See FAQ for Trip Tic Usage
Return to Misty Moorings - Trip Tic

Destination: Khutzeymateen River Bear Lodge

Route Notes

  • This Scenery is for Return to Misty Moorings only.
  • Minimum Altitude: 1200 Feet
  • Landing zone is: Dirt, snow in winter
  • GPS for destination: N54 39.72 W129 47.80 Alt 127'
  • Print-Able copy HERE
  • Flight Seeing Plan available HERE

Khutzeymateen River Bear Lodge

The Grizzly Bear population in British Columbia have a place where they are looked after and monitored. The Bear View lodge, which is a replica of an African Safari resort, keeps a year round vigil on the local population of grizzly bears. There's a scientific research facility that tag's the bears and keeps track of them for study. Visitors to the lodge stay in facilities geared towards bear viewing along the river and with a focus on the conservation of the bears habitat and natural resources.

In August of 1994, Khutzeymateen was designated Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary under the joint management of the province of British Columbia and the Tsimshian Nation. Located 40 kilometers northeast of Prince Rupert on BC's northern coast, Khutzeymateen, a Tsimshian word meaning a confined space of salmon and bears, provides about 45,000 hectares of protected wilderness for the grizzly bear - a species at risk. The valley's rich wildlife population includes moose, wolves, migrating owls, grouse, shorebirds, geese, harlequin ducks, kingfishers, harbour seals, orca and humpback whales along the coast. With its dense rain forest, river mouth estuary and ocean fjord, the park sanctuary is able to provide refuge for about 50 grizzlies.

There's a short dirt airstrip and a water landing area. Aircraft will ferry guests and re-supply flights to and from the Bear View lodge. Also look nearby for viewing shelters along the river and the float plane dock near the South end of the property boundary area. Please do not disturb the bears! Armed personnel are on site to keep the bears from any incursions inside the lodge compound. They use tranquilizer guns only if necessary but mainly ward off the bears with fireworks and BB guns to avoid any potential attacks on staff or guests.

WaveTop VFR Plan

From: Port Rupert, BC (CYPR)
To: Khutzeymateen River Bear Lodge

OVERVIEW: During the first part of our journey, the terrain is relative flat and easy to navigate. We'll do most of our talking about the area and what we will see during that part of the flight. Later, as we get into the mountains, we'll be very busy watching for waypoints and making the turns. This is a beautiful flight, one you won't forget, and one that has an exciting finish and an excellent final location. You came to see bears? Well you'll see them, I can guarantee it!

  • Prince Rupert Airport (YPR/CYPR) is located on Digby Island and its elevation is 35 m (116 ft]) above sea level. The airport consists of one runway, one passenger terminal, and two aircraft stands. Access to the airport is typically achieved by a bus connection that departs from one location in downtown Prince Rupert (Highliner Hotel) and travels to Digby Island by ferry. The airport is served by Air Canada and Hawkair from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Prince Rupert is also served by the Prince Rupert/Seal Cove Water Aerodrome, a seaplane facility with regularly scheduled, as well as chartered, flights to nearby villages and remote locations.

COURSE: Our flight begins in Prince Rupert, BC. We fly the runway heading then bank to a heading of 41 degrees that we will hold for about 6 miles.

  • Prince Rupert, named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, was founded by Charles Melville Hays, the general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP) and was incorporated on March 10, 1910. Prior to the opening of the GTP, the business center on the North Coast was Port Essington on the Skeena River. After the founding of Prince Rupert at the western terminus for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Port Essington returned to being a fishing community and is now a ghost town.
  • Charles Hays had many grand ideas for Prince Rupert including berthing facilities for large passenger ships and the development of a major tourism industry. These plans fell through when Charles Hays perished April 15, 1912 on the RMS Titanic. Mount Hays, the larger of two mountains on Kaien Island, is named in his honor, as is a local high school, Charles Hays Secondary School.
  • Local politicians used the promise of a highway connected to the mainland as an incentive and the city grew over the next several decades. American troops finally completed the 100 mile stretch of road between Prince Rupert and Terrace during World War II to facilitate the movement of thousands of allied troops to the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific. Following World War II, the fishing industry, particularly salmon and halibut, and forestry became the city's major industries. Prince Rupert was the Halibut Capital of the World until the early 1980s. A long-standing dispute over fishing rights in the Dixon Entrance to the Hecate Straight (pronounced as "hekk-et") between American and Canadian fisherman lead to the formation of the 54-40 or Fight Society. The United States Coast Guard maintains a military base in nearby Ketchikan, Alaska.
  • The period from 1996 to 2004 saw difficult times for Prince Rupert, including closure of the pulp mill, the burning down of a fish plant and a significant population decline. 2005 may be viewed as a critical turning point though. The announcement of the construction of a container port in April 2005, combined with new ownership of the pulp mill, the 2004 opening of a new cruise ship dock, the resurgence of coal and grain shipping, and the prospects of increased heavy industry and tourism foretell a bright future for the area. On August 22, 1949, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake destroyed windows and buildings swung.

COURSE: Fly on a heading of 41 degrees. Prince Rupert is to starboard on an island called "Kaien Island." The famous Trans Canada Highway ends here and can be seen off to starboard.

  • We are flying over the Chatham Sound and the body of water ahead is the Portland Inlet.

COURSE: After Seal Cove on starboard, look ahead. The Portland Inlet splits in a "Y". We will turn to starboard into the right leg at a rough heading of 23. Fly up the valley you encounter there.

COURSE: You will encounter a small lake toward the end of the valley. Fly around the low mountain to starboard coming to a heading of 90 degrees.

COURSE: You will be flying diagonally over a large channel of water. Ahead you will see a channel to port, fly to the mouth of that channel and fly into it.

COURSE: Follow this channel as it winds northward. Landmarks along the way are:

  • A narrowing with a high rock face to starboard.
  • A flattened outcropping jutting out from the port side of the channel .. fly over this.
  • You will see the end of the channel coming

COURSE: Fly to the starboard side of the channel, you will be taking a PORT turn over land just before the end of the channel. There is a small valley there ... hug the mountain to starboard to find the valley ahead. Your heading will be roughly 323.

  • NOTAM: Be sure your altitude is 1200 feet and you have your barometer set to the latest pressure (Press B on Keyboard).

COURSE: At the end of the valley, turn to starboard out over the lake you will find there. Come to a heading of about 25 degrees. Stay in this valley.

COURSE: You will come out of the valley over a large channel, fly to starboard across the water to a heading of about 31 degrees. The water will end in a river system ahead.

  • NOTAM: Over the River System, shut of the AutoPilot you may have on and begin reducing altitude to about 300 feet.

COURSE: Follow the river system . Before a large rounded mountain, the river will curve to port. Follow it. Begin reducing altitude to 500 feet.

  • NOTAM: Slow down, flaps, reduce altitude to 500 feet. Your small landing strip is ahead in about 1 mile. Check landing gear.

The Khutzeymateen River Bear Lodge's landing strip will be straight ahead on the port side of the river.

Safe Landing!

Welcome to Khutzeymateen River Bear Lodge.

Be sure to get out of the plane and walk around ... you will be amazed at what you will see. We keep our promises at Return to Misty Moorings!

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc