2023 – Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon Photography Holiday

A Grizzly Bear Walking Through The Snow   Captured During The Natureslens Ice Grizzlies Of The Yukon Photography Holiday
Join David & Pui Hang on a wild Canadian experience, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness in October 2023 to capture individual images of the native grizzly bear, also known as the Ice Grizzlies, as they feed on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The particular conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms the Grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; effectively 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 three places on this trip, so early booking is essential.
Join NaturesLens to capture images of native grizzly bear, in Canada, during the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon photography holiday. This photography holiday is of day duration on a Full Board, Shared basis & costs £9999 per participant.
NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a trip to a national park deep in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture remarkable images of the Ice Grizzlies as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year so the lucky few who get to observe this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.
The area 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 regional park.
In this area of the Yukon the grizzly bears stay active for as long as the food remains viable – and late salmon runs mean food until mid-November.
The chum salmon draw the grizzly bears to the Bear Cave Mountain area. To prepare for denning, these magnificent giants of the forest take advantage of the abundant food supply as they enter Stage 4 of the process known as hyperphagia, which simply means they eat and drink excessively in preparation for denning. Every fall, in the shadow of craggy mountains, as many as 40 grizzly bears amble along the river’s banks, foraging their limit of chum salmon, which have journeyed two thousand kilometres from the Bering Sea to spawn and die. It is a sight to behold as the grizzly excels at fishing.
By mid-October, winter settles in at Bear Cave Mountain and, along with the winter elements, the Grizzlies are transformed into “Ice Bears”.
During November the frosty, satiated bears then head up Bear Cave Mountain to den in its numerous caves and crevices. A protective layer of fat enables the bears to rest in their dens for the winter, but as they do not truly hibernate, they can easily be awakened.
A Grizzly Bear Stands On Rocks In A Creek   Captured During The Natureslens Ice Grizzlies Of The Yukon Photography Holiday
The period 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, Fishing Branch River remains unfrozen throughout the year, & 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 Grizzlies to the delight of wildlife photographers.
Being allowed into the park is a limited right, 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, & in particular the Ice Grizzlies, will lead us throughout the experience,; both he & David & Pui Hang will assist you in obtaining editorial-quality images that genuinely communicate the magic of this remarkable 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 charming log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; involving you deeply 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 gratifying & you can focus on capturing striking images of the fauna of Fishing Branch River to add to your wildlife portfolio.
Photographable Species: bald eagle, elk, grizzly bear, moose

Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon Photography Holiday Itinerary

day 1 - saturday - 28th october, 2023

meet at dawson city airport, transfer to local hotel & overnight in dawson city

day 2 - sunday - 29th october, 2023

helicopter trip (2 hours) to fishing branch river

day 3 - monday - 30th october, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 4 - tuesday - 31st october, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 5 - wednesday - 1st november, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 6 - thursday - 2nd november, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 7 - friday - 3rd november, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 8 - saturday - 4th november, 2023

ice grizzly bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the fishing branch river

day 9 - sunday - 5th november, 2023

late morning flight by helicopter to dawson city & overnight in dawson city

Portrait Of An Ice Grizzly   Captured During The Natureslens Ice Grizzlies Of The Yukon Photography Holiday

2020 – Grizzly Bears of the Canadian Wilderness Photography Holiday

Header_placeholder
The lush, green Khutzeymateen Valley is a globally-unique wilderness treasure to be found on the northern coast of British Columbia. The Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary is the only grizzly bear sanctuary in Canada & is located within the planet’s only remaining coastal temperate rain forest. A spectacular fjord has carved a valley within the snow-tipped mountainous landscape & the stunning river estuary is the perfect habitat for grizzly bears & a wide variety of other wildlife.
Over the course of this amazing day photography holiday, you will have the opportunity to photograph a wide variety of wildlife, including bald eagle, black bear, grizzly bear, humpback whale, killer whale, orca, wolf in their natural environment, giving you the chance to capture both wide-angle images & frame filling images. We have chosen our location & activities carefully to give you the best possible photography experience, with 5-6 hours at least per day spent photographing the bears & other wildlife, you should leave the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary with a selection of awesome images to add to your photographic portfolio.
Group size is extremely limited, book your place today!
Join NaturesLens to capture images of wild bears in their environment, in Canada, during the Grizzly Bears of the Canadian Wilderness photography holiday. This photography holiday is of day duration on a Full Board, Shared basis & costs £6999  £6599 per participant.
Join NaturesLens on a day photography experience without parallel, based in the heart of the Khutzeymateen Valley, on a floating lodge, this photography holiday includes a week packed with photographic opportunities in the estuary of the Khutzeymateen Valley, British Columbia.
You will have the opportunity to capture images of the impressive grizzly bears as they move through & feast upon the sedge grass that gives the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary such a distinctive look, you will photograph bears as they swim within the estuary, spend time capturing images of bear families as they come to the water’s edge; all the time photographing from the boats that take us out into the channels that surround the lodge & up the valley carved into the snow-tipped mountainous landscape.
The wildlife, paired with dramatic snow-tipped mountains, salmon-filled creeks, glacier-fed water channels & more, ensures that there is no other setting & subject pairing for photography quite like this. Throughout the trip you will have abundant opportunities to capture in the environment & frame filling images of bald eagle, black bear, grizzly bear, humpback whale, killer whale, orca, wolf plus more.
David & Pui Hang, the co-founders of NaturesLens, will ensure that you are in optimum position from which to capture both frame filling & wider images, highlighting the behaviour of the various species that you will encounter within the outstanding landscape which surrounds them.
The schedule for this trip has been designed to allow you to make the most of the photography opportunities available in the area – you will return with images of the wildlife that lives on & adjacent to unique wilderness treasure; images of a wide variety of wildlife that makes their home within the valley, but course the bears as they go about their every-day life in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary.
This is a photography holiday designed & led by photographers for photographers to ensure that every element of the experience enables you to achieve photographs that you will be proud to add to your portfolio; photography assistance & guidance is provided by David & Pui Hang on an as-needed basis.
Spaces are limited, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!
Photographable Species: bald eagle, black bear, grizzly bear, humpback whale, killer whale, orca, wolf

Grizzly Bears of the Canadian Wilderness Photography Holiday Itinerary

day 1 - friday - 22nd may, 2020

arrive prince rupert

day 2 - saturday - 23rd may, 2020

transfer to khutzeymateen wilderness lodge & photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 3 - sunday - 24th may, 2020

photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 4 - monday - 25th may, 2020

photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 5 - tuesday - 26th may, 2020

photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 6 - wednesday - 27th may, 2020

photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 7 - thursday - 28th may, 2020

photography within the khutzeymateen wilderness

day 8 - friday - 29th may, 2020

transfer from khutzeymateen wilderness lodge to prince rupert airport

2018 – Ice Bears of the Yukon 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 a tiny number of participant places on this trip, so booking early is essential.
Join NaturesLens to capture images of top level predator on the banks of the Fishing Branch River, in Canada, during the Ice Bears of the Yukon past event. This past event is of day duration on a Full Board, Shared basis & costs £8499 per participant.
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 6 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 the 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 2,500 sq. 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 2 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 7 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.
As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly memorable & 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!
Photographable Species: bald eagle, elk, grizzly bear, moose

Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday Itinerary

To be confirmed

Day 1 - overnight Whitehorse

Travel from UK to Whitehorse, arrival in Whitehorse & overnight

Day 2 - overnight Dawson City

Travel to Dawson City & overnight

Day 3 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Helicopter trip (2 hours) to Fishing Branch River

Day 4 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 5 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 6 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 7 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 8 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 9 - overnight Bear Cave Mountain

Ice Grizzly Bear & other wildlife photography along the banks of the Fishing Branch River

Day 10 - overnight Dawson City

Late morning flight by helicopter to Dawson City & overnight

Day 11 - overnight Whitehorse

Afternoon flight from Dawson to Whitehorse & overnight

Day 12 - Travel to UK

Fly from Whitehorse to Vancouver or Calgary & onwards to UK