Mosaic Earth Tour Template Self-guided Tours - Island/Chilcotin Loop | Mosaic Earth Travel

Great Bear Rainforest & Chilcotin Circle Route

Starts/Ends:

Duration

12 days

Tour Type

Dates

From

$5,895.00

Overview

Embark on this iconic 12-day circle route through the Great Bear Rainforest and Chilcotin regions of British Columbia. From Vancouver, travel to northern Vancouver Island including Telegraph Cove, Alert Bay, and Port Hardy. Explore the region with a day of sea kayaking, Indigenous-led grizzly bear and wildlife viewing, and a visit to the renowned U’Mista Cultural Centre.

From here, board the scenic full-day ferry through the world-famous Inside Passage to Bella Coola. Spend your days grizzly bear viewing on the Atnarko River, hiking and flightseeing in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, and visiting ancient petroglyphs and hot springs.

The road trip continues east to the Chilcotin region, Canada’s ‘wild west’, where the rugged landscapes and hospitality are unmatched. Stay at family-run lodges or extend your stay at a classic Guest Ranch, before making your way back to Vancouver through the scenic Sea to Sky highway.

Are you looking for more travel inspiration in Western Canada? Check out our full range of self-drive tours in BC & the Yukon.

Highlights

  • Immerse in the Great Bear Rainforest with two unique grizzly bear & wildlife viewing tours – a full-day Indigenous-led boat trip from Alert Bay, and a half-day river float in Bella Coola.
  • Embark on a half-day kayak excursion in the hands of expert guides, paddling through ocean coves and channels with the chance to see orca, humpback whales, sea lions, and other wildlife.
  • Embrace the cultural mecca of Alert Bay with a visit to U’Mista Cultural Centre and the renowned potlatch collection.
  • Spend an afternoon strolling the boardwalks of Telegraph Cove, a former fishing and cannery village.
  • Sail along the world-famous Inside Passage with BC Ferries from Port Hardy to Bella Coola, through scenic islands, dense rainforest, and glacial fjords.
  • Explore the stunning Bella Coola valley and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, with endless hiking, boating adventures, Indigenous cultural tours, and more.
  • Visit the iconic Hunlen Falls via floatplane, dropping 260m from the Turner Lakes chain above, where you’ll spend the afternoon hiking to various scenic viewpoints.
  • Enjoy the scenic drive along the Chilcotin Plateau, BC’s ‘wild west’, and into the Coast Mountain Range and Sea to Sky Highway to Vancouver.

The Route

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Day by Day Itinerary

Arrival day to Vancouver | Check-in to hotel & free time in the city (recommendations provided).
Accommodation: Hotel (4*) | Meals included: n/a.
Ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island | Drive to Telegraph Cove (4 hours) | Free time in Telegraph Cove to explore this historic town | Waterfront dinner featuring local seafood | Overnight in Telegraph Cove. Add-on 1-2 nights in Campbell River on-route to Telegraph Cove.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a.
Morning Sea Kayaking tour on the Johnstone Strait (half-day) | Travel to Alert Bay via Port McNeill ferry | Check-in to family-run B&B | Dinner on-site.
Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast | Meals included: n/a.
Indigenous-led Grizzly Bears & Whale-Watching Tour in the Broughton Archipelago (full day) | Overnight in Alert Bay.
Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast | Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.
Free morning in Alert Bay | Explore town, shops, beach and forest walking trails | Visit U'Mista Cultural Centre (optional: Artist-led tour of galleries) | Travel to Port Hardy | Check in to Kwa'Lilas Hotel. Add-on: extra nights in Port Hardy to visit San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park.
Accommodation: Hotel | Meals included: Breakfast.
Embark on the ferry journey from Port Hardy to Bella Coola through the Inside Passage (7:30am-5:30pm) | Check-in to Bella Coola hotel | Dinner in town.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a
Grizzly bear viewing tour on the Atnarko River in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park | Free afternoon to enjoy Bella Coola and hike in the local parks.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a
Free day in Bella Coola | Optional tours & activities: Glacial Fjords & Hot Springs boat/sailing tour; Indigenous-led petroglyph tour; Guided hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, and more.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a
Drive east to Nimpo Lake (2 hours) | Float plane tour to Turner Lake & Hunlen Falls | Disembark at the remote lake for hiking and viewpoints | Floatplane return & overnight at Nimpo Lake.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a
Continue the road trip east along the Chilcotin Plateau | Stop at Bull Canyon Provincial Park | Lunch in Redstone | Check in to family-run lodge near Williams Lake. Add-on: 3-night stay at a classic Canadian Guest Ranch with horseback riding and ATV tours.
Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a
Visit Farwell Canyon sand dunes | Travel to Williams Lake and south to Green Lake Provincial Park (~2.5 hours) | Check in to B&B and free time at the park.
Accommodation: B&B | Meals included: n/a
Continue south to Vancouver via the scenic Duffey Lake Road and Sea to Sky highway (5.5-6 hours) | Tour ends in Vancouver. Add-on: nights in Vancouver or Victoria.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Included/Excluded

  • All accommodation for 11 nights, including 1 night in Vancouver, 1 night in Telegraph Cove, 2 nights in Alert Bay, 1 night in Port Hardy, 3 nights in Bella Coola, 1 night in Nimpo Lake, 1 night near Williams Lake, and 1 night near Green Lake.
  • 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • Sea kayaking tour on the Johnstone Strait (half-day)
  • Indigenous-led grizzly bear and wildlife viewing tour from Alert Bay (full-day)
  • U'Mista Cultural Centre entry (optional add-on: Artist-led tour of the galleries)
  • Grizzly viewing float in Bella Coola (half-day)
  • Floatplane tour & hike at Hunlen Falls (full-day)
  • Ferries from Vancouver to Nanaimo, and Port Hardy to Bella Coola
  • Custom itinerary design, local recommendations, and remote support from during your trip.
  • Additional meals and add-on activities
  • Flights to/from and within British Columbia
  • Vehicle rental/usage and fuel
  • Ferry to/from Alert Bay
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities

Dates & Rates

Self-Guided Tours are fully customizable and available for any group size, based on availability. This itinerary includes locally-guided day tours. Your own vehicle is required for transportation.

Contact us to start planning!

We also offer guided tours on the North Island, West Chilcotin region, and Yukon Territory.

Tour Dates:

Dates on Request

Tour Rates (2025):

Per Person

$5,895

Based on double occupancy. Single supplement applicable. All prices are in Canadian dollars and subject to GST tax (5%).

Getting Here

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What Travellers Say

Guest Experience Specialist

Emma McLachlan

As a recent graduate with a Bachelors in Tourism Development, Emma has used her education and career opportunities to explore Canada, from coast to coast. Her previous experience in hotels, adventure guiding and travel consulting has relocated her to Lake Louise, Whistler, Montreal, Banff and Toronto.

Her exploration of the west coast ignited her love for adventure tourism, but also opened her eyes to the communities marginalized at the hands of the tourism industry. This flourished her passion for creating a more thoughtful relationship amongst tourism suppliers, local communities and tourists. With Mosaic Earth Travel, Emma is connecting her passions in regenerative tourism and travel.

Originally from Ontario, Emma’s various relocations exposed her to her favourite activities; including back-country camping and hiking, rollerblading, snowboarding, rock climbing and dreaming of her next adventure. Emma is based in Montreal, QC.

Photographer & Guide

Josh McGarel

An avid photographer for over twelve years, Josh has gained experience with local and international businesses, world-renowned athletes, and individuals to build professional content and brand presence across a variety of platforms.

He has worked on assignment for an expedition cruise operator as Photographer in Residence along the East Coast of Canada, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Here, Josh connected with his love of travel as he documented daily excursions, wildlife, and life onboard, and shared his knowledge of photography through presentations and workshops for passengers.

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Josh has lived in BC since 2014. He spends his time exploring the area by mountain bike and dreaming up crazy photo projects with friends.
Founder & Lead Guide

Pam McGarel

With a Masters of Science in International Development and Sustainable Tourism, Pam has dedicated her career to harnessing the power of travel to support the wellbeing of our planet and its people. She is an experienced guide, planner and project manager with a knack for logistics.

Prior to launching Mosaic Earth, Pam worked in sustainable tourism consulting where she helped develop a globally-recognized certification program for tourism businesses and destinations.

She has experience in public-private partnerships with a polar expedition cruise operator where she built relationships with world-leading field scientists, conservationists, and educators to facilitate their projects alongside the traveller experience. Pam is a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Women Travel Leaders, and loves to connect with values-driven tourism professionals.

Originally from Ontario, Pam moved to BC in 2016 seeking outdoor adventure, with favourite activities including hiking, sea kayaking, snowboarding, and road trips around this beautiful province.