The Best of Canada’s North!
Join Juan Pons on this ultimate ten day, nine night nature 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 another remote lodge in the mountains of the Yukon Territory—for what we hope is stunning aurora photography and autumn color in the Yukon Wilderness.
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.
We will all meet at our hotel in Whitehorse 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, and the Northern Lights. We overnight in Whitehorse and leave at 7am next morning for a 2 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 switch gears from wildlife to landscapes, and chase the beautiful northern lights of the Yukon.
August 17 - 26, 2017
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, 2017: 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.
Accommodations note: Single rooming here in Whitehorse is included.
August 18, 2017: 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, 2017: 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.
Accommodations note: all accommodations at our bear camp are double occupancy (cabins) with shared shower facilities and outhouses.
August 22 - 25, 2017: On the morning of the 22nd, the second leg of our trip starts as we land in our helicopter on our return from the Bear Lodge. From there we will head right for Sky High Wilderness Ranch, where we will stay for the next three nights. For three days and three nights we will be standing amidst a sweeping landscape of mountain valleys carved by glaciers and sprinkled with alpine wildflowers and some valleys painted by fall colors. Encompassing breathtaking views of lush valleys, mountain ranges, the Yukon is part of the largest internationally protected wilderness area in the world. Four interconnecting wilderness parks in British Columbia, Alaska and the Yukon are designated a World Heritage Site.
Accommodations note: accommodations at Sky High Ranch Wilderness Ranch are lodge rooms with double occupancy.
We will take different hikes into the back country near Kathleen Lake and Kluane Lake before our home cooked dinners. After dinner, it’s a golden hour photo shoot at some of the most beautiful glacier lakes in Canada. During our time here we will also take a 3-4 hour guided horse trek up into the mountains to gain access to meadows and mountain ranges away from civilization.
After the horse trek and dinner at the lodge, we'll head out into the night if the skies co-operate. You will be presented with golden hour and blue hour photography opportunities that end with a star show with zero light pollution, and maybe, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to photograph an aurora show in this area. But if the aurora doesn’t present itself, the night skies still offer the opportunity to learn how to easily create star trail photos or other night time long exposure photos.
During our time in Whitehorse we will also visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. The Yukon Wildlife Preserve is a unique wildlife viewing property featuring ten species of northern Canadian mammals in their natural environment. Encompassing over 700 acres with various natural habitats, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve offers unparalleled wildlife viewing and photo opportunities.
We normally visit the wildlife preserve on the last full day and then end the day before our last dinner, we’ll relax and celebrate with a soak in the Takhini Hot Springs.
August 26, 2017: Flights home from Whitehorse (YXY) anytime this day.
- Double Occupancy Lodging (Single may be available)
- All meals during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Fun, inspiration and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Our 2016 Grizzlies workshop 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?