Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday
Join NaturesLens on a wild Canadian adventure, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness to capture unrivalled images of the native grizzly bear as it feeds on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The specific conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; completely changing their appearance as photography subjects.
Only a fortunate few can witness this spectacle annually, & the unique nature of this wildlife photography experience means that we can only offer at most 3 places on this trip, typically only 2, so booking early is essential.
NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a journey to a national park in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture awe-inspiring images of the native grizzly bears as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year, so the lucky few who get to witness this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.
The location for this wildlife photography holiday lies within a snowball’s throw of the Arctic Circle in the Fishing Branch Protected Area, where the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & the regional government have joined hands to set aside 2,500 sq. miles of pristine wilderness as Yukon’s largest territorial park.
The season to witness this phenomenon is short, just six weeks long, in which the grizzlies gather to feast on the spawning salmon. Their feeding behaviour is intense during this period as they are attempting to put on enough weight to last them through their hibernation in nearby limestone caverns over the winter months & the Fishing Branch River is the key to it all.
Fed by underground springs, it remains unfrozen all year round, & every autumn 35,000 chum salmon make the 1,500-mile odyssey from the Bering Sea to spawn in its pure waters. At times there are so many fish in the river you feel you could walk across it on their backs without getting your feet wet.
The salmon, in turn, attract the grizzlies, as many as 40 every season & as they wade through the river an extraordinary transformation takes place. Within minutes their wet fur freezes in the sub-zero temperatures & they become ice bears to the delight of wildlife photographers.
Being allowed into the park is a rare privilege, as the region is very sacred to the indigenous Vuntut Gwitchin communities who reside in the area, & put great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The 2500sq miles which make up the park was set aside by the government & local communities as an area for preservation, & the opportunity to capture its rarely disturbed wildlife population on camera is not one to miss out on. A guide with in-depth knowledge of the wildlife & culture of the Yukon national park will lead you throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining editorial-quality images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional wildlife spectacle.
Our trip includes a two-hour chartered helicopter journey from Dawson City to Fishing Branch River, which takes us across a far-reaching emptiness of deep-frozen rivers & boreal forests bounded by range upon range of white mountains punching to the sky. You will also enjoy seven nights full-board accommodation in a rustic log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; immersing you in the action yet providing a cosy retreat from the harsh conditions outside.
All internal transfers, accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible.
As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly enjoyable & you are able to focus on capturing stunning photographs to add to your wildlife portfolio. Group numbers are strictly limited, so book your place now to avoid missing out!
Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Workshop Availability
3 places available.
We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.
For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.
- Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
- Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
- Thermal clothing.
- Thermal socks.
- Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
- Waterproof cap or hat.
- Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
- Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
- Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
- Travel sickness pills.
- Digital camera body.
- Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
- Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
- An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
- Monopod or tripod.
- Remote shutter release.
- Spare memory cards.
- Spare battery.
- Battery charger.
- Lens cleaning cloth.
- Camera and lens waterproof cover.
- Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.
Additional NotesNaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.
The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.
NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 plus NaturesLens guide(s).
Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.
Unless stated otherwise, all NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement.
Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Proposed Itinerary
- 15-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
- 16-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
- 17-Oct-20 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 18-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 19-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 20-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 21-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 22-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 23-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
- 24-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City
- 25-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse
- 26-Oct-20 – Travel to UK