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
, grizzly bear
Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon Photography Holiday Itinerary