The Campbell River Collection: Limited-Edition Fall Experiences
Each year, for a brief window of time, the cycles of Campbell River’s natural environment are abundantly clear and exciting to see up close as the last golden days of summer fold into a glorious fall. Multiple salmon runs draw people seeking a special catch and make for an astounding sight for underwater adventurers. Grizzly bears come to the river’s edge in nearby inlets to feast and are a sight to behold. Beautiful weather and a summer well spent brings people together to celebrate community connections, traditions, and heritage. Destination Campbell River invites you to partake in these limited-edition experiences. Everything you need to know is listed below. Hurry! Before you know it, leaves will be falling and evenings closing in on us as we move on and embrace the next phase of fall.
Marvel at grizzly bears in their natural habitat
In the Pacific Northwest, returning salmon draw bears down to vibrant glacial fed rivers to feast and prepare for the winter ahead. The waterways in the Campbell River region are the prime place to see this ecosystem in action. Boats depart from Campbell River for bear viewing excursions up to Bute and Toba Inlets. Keep alert for excellent opportunities to see whales, seals, dolphins, and eagles. All tours are managed by local Indigenous nations who welcome and guide guests in their traditional territories and educate guests about the cultural significance of the grizzly bear.
Be sure to set aside a full day of your trip to Campbell River for a grizzly bear excursion as the full journey takes 8 hours (a 2 hour boat ride each way, and a bear viewing time of 3 hours.)
- Until October 15th
- Depart from Campbell River to Bute or Toba Inlet
Grizzly bears don’t live on Vancouver Island itself but can be seen on guided tours and special viewing platforms in nearby inlets on the mainland of British Columbia.
Tyee Fishing: A Campbell River Tradition
Hire a local guide and head out onto the water where the currents are just right for Tyee salmon fishing. It’s a Campbell River tradition made famous by the Tyee Club of British Columbia and the unique fleet of rowboats that congregate together near the end of each summer. It’s all about patience, excitement, bragging rights, and hearing the legendary stories from locals and fellow fishers.
Prefer to stay on land? You can view the boats angling for a position as they round the estuary and enter the Tyee Pool from the viewing platform at the Tyee Spit (aka Dick Murphy Park). You can also enjoy the spectacle from the scenic grounds of the Tyee Clubhouse, open from July 15-September 15 where you can get warmed by the fire and established club members are often available for a chat and a fishing tale or two.
What’s the goal?
Catch a 30-pound+ Chinook salmon (also called a Tyee).
When can you do it?
Only until September 15th! This special time lasts for 2 months with August as prime conditions. If you’ve missed this round, make a note to book ahead with a local guide next summer. The season runs July 15-September 15 every year.
How do you do it?
Connect with local guides here.
Did you know?
The Tyee Club officially began in 1924 after a surge in sport fishing in Campbell River from the 1890s. However, Indigenous people had been salmon fishing in the area since time immemorial. Local Laich-Kwil-Tach people were indispensable guides for the first sport fishers. Learn more about this history here.
Snorkelling with the Salmon: An Underwater Adventure!
Slap on a wetsuit and get up close and personal with thousands of salmon returning upstream to spawn. Yeah, maybe you’ve snorkelled in the tropics once upon a time, but have you ever drifted along in Pacific Northwest Coast rivers closer to home? Fantastic visibility and the chance to see five different salmon species makes this a treat for pros and newcomers alike. Dive in, go with the flow, and marvel at your very own wildlife documentary.
When can you do it?
Any time before September 15th!
How do you do it?
Call the Campbell River Visitor Centre for more information and to be put in touch with local operators.
Head to the Quinsam Fish Hatchery before you hit the water to learn about the life cycle of spawning salmon.
Create, Learn, and Connect at the Art and Earth Festival
Join us for the first-ever Art and Earth Festival, where three days of artistic and educational programming celebrate our community’s connections to the natural beauty that surrounds us. Learn how to weave cedar, see artwork made from driftwood, and attend talks to learn more about the environment. Be sure to stop by Haig-Brown House on Sunday to celebrate World Rivers Day in a place known for fishing heritage and waterways stewardship.
- Downtown Campbell River
For recommendations on where to stay and eat during the festival, see here.
These experiences are available for a limited time only as part of the first-ever Campbell River Fall Collection. Don’t miss out on the magic. Click here to see how to collect these experiences and make memories this season. And remember to use #CRiverCollection and #DiscoverCampbellriver to share your photos this fall!