Odds are, you’ve never even heard of the Great Bear Rainforest, but that reason alone makes it a good one to visit. This is one of the largest remaining tracks of temperate rainforest left on the planet. It stretches along British Columbia’s island-dotted coastline, and hosts 1,000-year-old cedars and other giant trees, along with glacier-fed fjords. This remote and stunning expanse is home to many First Nations communities as well as lots of wildlife, including grizzly bears, coastal gray wolves, cougars, mountain goats, Sitka deer, orca, sea lions, sea otters, humpback whales, and, the rare, cream-colored Kermode bear, also known as the “spirit bear,” considered sacred by the T’simshian people. For wildlife lovers, seeing one is the prize of a lifetime.
One of the best ways to explore this region, and spot the unique Kermode, is to join an expedition. Spirit Bear Lodge, located in the tiny First Nations hamlet of Klemtu, arranges wildlife-spotting excursions with local guides.