The Best of Canada’s North!
Join Juan Pons and Andy Williams on this ultimate 8 day grizzly bear adventure that is perfect for any wildlife and nature enthusiast! Our destination is a remote bear camp which is only accessible by helicopter, deep inside the British Columbia wilderness—followed by a two more days of image editing, instruction, hopefully northern lights, and relaxation.
A total of eight of us have been granted exclusive use of our bear camp where you will photograph amazing bear activity that includes fishing on the spawning salmon, bears swimming in the pools and playing along the banks. If we get lucky, we will also get to spot a timber wolf pack that calls this area home.
We will all meet at our hotel in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory on August 17, 2017 and enjoy a welcome dinner together. We will get to know each other and discuss what you can expect during our time with the grizzly bears. We overnight in Whitehorse and leave at 7:00 AM the next morning for a two hour drive to the helicopter pad. Our grizzly bear adventure begins as we board the helicopter for an exhilarating and scenic trip to our home base for the next few days. On our way you will pass over some of northern British Columbia’s most beautiful wilderness locations. When we arrive at our base camp, we will have the opportunity to experience a closeness and intimacy with the inland grizzly bears seldom experienced, and normally only see on the Nature Channel.
We have secured exclusive use of our camp where you will photograph amazing bear activity that can include fishing on the spawning salmon, bears swimming in the pools and playing along the banks. This is a very exclusive, very unique place where the bears have citizenship and we are the visitors. We will experience and photograph the bears in their natural environment, and as far away from a zoo-like experience as one can have. We’ll spend four days with the grizzlies, and then we will spend a two days at Sundog Retreat outside of Whitehorse reviewing and editing the images we captured of these amazing grizzlies. In addition to working on our images and some Lightroom instruction, we hope to be lucky enough to capture some northern lights images in this stunning location.
August 17–24, 2018
Important note: nature is nature, and we don't control it. In fact, our bear camp is one in which humans are the guests, and the bears have citizenship! We expect many bear encounters, and many great photographs—but we simply cannot control what happens. Everything is 100% natural, no baiting and no interference. Based on past experience, this is an excellent time for bear visits and photographs!
August 17, 2018: Fly from your home to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada (YXY Airport code), arriving before 5:00pm. We will all meet at our hotel in Whitehorse and enjoy a welcome dinner together in downtown Whitehorse. We can get to know each other and discuss what you can expect during the workshop.
August 18, 2018: After an early breakfast, we have a scenic two hour drive to the helicopter pad. Our grizzly bear adventure begins as we board the helicopter for an exhilarating and scenic trip to our home base for the next few days. On our way we will pass over some of northern British Columbia’s most beautiful wilderness locations. Then, when we arrive at our base camp, we will have the opportunity to experience a closeness and intimacy with the inland grizzly bears seldom experienced. On arrival, you know you are in an area virtually untouched by man. Giant spruce and cotton wood trees tower over the clear rushing water of the river. The camp is built riverside and offers comfortable heated cabins of double occupancy, and a main lodge with kitchen and dining room facilities, where our chef provides excellent meals three times a day—and by night, an area to sit as a group and regale in the day’s exciting photo opportunities.
August 18 - 22, 2018: During our days you will be photographing the grizzly bears that are drawn into the area of the camp to fish and feed on spawning pink as well as chinook salmon. This fishing ritual of the grizzly bears has been going on for decades in that specific area and within the last 30 years the bears became very accustomed to the presence of the camp and its inhabitants. Thus, they will go about all their normal daily activities—including fishing, eating their prey, interacting with each other, and much more—in and around camp. This provides exceptional photographic opportunities all around the clock. Guests are literally living in the world of grizzly bears from the time they get up in the morning until their head hits the pillow again at night. Here, virtually all bear age and sex-classes are present—from large adults through to females with cubs. While yearling and third-spring cubs are more commonly seen, there is always the chance of seeing and photographing small cubs of-the-year.
There are three ground-based locations to view and photograph the bears. One of these is the platform adjoining the main lodge (ground-level) and the two others are locations along the river where we can view the bears fishing. Each location offers different scenery and backdrops. So most of the Grizzly bear viewing and photography is done “face to face” on the ground with a guide. However, guests also have the option of being put out at one of the two platforms where they can view and photograph bears and other wildlife in a non-guided situation. As an added benefit, you will also learn about bear behavior from our expert guides and owner of the camp, Phil, a seasoned bear expert who has an intimate relationship with the bears that have been calling this location home for generations. Phil will be on hand the whole trip to answer all your questions regarding the species, the location and the salmon spawn that is occurring.
August 22–24, 2018: On the morning of the 22nd, we say goodbye to our ursine friends and helicopter back to civilization, and we will take the drive to Sundog Retreat outside of Whitehorse. Here we will spend our days reviewing images and learning new Lightroom techniques. We'll photograph sunrise and sunset at nearby beautiful lakes. And in the evenings, we hope to be lucky enough to capture the northern lights!
August 24, 2018: Flights home from Whitehorse (YXY) anytime this day.
Accommodations note: In Whitehorse on the first night, you will have a single room. Accommodations at our bear camp and at Sundog Retreat are double occupancy cabins. We will match you up with a same gender traveler. At the bear camp, the bathroom facilities are private (1 per cabin) and are separate from the cabins by about fifty feet with hot and cold running water for the sink and shower, and flush toilets. At Sundog Retreat, the bathroom facilities are in each cabin.
- Double Occupancy Lodging
- All meals during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from Juan Pons
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Fun, inspiration and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
UPDATE: As of February 24, 2018, we have one spot left, for a male participant.
Our 2016 and 2017 Grizzlies workshops sold out in just a few days. If being up close and personal with these bears is what you're looking for, don't delay, click the "Sign Me Up!" button and register now. We'll see you in Northern Canada! Got questions?