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Location: Northern Vancouver Island off Hwy 19 on Beaver Cove Road; about a 30-minute drive east of Port McNeill; 210 km (130 miles) northwest of Campbell River. Population: 20.
Telegraph Cove


Telegraph Cove is a former fishing and cannery village, named in a poll of Canadian travel writers as a top-10 winner of best places to visit. It has become a launch point for eco-tourism due to its prime location on Johnstone Strait and its proximity to Robson Bight ecological reserve. The community serves as the send-off point for kayakers and other whale-watchers who are interested in sighting the large number of Orca and other whales that spend the summer months in the strait separating the northern part of Vancouver Island from the rest of British Columbia.

During the May to October season, whale watching vessels provide daytrips and multi-day adventures. The only pod in the world known to do so, the “Northern Residents” group of killer whales can sometimes be spotted rubbing their bellies on certain beaches. The Whale Interpretive Centre offers a highly educational and engaging experience focusing on local marine mammals.

This is one of the best areas on Vancouver Island for sport fishing. Fishing charters, grizzly bear viewing daytrips, cultural tours and kayak rentals are also available. Accommodations can be found at the local resort with historic cabins, condos, campgrounds, RV parks and vacation rental homes. Other amenities include full service marinas, cafes, a restaurant and pub.


Telegraph Cove Resort

Telegraph Cove is tucked away on the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island. This tiny and picturesque village is a major destination during the summer months when the snug little bay bustles with whale watchers, wildlife enthusiasts who enjoy bear viewing, fishermen, boaters, campers and kayakers. Telegraph Cove Resort has a rich and colorful past and is one of the last boardwalk settlements left on Vancouver Island. As one of the best kept secrets on Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove Resort boasts a large variety of seaside accommodation choices, from cozy cabins and historic homes to modern condominium suites.


Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures

Our excursions begin in picturesque Telegraph Cove, British Columbia on northern Vancouver Island. At 0700 a.m. sharp we board one of our comfortable, Canadian Coast Guard-certified vessels, equipped with the latest navigation equipment. After a quick safety briefing and orientation of the boat, we throw the lines and begin the magical two-hour journey into beautiful Knight Inlet, the longest inlet on the west coast of North America. Along the way our guests sit back, relax and enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast.

Meanwhile our qualified guides navigate the sheltered waters of the Broughton Archipelago in search of coastal critters and other terrestrial life forms. So named by George Vancouver in 1792 after then Capt. William Robert Broughton, the Archipelago is a maze of largely uninhabited islands and islets, rocks and reefs that effectively choke off the mouth of mighty Knight Inlet. Two hundred years later in 1992, it was designated as BC’s largest marine park.

In early spring as the winter snow begins to melt, both black and grizzly bears emerge from their hibernation dens high on the mountain slopes in a desperate search for food. The famished bears actively seek out estuaries where they graze nearly every waking hour on nutrient-rich spring sedge grasses. These sedges provide more than 20% vegetable protein, just enough to sustain the hungry omnivores because although relatively high in protein, the grasses have little in the way of calories. Grizzly bears are forced to conserve energy at this time of the year, often draping themselves over anything and everything in the most photogenic way. The bears are still sporting their winter coat, which is often lighter in colour and matted with five months of accumulated bed-head. When the tide permits, they also seize the opportunity to feed along the exposed inlet beaches, turning over rocks in search of crabs, mussels and small eels.

During the early spring love is in the air! May and June is breeding season, offering the opportunity to see the large, otherwise elusive males reluctantly reveal themselves in their pursuit of love. Courtship rituals, mating behaviour and defence of love interests are definitely a spectator’s sport.

Although no one can predict with any degree of accuracy exactly when or how big the salmon run will be for any given year, generally the fish will arrive sometime in early to mid-August. The low tide exposes expansive tidal flats over which the fish must migrate through shallow channels, where the hungry mouths of Ursus horribilus await them! This can be a very exciting time of the year because under certain circumstances we can position our viewing skiffs in such a way as to provide front row seats for one of the greatest shows on Earth!

By September the fish have largely entered the river and spawning has commenced. The bears will strategically place themselves at shallow riffle zones or simply patrol the river, looking for foraging opportunities in still deep pools or log jams where salmon carcasses will come to rest.

There is no “best” time to visit - each and every season offers its own amazing viewing experience!



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