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 lifetime 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“.


The cost of £8,995 per person includes seven nights / eight days at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp with helicopter transfers, accommodation, bear viewing activities and meals. The additional days in Vancouver, Whitehorse and Dawson City are at a supplement cost from £1,350 per person (this cannot be confirmed until four months prior to departure due to the release of internal flight schedules). International flights will be a further supplement cost from £750 per person. Due to the remote location of Bear Cave Mountain and the unpredictable weather conditions, we have outlined the additional days to give an accurate picture of the length of time needed to visit Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp successfully.

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 need 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 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:
  • 11th October 2019

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

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
11th Oct 2019 24th Oct 2019 £ 8,995 call call Phil Timpany Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 7 nights / 8 days accommodation at Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp
  • All meals and drinks while at Bear Cave Mountain
  • Daily bear-viewing. There are four designated viewing sites to visit during the week
  • Opportunity for hiking for a rare perspective on Bear Cave Mountain
  • Opportunity for viewing other wildlife such as moose, caribou, wolves or even wolverine
  • Possibility of observing the Aurora Borealis
  • Return Heli-transfers between Dawson City and Bear Cave Mountain

what is excluded

  • Accommodation in Vancouver, Whitehorse and Dawson City
  • Internal Flights
  • International Flights
  • Transfers in Vancouver City


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 Columbia, 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 and breakfast

You will be staying at L’Hermitage Vancouver, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Fly Vancouver to Whitehorse

This day is required to reach Whitehorse (supplement cost)

You will be staying at Skky Hotel, room only

Day 3

Fly Whitehorse to Dawson City

This day is required to reach Dawson City and to allow for weather conditions (supplement cost)

You will be met by Paul the proprietor of Aurora Inn and transferred to the hotel.

You will be staying at Aurora Inn, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Please be up early (approximately 7am) and ready for your transfer to Bear Cave Mountain

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 few 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 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. There is a viewing site very near to camp so you can retreat to the main building for a warm up, while your guide remains at the site and can notify you of any approaching bears.

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

The lodge and helicopter pilot will be in contact with Paul at Aurora Inn and keep him informed of y

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 and 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.

This day is required in case of adverse weather and late departure from Bear Cave Mountain

You will be staying at Aurora Inn, bed and breakfast

Day 13

Fly Dawson City to Whitehorse

Fly Whitehorse to Vancouver

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

Day 14

Day at leisure in Vancouver


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

L' Hermitage Vancouver

L' Hermitage Vancouver

L'Hermitage Hotel Vancouver is a 60-room, high-end boutique property, located on the corner of Richards and Robson Street, in the very heart of Vancouver's shopping and entertainment district....

View Accommodation

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."

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

Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 2 / Max 4

Departure Date (S):

  • 11th October 2019

  • Moderate Activity -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 need to walk far. 

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