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Viewing Bears Naturally. As featured on New Lives in the Wild with Ben Fogle, in The Sunday Times, the FT, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Travel & Leisure and the Wall Street Journal.

View Grizzly Bears, Black Bears and other Megafauna

Wild Bear Lodge (called Grizzly Bear Ranch until 2019) is a small, private lodge that specialises in viewing black bears, grizzly bears and other megafauna in some of western Canada’s most dramatic terrain.

Tucked into a hidden valley about a day’s drive from Vancouver, Calgary or Spokane in the US, the lodge, owned and run by veteran war correspondent and wilderness guide Julius Strauss, offers one of the most exciting, natural and immersive wildlife experiences in North America.

We roam far and wide with our guests – on foot, in 4x4s, and on river rafts – through ancient rainforests, hidden valleys, and into the sub-alpine, in a bid to secure the rarest and most memorable sightings of bears and other wild animals.

We pride ourselves on offering two unparalleled elements: the rugged professionalism of our guiding, and the warmth, hospitality and collegiate atmosphere of the lodge.

Julius Strauss and Sage Raymond are the pillars of the guiding team. Julius has spent more than 15 years in the bush and has observed thousands of bears at close quarters. He is a certified bear guide instructor, animal tracker, and owns his own Piper Super Cub airplane which he uses to scout remote mountain habitat.

During the winter he writes about Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and the Balkans and teaches at a university in Budapest.

Sage is a brilliant young biologist currently working towards her PhD, whose area of study is tracking coyotes during frigid winters in northern Alberta. She is one of the most highly-qualified animal trackers in western Canada and is now studying the ancient art of trailing animals through the tiny signs they leave as they move through the landscape.

When the sun goes down guests are invited to a hosted dinner by their guides where, over a glass of wine and a fresh, generous meal, they can discuss what they have seen. After dinner guides lead an interactive discussion about bears, wildlife and the conservation and charity projects they are involved in.

A Private Lodge and your own Log Cabin

Bear-Viewing at Wild Bear Lodge

There are many tourist places you can go to see bears in Canada. At some viewing operations bears are drawn in by manmade fish spawning channels or use viewing stands or boats designed for dozens of guests.

Our philosophy is a little different. We like to head out into the bear’s world on foot in small groups – typically two to four guests with each guide. We have fashioned our own trails and when you are out with us you will often not see another person all day.

As well as grizzly and black bears we may also get a chance to view mule and white-tailed deer, moose, Roosevelt elk, many types of birds including bald and golden eagles, members of the weasel family, porcupines, and, more rarely, cougars, bobcats, coyotes and grey wolves.

The fact that we are surrounded on three sides by hundreds of square kilometres of unpeopled wilderness means that we get to view animals that interact with their habitat the way they have for centuries. In some cases we view bears that may have never seen people before.

Our holidays are best-suited to those who want to immerse in the world of Canada’s famous megafauna, and learn about their biology, ecology and behaviour in a natural setting.

Each guest or couple is given their own cabin, hand-built by a local artisan in the timber-frame style, which offers the warm glow of a wood-burning stove and a view over the river that runs past the lodge.

The FT, the Sunday Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian have all written about Wild Bear Lodge. The story of how Julius reinvented himself after a decade on the world’s frontlines has also featured on the BBC and on New Lives in the Wild with Ben Fogle.

The lodge is active in conservation and charity work. Its signature achievements include co-leading a successful campaign to ban grizzly bear hunting in BC, taking part in a ground-breaking science project to develop facial recognition for grizzly bears, and a programme which brought wounded military veterans to the lodge for a week in conjunction with the Invictus Games.

Click here to watch New Lives in the Wild with Ben Fogle. For more see media coverage.