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
, grizzly bear
Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday ItineraryTo be confirmed