Yekwamen ~ Toba Inlet
Yekwamen (yɛkʷamɛn) or Toba Inlet has been the home of the Klahoose people since time before memory.
Canada is home to an estimated 25,000 grizzly bears, half of which live in British Columbia. Klahoose Coastal Adventures is pleased to offer you the opportunity to visit the Bears of Toba Inlet in their natural habitat, undisturbed as they nourish themselves in local riverbeds. We have been operating grizzly bears viewing tours here since 2016.
Situated in the Northern Pacific Range, Toba Inlet is composed of various subzones of Coastal Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock and Alpine Tundra. The area includes rocky terrain and slopping shorelines that make way for freshwater streams that flow to meet the Pacific Ocean.
Yekwamen (yɛkʷamɛn) or Toba Inlet is one of the principle inlets on the BC coast. The inlet is relatively short in comparison to other major coastal inlets with an average with 2.5 km and length only about 35 km. The inlet is flanked by tower glacier peaks with cascading waterfalls and is home to many grizzly bears.
Toba Inlet inaccessible by car, remains remote and largely uninhabited by humans. Here, you will find the Ursus arctos horribillis or grizzly bear. Recognizable by its concave face, distinctive shoulder hump and long claws which allow for exceptional digging. Hair colour for the grizzly can vary from dark brown to black – an occasional light haired coat also occurs. Long guard hairs along the shoulder and back are often white tipped and give the bear a grizzled look for which they are named.
Mating season for the Grizzly runs late spring to mid-July. The average pregnancy can bring 2 – 3 cubs which will stay with their mother for two to three years.
Grizzly bears are omnivores and their diet are dictated by available food sources which can vary widely from seeds, berries and roots to elk, deer and insects. As they prepare for their hyperphagia or hibernation period, they consume enough calories to gain up to three pounds per day!
Spawning salmon provide an ample source of fat and the grizzly possess excellent fishing skills! Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutchare swift, active fish – there are more distinct populations of coho than of any other Pacific salmon species in BC), Pink (Oncorhynchs gorbuscha are the most abundant of the seven species of salmon in BC), Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are the largest of the Pacific salmon species the heaviest on record being 57.27 kilograms) and Chum (Oncorhynchus keta - commonly referred to as dog salmon due to the appearance of mature males, are the poorest jumpers of the Pacific salmon world).
With a lifespan of 20-25 years, adult grizzlies can achieve speeds up to 35 mph – an impressive feat considering the adult male weight of 300-850 lbs or the adult female weight of 200-450lbs.
Yekwamen (Toba Inlet) is the first inlet, north of Vancouver, to have coastal grizzly bears, but still remains of the most remote inlets on the British Columbia Coast. We look forward to welcoming to our home. ʔi:mot tətᶿ kʷənome...it's good to see you!
The mouth of Yekwamen (Toba Inlet) looking east into the Toba Valley. Photo Credit: Kristian Gillies
Racine Waterfalls flow from the mountaintop glaciers to the Pacific Ocean. Photo Credit: Chris Tait