Land Without Limits

5-Day Trip to the Great Bear Rainforest

Great Bear Rainforest

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Great Bear Rainforest—a land of breathtaking rainforests, awe-inspiring landscapes, and abundant wildlife. Five days is just enough to experience the essence of the region and fully explore the Bella Coola Valley and beyond, a segment of the Great Bear Rainforest Loop.

Embark on a thrilling adventure packed with unique activities! Soar above the breathtaking Great Bear Rainforest in a plane, marveling at its stunning views from the sky. Then, cross the crystal-clear waters of British Columbia by ferry and drive through the picturesque landscapes of Bella Coola. This full-blown journey promises excitement and unforgettable experiences at every turn!

Check out the 3-day Trip to the Great Bear Rainforest 
Check out the 10-day Trip to the Great Bear Rainforest Loop 

Vancouver to Port Hardy by Plane (Day 1)

Flight time: 1 hour 8 minutes

great bear rainforest itinerary

Great Bear Rainforest | Yuri Choufour

The beginning of your thrilling five-day trip to the Great Bear Rainforest starts with a flight from beautiful Vancouver to Port Hardy, where you’ll catch a ferry to Bella Coola. Pacific Coastal Airlines offers a daily 30-minute flight, but departure times can vary depending on the day of the week, so make sure to check availability and book your flight in advance.

Port Hardy to Bella Coola via BC Ferries (Day 2)

Duration: 10 hours

ferry to great bear rainforest

Tyler Cave

Get ready to enjoy the world’s most scenic water routes and an unforgettable attraction in your 5-day trip to the Great Bear Rainforest: the ferry trip along the Central Coast towards Bella Coola. If you’re embarking on your five-day adventure during the summer from mid-June to mid-September, the trip will take you around 10 hours, departing early in the morning (between 7:30 and 8:30 am), and arriving in Bella Coola between 5:30 pm (direct) and 11:30 pm (through Bella Bella). BC Ferries reservations are highly recommended, so plan ahead accordingly.

It’s advisable to arrive in Port Hardy the day before your ferry trip so you can catch the early morning ferry and enjoy some time in town. While there, you can partake in activities such as flightseeing, hiking trails, diving, and wildlife viewing. During the shoulder seasons, however, the ferry takes an overnight trip, allowing you to arrive in Port Hardy via airplane on the same day, as the ferry departure time is at 6 pm, and the airplane usually arrives in the morning. Always check for updates on both Pacific Coastal Airlines and BC Ferries before booking your tickets.

For accommodation options in Bella Coola, consider Bella Coola Grizzly Tours & Outfitting, Bella Coola Mountain Lodge, and Nusatsum River Guest House.

A Full Day in Bella Coola (Day 3)

great bear rainforest itinerary

Great Bear Rainforest | Chris Wheeler

Bella Coola is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, artists, explorers, and photographers alike, making it an unmissable spot on your five-day trip along the Great Bear Rainforest Loop. From sailing and fishing adventures to guided wildlife tours and incomparable Indigenous experiences, the valley has options for everyone. Be sure to manage your time wisely and prioritize activities that interest you most during your stay in the region, and book a rental car in advance at the airport to continue your journey by land.

Shop locally produced goods at the historic Kopas Store, visit the Copper Sun Gallery, or choose one of the scenic hikes available in the region, including the guided Petroglyph and Totem tour, essential for fully experiencing the region’s glory. Choose from thrilling adventures like Bella Coola Grizzly Tours and Great Bear Sailing Adventures, or relax at more laid-back retreats such as the charming Talheo Cannery Guest House.

For history buffs, a tour of the Bella Coola Museum is highly recommended, if not essential. The building dates back to 1892, providing an immersive experience of the heritage and history of the town and its surrounding areas. Plan every minute of your time with a detailed list of Things to Do in the Bella Coola Valley.

Coming next: Tweedsmuir Provincial Park!

Bella Coola to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and Back (Day 4)

Distance: 135 km | Duration: 2 hours 22 mins

hiking bc's Rainbow Range, Tweedsmuir

Rainbow Range, Tweedsmuir | Tyler Cave

Get your camera ready, as you’re about to embark on one of the most dramatic scenery experiences in North America and a definitive highlight of your five-day trip in the Great Bear Rainforest Loop! Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, easily accessible via Highway 20, serves as the transition zone from the Interior Plateau into the Rainbow Range and Coast Mountain Range, making it a must-see stop on your way to Anahim Lake, where you’ll be spending the night.

With vast territories to traverse, an array of wildlife, and numerous hiking trails scattered throughout the park, along with excellent fishing opportunities, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts. It’s going to be hard to leave this place!

Next: Back to Bella Coola!

Bella Coola to Vancouver via Pacific Coastal Airlines (Day 5)

Flight duration: Around 1 hour and 30 minutes

Great Bear Rainforest

Tyler Cave

Ready to go back home? As you reflect on the amazing moments experienced during this inspiring five-day trip in the Great Bear Rainforest Loop, head to the airport so you can return your car and fly with Pacific Coastal Airlines.

Flights from Bella Coola usually depart around 11 am and take only 1 hour and 30 minutes. Grab a good old cup of coffee at the cozy, family-owned Bella Cafe as you pick up some souvenirs and conclude your Great Bear Rainforest adventure. How about starting to plan your next one?