Alberni Valley is Bear Country

Grab your binoculars, a comfy blanket and head on down to Victoria Quay for some front-row bear watching!

Fall is a season for many exciting things to see and do around the Alberni Valley, and one of the most thrilling is seeing the wildlife going about their day in the incredible nature all around us. While there are many places you may spot some wildlife in the Alberni Valley, down at the Victoria Quay is one of our favourites. It’s easy to make a spontaneous afternoon with some lunch or snacks, looking across the water at our wonderful wildlife neighbour Ursus Americanus, otherwise known as the Black Bear.

Best Bear Watching in Port Alberni is at Victoria Quay

On an annual basis, salmon prolifically fill the rivers of the Alberni Valley (during fall months it’s Chinook and Coho that are spawning). This draws a lot of sport anglers in search of some of the best fishing in British Columbia, and also a lot of black bears. It is their time to fill up on as many salmon as they can before heading back to the forest for their winter hibernation. We highly recommend heading down to Victoria Quay to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures in action. Not only because it’s a beautiful park, filled with many potential wildlife viewing spots, but also because it located a very safe distance away from where the bears are feeding. We all know how important it is to keep a safe distance from any wildlife, especially bears.

bears on the boardwalk Alberni Valley

Bear Watching Essentials

  • Binoculars – the Somass River is about 100 – 120m wide so having a pair of good binoculars with you will ensure you can get a great view of not only the bears, but all kinds of interesting wildlife
  • Warm clothes – although our September/October has been quite warm, it is always a good idea to come prepared
  • Snacks – you may have to wait (not long we promise) for a bear to come down to the river, waiting is always better when you have something to eat close by! If you forget or are from out of town, don’t worry there are plenty of fantastic restaurants nearby. Check out Alberni Valley restaurant listings on our business directory page.


Wildlife Tours

Want to get a closer view (safely) of these magnificent creatures and a lot more? Book a full wildlife tour from one our local guide companies.

Alberni Charters

Their Vancouver Island Eco Tours depart from the Harbour Quay in Port Alberni and travel up the Alberni Inlet to Barkley Sound, exploring the striking coastline and taking your group on our most beautifully serene day charter.

Location: Harbour Quay Marina, 2900 Harbour Rd, Port Alberni (Map)
Contact: (250) 735-6503 | Email | Website

West Coast Edge Adventures

Breathtaking scenery of lakes, rivers, mountain tops, valleys, waterfalls, old growth forest and everything in between. There’s always a chance of seeing black bear, eagles, elk and many other wildlife species as well. Next level of comfort and safety by offering passenger ride tours in their Jeep Wrangler. Check out their website for all their awesome adventures.

Location: 2533 Port Alberni Hwy, Port Alberni, BC (Map)
Contact: 1-855-666-3343 | Email | Website