Ocean Outfitters Tofino Wildlife Tours Icons

Bear Watching Tours in Tofino, BC

Tofino’s Clayoquot Sound offers the most incredible coastline for viewing black bears. Our bear watching tours cruise through the protected and calm waters surrounding Meares Island and other scenic small islands throughout the Sound.

Clayoquot Sound’s resident bears come down to the beaches at low tide to forage for such beach delicacies as rock crab, starfish and even a bit of kelp. They are an absolute pleasure to watch from the boat and thanks to their poor eyesight they are usually unaware of our presence so long as we keep quiet and a respectable distance up wind. You will also have grand opportunities on this tour to view an eagle aerie, harbour porpoises, seals, river otters, blue herons and other species of wildlife!

Our tours are offered as soon as the bears wake up from winter hibernation, which is usually sometime in April or May. The bear viewing season winds down as the bears head up river to feast on salmon, usually sometime in October.

We offer bear watching tours in both covered family boats and adventurous Zodiac boats. Please note that daily departure times vary with the tidal schedule.


BEAR WATCHING – 30FT COVERED BOAT

Tour Duration: 2 hours


Daily Departure Times

April - October: Departure times vary with tides


Bear Watching Rates

Adult: $109
Senior (65+): $99
Youth (13-18): $99
Children (4-12): $79
Ages 3 & Under: FREE*

Book Now

*Online bookings must be made 24hrs in advance. To make a booking for a time within the next 24hrs please call for availability.

*One free infant per departure. First-come, first-serve.

*Departure times vary depending on tides & daylight.

*Prices displayed are before taxes & fees.


BEAR WATCHING – 30FT ZODIAC BOAT

Tour Duration: 2 hours


Daily Departure Times

April - October: Departure times vary with tides


Bear Watching Rates

Adult: $109
Senior (65+): $99
Youth (13-18): $99
Children (5-12): $79

Book Now

*Online bookings must be made 24hrs in advance. To make a booking for a time within the next 24hrs please call for availability.

*Height Restriction: Children must be 142cm (4'6") tall for zodiac tours.

*Weight Restriction: Maximum weight for our largest flotation suit (which must be worn on zodiac tours) is 280 lbs (127 kg).

*Departure times vary depending on tides & daylight.

*Prices displayed are before taxes & fees.


coastal-black-bear-tofino-1500x600.jpg

Bear Watching Details


IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • Make sure you read & understand our booking policies and waiver terms before processing your reservation.

  • We do our best to please everyone but cannot always guarantee vessel type unless you are traveling with children under 142cm tall.

  • A ecological stewardship fee of $7 will be added to each fare in support of maintaining the marine ecosystem in Clayoquot Sound. Ocean Outfitters donates this amount annually.

  • We allow one free infant per departure on first come first serve basis (covered vessels only)

  • There are height restrictions for children under 142cm tall aboard zodiacs

  • View our FAQ's page if you have any questions regarding our tours.

  • Multi-tour discounts available!

  • Reserve ahead for the busy summer months. Simply book online, call, or email us.


WHAT TO BRING BEAR WATCHING:

  • Dress warmly for the zodiac (long sleeves, pants, fleece or sweater)

  • Dress comfortably for the covered vessel

  • Rain gear

  • Warm hat and gloves

  • Enclosed shoes (sandals not recommended)

  • Binoculars

  • Sunglasses/sunscreen

  • A camera / mobile phone to capture an “ocean loving selfie”

  • Gum/Mints

  • Drinking water

  • Your smile and a true west coast spirit for adventure!


Prepare for your Bear Watching Tour:

  • In order to eliminate any possible human food conditioning of bears or wolves, no food or beverage other than water can be consumed in bear/wolf viewing areas.

  • Smoking is not permitted in bear/wolf viewing areas.

  • Flash photography devices are not permitted when viewing or photographing bears/wolves.

  • Noise and movement must be kept to a minimum aboard the vessels.

  • Viewers must not signal the bears in any way using hand motions nor auditory signals.

  • Guests are advised not to wear strong smelling deodorants or perfumes as bears are particularly sensitive to olfactory cues. 


Bear Watching FAQ’s:

How long is a Bear Watching trip?

Our bear watching tours are 2 hours in duration.

What types of bears can we see?

We watch black bears on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

When is the best time of year for bears?

From April until the end of September.

When is the best time of day for bear sightings?

Our bear watching trips are based on the tides, as this is the time when the bears are coming out of the forest to forage along the intertidal zone for rock crab, starfish and other beach delicacies.

Where do the trips go?

We take you into the calm and protected inlet waters of Clayoquot Sound surrounding scenic Meares Island.

I am a very keen photographer, which boat should I book the Bear Watch on?

Our Zodiac is the best suited vessel for those focused on photography. This open vessel offers unblocked views.


Still looking for more…


Do you want your own private bear watching tour?

Learn more about or private charters options.

Looking for a tour to go on in our winter months (Nov. 1 - Mar. 1)?
Check out our 2.5 hours Clayoquot Nature Cruise tour.

Give the gift of adventure!
Gift certificates for all of our tours can be purchased online. See our Gift Cards Page for more details.