Adara Insider: A visitors guide to Bear viewing in Whistler
Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Emerging from thawing Spring foliage, resident sleepy Black Bears are waking from their long Whistler winter hibernation. Over recent weeks, there have been a number of bear spottings around golf courses, valley trails and ski lifts. With approximately 100 bears calling the Whistler area home, now is the perfect time to visit the town and see a black bear for yourself!
If you want to get up close and personal with these awesome creatures, a Whistler bear viewing tour is a unique and unforgettable experience. Whilst you can see a bear in the village if you're lucky enough, a tour allows viewing of bears under the guidance of an experienced expert and also provides the opportunity to learn more about the animals and their habitat. One of the most popular tours is run through Whistler Blackcomb by independent researcher Michael Allen and Sea-to-Sky local Kathy Jenkins. Between the two, they have over 25 years' experience studying black bears in the region. Bear tours hosted by Whistler Blackcomb allow you to travel comfortably in a 4x4 vehicle through a maze of ski area roads that traverse the largest concentration of mother bear ranges in the region. For more information about bear tours, visit the Whistler Blackcomb website.
If a bear tour is not for you, it is still important to keep in mind bear awareness when hiking or walking around Whistler village as you never know when you might have a chance encounter. The Resort Municipality of Whistler encourages a healthy relationship between bears and humans. As visitors, here are some tips for ensuring the safety of both yourself and bears to ensure your Whistler bear experience is a memorable one for the right reasons.
- Ensure you use Whistler's bear proof bins when disposing of garbage
- Don't store any food outside or in vehicles
- If hiking trails, choose ones with good visibility
- Learn how to identify signs of bear activity
- Always travel in groups
- Make your presence known
- Do not approach a bear, always maintain your distance and slowly walk away
The Adara Hotel provides the perfect base for your bear viewing alpine experience. Our front desk staff are able to point you in the right direction whether you'd like to take a guided bear tour or prefer self-guided hikes. Please contact the hotel anytime for further information or leave a note in the comments section below. Happy bear viewing!
Photo Credit: Paul Morrison