Nearby Getaways – The Coastal Magic of Toba Inlet

Where the wild Pacific meets the rugged Northwest coast of Vancouver Island, waterfalls descend from the glacial melt of snow-capped mountains and plummet straight into a vibrant ocean teeming with life. For many visitors to Campbell River, a visit through the secluded Toba Inlet is like travelling into a dream.

As salmon return in the fall, the mouths of the rivers here become prime viewing areas to see grizzly bears feed in their natural habitat. Here, the Klahoose First Nation has “lived since time before memory on the lands, waters and air that make up our territories.” Guests of the Klahoose Nation, grateful to explore these waters with them, become witness to wildlife encounters that remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Adventures in  Toba Inlet

In Toba Inlet, whale watching, sailing, kayaking, and fishing are popular in the summer months when the glacier melt turns the water a spectacular turquoise colour. Those interested in boating excursions should be self-sufficient and well-informed as the waters are very deep with few anchorage opportunities.

However, from late summer through fall (August-October) grizzly bear viewing in the solitude and isolation of this remarkable region draws photographers, animal lovers, and adventure seekers from around the world. Here, they’ll have access to the closest grizzly bear viewing experience to Vancouver Island.

Special viewing platforms run by the Klahoose Nation allow tour groups to safely witness the bears. Tour groups are kept small (typically 12 people) so as not to disturb the animals, and to ensure a world-class experience for all on board. On the two-hour boat trip from Campbell River, bald eagles soar by and marine life watch visitors journey past. Knowledgeable, local guides treat those on board to stories about the fascinating ecosystem and the history of the land. Once the boat docks, visitors are welcomed by members of the Klahoose Nation and an Indigenous guide runs the bear viewing experience.   


Spots fill up fast! Book your adventure  now

COVID-19 Protocols 

During the boat ride to Toba Inlet, you will be asked to wear your mask or buff for the duration of the ride. Once you reach Toba increased safety measures have been implemented including wearing your mask on the bus and on the platforms when physical distancing is not possible.

For more on COVID-19 protocols click here.  

Getting to Toba Inlet?

Due to its secluded location, Toba Inlet is only accessible by water or by air. Wildlife viewing tours take visitors from Campbell River to Toba Inlet via boat. Those in bear watching tours then disembark at a dock to get to the bear viewing platform. The boat journey typically takes 2 hours each way making this a full-day excursion. 

Toba Inlet, marked by the red map pin, is Northeast of Campbell River. Screenshot via Google Maps
Toba Inlet, marked by the red map pin, is Northeast of Campbell River. Screenshot via Google Maps

For a birds-eye view,? Campbell River’s 49 North Helicopter Tours do flightseeing tours above Toba Inlet and the neighbouring Bute Inlet. It’s a truly spectacular way to see the majesty of Vancouver Island from the air.


Have you been to Toba Inlet? We’d love to see your photos and hear your stories. See how locals and visitors #DiscoverCampbellRiver and it’s stunning backyard via our Instagram or Facebook.