizzly bears.  For eight days, co-exist with the grizzlies from morning until night. Explore this open air classroom that will hopefully not only educate but change perceptions of both bears and their habitat.

Accompanied by Phil Timpany, guests will be able to receive not only expert tuition on bears, but also get some useful advice on filming and photography. A professional filmmaker, Phil is a truly passionate defender of bears. Together with the First Nation people of the region, he is committed to showing the value of protecting bears and their habitat.

Phil Timpany sums up his bear encounters over the last thirty years:

"To date I have spent more than 2,000 days with grizzly bears. It has been a privilege, a life lesson, and a humbling experience. I am deeply touched by their intelligence, physical power, forgiving nature and honesty“.

What is a typical day at Bear Cave Mountain?

All bear viewing is experienced from ground level. There are a number of designated sites, one just metres from camp, another five minutes walking.  Each site is purposely chosen for optimum light and weather conditions for observation and photography.   Each outing to view the bears usually lasts between two and four hours depending on the bear activity.  The camp is within close proximity to most of the viewing sites so during the winter season, viewing times are likely to be shorter before you may wish to return to camp to warm up.

How fit do I need to be?

You do not need to be particularly fit, but steady on uneven terrain.  The viewing sites are not that far from camp, so you won’t be needing to walk far.

Do I need to be a keen photographer?

No you don’t. This is a truly incredible wildlife experience that can be enjoyed to the full without a camera lens. However, for those that are keen, capturing the ice bears could be considered the holy grail of bear photography.

How close will I get to the bears?

Bear Cave Mountain Adventures has an extraordinary record for close encounters with bears.  Phil Timpany has been observing grizzlies at Bear Cave Mountain since 1991 and over this period bears have become accustomed to the comings and goings at camp.

What is the accommodation like?

Bear Cave Mountain Adventures camp is a rustic set up but comfortable. The main lodge consists of a kitchen and dining room where our chefs provide excellent meals three times a day. Each cabin, equipped with lighting, contains two single beds with duvets as well as a wood heater. There is also a hot shower facility. The only loo is an outhouse, but it has a warm Styrofoam seat for comfort!

Will I see any other wildlife?

The focus is really on the "ice grizzly bears" at this time of year.  You might be lucky and see a wolf or wolverine, but this is rare.

How cold is it going to be?

Temperatures in the Yukon during the winter can drop to -30 / -35 degrees. So it is important you are prepared for this.  Suitable jackets, insulated trousers and boots will be provided by the camp, but please see our packing list for other items you should bring.

Is there Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal?

No. Bear Cave Mountain Adventures is two hours by helicopter from the nearest town.  There is no mains electricity or communications except for a satellite phone. 



Departing on:
  • 26th October 2018

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

DEPART UKARRIVE UKPrice Excluding Flights (£)Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
26th Oct 2018 8th Nov 2018 £ 8,995 £ 700 call Phil Timpany Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 7 nights / 8 days accommodation at Bear Cave Mountain
  • All meals and drinks while at Bear Cave Mountain
  • Heli Transfers between Dawson City and Bear Cave Mountain

what is excluded

  • Internal Flights
  • International Flights
  • Pre/Post Trip Accommodation

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Day at leisure in Vancouver


Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains of British Colombia, Vancouver is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, bustling throughout the year. Renowned for its scenic beauty and endless outdoor activities, there is plenty of opportunity to get out and about. Get active and cycle through Stanley Park, explore the North Shore mountain trails, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge or head out on kayak to explore English Bay.


You will be staying at L’Hermitage Vancouver, Bed & Breakfast


You will be staying at L’Hermitage Vancouver, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Fly Vancouver to Whitehorse


You will be staying at Skky Hotel, Room only

Day 3

Fly Whitehorse to Dawson City


You will be staying at Aurora Inn, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Travel from Dawson City to Bear Cave Mountain (Air Transfer Journey)


You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 5

Bear Cave Mountain
Over the next view days, you will go out daily with your guide to designated viewing sites to observe bear behaviour and watch these wonderful creatures fishing for salmon. You will be out for about two to four hours depending on the bear activity.

Winter comes early to Bear Cave Mountain and due to the harsh environment the season to view bears here is very short with just a six week window. Due to an unusual thermal uprising the salmon spawn here late into the season through autumn into winter when snow is on the ground. With 35,000 chum salmon making the gruelling journey upstream, the bears are drawn to the rivers to feed ahead of hibernation.

There are four viewing sites near to camp that offer great viewing of these large Yukon grizzilies. The schedule here is flexible to take advantage of the unpredictable nature of viewing bears. Between sessions return to camp for meals or snacks to replenish before getting back out in the field.

In the evenings, congregate in the main house to share your stories and photos of the day.


You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 6

You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 7

You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 8

You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 9

You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 10

You will be staying at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp, Full board

Day 11

Travel from Bear Cave Mountain to Dawson City (Air Transfer Journey)


Dawson City is located in the Yukon Territory close to the border with Alaska. The town rose out of the gold mining era when in 1896 a group of ambitious men went to seek out their fortune and struck gold. Needless to say word got out, and more followed. Dawson became the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle with some 30,000 inhabitants, despite the treacherous journey to reach it. Fancy hotels, theatres and dance halls were built to entertain the miners and the town soon became a hot spot of dancing girls, photographers and writers.

Today, Dawson city is home to approximately 1,400 people, just under a third of whom are First Nations. Mining is still the main industry in the area, accompanied now by tourism. Much of the old buildings remain as does its Wild West frontier town feel.


You will be staying at Aurora Inn, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Dawson City at leisure
Spend today at your leisure exploring the old Gold Rush atmosphere of Dawson City. There are a number of attractions in the area including the Klondike goldfields, the Diamond Tooth Gertie's Casino, or take a cruise down the Yukon River, or a walking historical tour. Take in a Burlesque style shows, typical of a wild west frontier town, or a tour to see the Northern lights can also be arranged.


You will be staying at Aurora Inn, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13

Fly Dawson City to Whitehorse

Fly Whitehorse to Vancouver


You will be staying at L’Hermitage Vancouver, Room only

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp

Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp

The Bear Cave Mountain Adventures camp is a remote camp located in the Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii Njik Park in the Yukon Territory....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Canada

Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Canada Ice Bears 2018

Phil Timpany

Phil Timpany
Phil Timpany is a professional photographer and film maker with over thirty years experience photographing and observing bears. He has frequented Bear Cave Mountain since 1991 and even after all this time he is still humbled by the bears' intelligence and in awe of their presence. Phil is also a skilled woodsman and you will be impressed by his back country cuisine!
Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 3 / Max 4

Tour Expert:

Phil Timpany

Departure Date (S):

  • 26th October 2018 - Guaranteed to run

The tour may involve daily walks and will have a faster pace in certain areas. The pace of this tour will be quite busy, expect long travel days and very little time at leisure.

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